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Posted by William Band on August 8, 2011
Josh Bernoff, one of Forrester’s leading analysts, spotlights in a new report that we have now entered the age of the customer. Empowered customers are disrupting every industry; competitive barriers like manufacturing strength, distribution power, and information mastery can’t save you. In this age of the customer, the only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge of and engagement with customers. The successful companies will be customer-obsessed, like Best Buy, IBM, and Amazon.com. Executives in customer-obsessed companies must pull budget dollars from areas that traditionally created dominance — brand advertising, distribution lockup, mergers for scale, and supplier relationships — and invest in four priority areas: 1) real-time customer intelligence; 2) customer experience and customer service; 3) sales channels that deliver customer intelligence; and 4) useful content and interactive marketing. Those that master the customer data flow and improve frontline customer staff will have the edge.
On June 15, 2011, a group of Forrester analysts convened for a roundtable discussion (Customer Empowerment Jam) to explore the topic of empowering customers through business process transformation. This was a cross-disciplinary group that included Connie Moore, Craig Le Clair, Paul Hagen, Rob Karel, Derek Miers, Kate Leggett, Mike Gilpin, and I. We had a lively discussion about the strategies and tactics for how companies can survive and thrive in the age of the customer. We summarized our conclusions in a new report. In the age of the customer, successful enterprises will:
On September 22-23, we are hosting a Business Process Forum in Boston, with the theme of “The World Of Customer Engagement.” For two days, we’ll hear from business process executives who are not only improving their processes, and not only transforming their processes, but are also putting the customer at the heart of it — transforming processes from the outside in and building customer engagement to support the new world of Customer Empowerment. I invite you to be there, and also to follow Forrester’s Blog for Business Process Professionals in the weeks leading up to the event to hear from Forrester thought leaders and some of the speakers from the event.
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