The Customer Rules Again in 2017

Happy New Year! We've noticed that 2017 is, once again, being touted as the "year of the customer," specifically customer experience:

  • Forrester surveyed thousands of businesses and found that "72% cited improving the customer experience as a top priority in the next 12-months."

  • Gartner warns that while it may be “the rage” for a brand to want to be a publisher, marketers should never forget the customer rules, and customer experience drives loyalty and advocacy. Gartner believes 2017 will find the smartest marketers focused on customer experience management.

  • Keynotes at the NRF “Big Show” focused on leveraging data and technology to deliver "amazing customer experiences;" improving those experiences by focusing on personalized interactions; customized product and service offerings; socializing the brand experience; and in general, digital transformation of the business. In other words, this means creating an authentic customer-centric relationship in all aspects: that is, conversations, communications, and (where possible) tailored product and service offerings on the customer’s terms and conditions (to their practical limits).

We believe this year the customer will continue to take more control of the business-customer relationship. Technology is making it ever easier for the consumer to be the co-creator, champion (or critic) of a brand or business. Today’s customer is always online; “show-rooming” is the norm and competition is fierce. When switching costs are low and competition is high it’s more important than ever for companies to focus their efforts on customer experience management and retention.

Businesses that think holistically about their relationship with the customer, wholeheartedly embrace the mantra "it's all about the customer," and leverage data and technology to know what the customer wants before they want it, will win the customer’s mind, heart, and wallet in 2017.

Net/Net: 2017 should be all about having a customer-centric agenda. More on that here