Politicians need to know their customers, too.

Talking to my friends in politics, both Democrats and Republicans, they are miffed at the success of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. These candidates occupy the far left and far right on the spectrum of American politics. It will be fascinating to see how long both of these candidates can go in their respective campaigns.

The success of Sanders and Trump is easy to understand when you can fully appreciate why people are supporting them. They are tapping into a deep discontent with Washington in large sections of the American population. People are tired of the status quo.

The other subtlety is that the Sanders and Trump organizations are the equivalent of political startups that know their customers. What can mainstream Democrats and Republicans do in future election cycles at all levels of government? Make sure you know the people that you are serving.

To give you a different perspective, imagine that you are an established company. How would you respond to a startup that just entered the market and threatens to take your business?

There are many things that a company could do to respond, but the first move would be generate a better understanding of their customer’s needs.

It sounds too simple to be true, but customer service is important.