Ten Things J.D. Power Has Learned in Business

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Listen — to your customers, your employees, and your stakeholders.

Power has witnessed too many car manufacturers move further away from achieving satisfied customers by refusing to listen to them. One example that sticks in his mind is that of Peugeot back in the 1980s. They were trying to broaden their appeal and expand their share of the American car market, but they were unwilling to listen to customer complaints about difficulties starting their advanced fuel-injected cars. Peugeot was an early adopter of fuel injection, and American customers were “flooding” the engine by pumping the gas, something that was necessary in conventional engines at that time. Customers saw this as a quality issue, but rather than hearing this as a problem, Peugeot held fast, confident that fuel injection was superior from an engineering standpoint. No doubt they were right, but by not listening and adapting to their customers, they lost them, and by the early 1990s they had to abandon the American market.

After fifty years working with a range of companies — as well as founding and running his own company, J.D. Power and Associates — Dave Power has observed a good deal, and come away with a few thoughts about how to have the best shot at success in business.

The businesses he has seen grow, adapt, and thrive are the ones that keep a focus on satisfying customers by listening to them, anticipating their needs and desires, and maintaining their organizations’ prioritizing of these principles.

Whether he's speaking with business school students or seasoned executives, he finds that his advice incorporates 10 basic lessons he has learned throughout his career.

Dave Power is the founder of J.D. Power and Associates. The new book about his fifty years in the auto industry, "Power: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry’s Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History," is currently available. For more information, visit http://www.davepowerbook.com.


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