Employees Are From Mars, Customers Are From Venus
How often have you had this expeirence? You're working with a service provider of some sort--a doctor, systems designer, accountant, consultant, decorator, financial planner, web designer, etc.--and you're explaning something that you think is important for him to know. And you suddenly realize, "he doesn't get what I'm doing here. He doesn't get me."
That happens a lot to me, and I think it happens a lot in business relationships (actually, in ALL kinds of relationships, come to think of it). And in partiuclar it happens because the service provider you're talking to isn't from your world. He can't really get you.
In most businesses, the departments that most need to understand customers--such as product development, marketing communications, sales, customer service and the like--are staffed by employees who don't live in the customer's world and thus can't really understand them. They certainly can't understand them as well as customers can understand each other.
Which is why in the future, employees in marketing and sales will increasingly be judged not by how well they can apply the traditional skills of those professions, but by how skillfully they can bring customers into those activities. How skillfully they can realize the fact that customers are your best sales people, customers are your best marketing people.