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Experts give advice on surviving tough economy

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Everyone from pop psychologists to business gurus is flooding the Web and landing their smiling faces on the display tables right inside the door of your favorite big box bookstore. Everybody wants to help you make it through this tough economy, don’t they? Who to believe?

Tempting as it might be to drop your prices or sell a cheaper product, there is a chorus of voices out there all singing the same song: “Don’t do it!” Amid the cacophony are these useful bits of conventional wisdom:

1. Customers have a short memory when it comes to price cuts. If the economy improves and you try to return to your pre-panic pricing, your customers might not come with you.

2. Price is important, but if your customers are not satisfied with the quality, they will think they paid too much.

3. You don’t have to exceed customer expectations; just make sure they are never disappointed.

4. What’s your company’s stickiness level? Real loyalty goes beyond transactions to a mutually beneficial relationship that improves your customers’ competiveness, too.

5. When customers get pickier, mediocre products or poor customer service fall by the wayside.

6. In a bad economy customers want to feel safe. That means they will always go back to the companies they trust. Yes, integrity trumps even price.

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