Story image

The keys to thriving in the age of the customer

03 Nov 15

Next year will be ‘the most consequential year’ for companies adapting to digitally savvy, empowered customers according to Forrester, which says 10 critical factors will determine whether companies thrive or fail in the age of the customer.

Cliff Condon, Forrester chief research and product officer, says there’s a lot at stake for businesses in 2016.

“Empowered customers are changing the market fundamentals for virtually every industry, forcing companies to reinvent their strategy and operations,” Condon says.

“We are approaching a fork in the road where companies can either make the hard changes to dramatically improve their chances to win in the market or preserve old models and defer transforming their operations at the risk of failure.”

Forrester has outlines the top 10 critical success factors it says will determine who wins and who fails in the age of the customer:

Personalising the customer experience (CX) Customers will reward companies that anticipate their individual needs – and punish those that have to relearn basic information at each touchpoint.

Implementing multi-discipline CX strategies Companies that transform operations to deliver high-value, personalised experiences will drive a wedge between themselves and laggards just executing CX tactics.

Disrupting leadership CEOs will need to consider significant changes to their leadership teams to win in a customer-led, digital market; chief executives that hang on to leadership structures simply to preserve current power structures will create unnecessary risk.

Connecting culture to business success Those who invest in culture to fuel change will gain significant speed in the market; those who avoid or defer culture investments will lose ground in the market.

Operating at the speed of disruptors Leaders accept that disruption is now normal and will animate their scale, brand and data while operating at the speed of disruptors; laggards will continue to be surprised and play defence in the market.

Evolving loyalty programs Companies which find ways for customers to participate with their brand and in product design will experience new and powerful levels of affinity; companies that try to optimise existing loyalty programs will see little impact on affinity or revenue.

Converting analytics to customer value Leaders will use analytics as a competitive asset to deliver personalised services across human and digital touchpoints; laggards will drown in big data.

Mastering digital Companies that become experts in digital will further differentiate themselves from those that dabble in a set of digital services that merely decorate their traditional business.

Elevating privacy as a differentiator Leaders will extend privacy from a risk and legal consideration to a position to win customers; companies that relegate privacy as a niche consideration will play defence and face churn risk.

Putting in place a customer-obsessed operating model Companies that shift to customer-obsessed operations will gain sustainable differentiation; those that preserve old ways of doing business will begin the slow process of failing.

New market dynamics are in play for 2016 and the gap between customer-obsessed leaders and laggards will widen. The decisions companies make, and how fast they act, will determine if they thrive or fail in the age of the customer.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."