There is an irreversible trend in business today that is impacting all markets: Customer-focused businesses are outperforming and disrupting their competitors. 2018 is the year to get on board or fall behind the curve.

Putting the customer first isn’t just lip service or for brand appeal – it’s a business growth strategy. Data shows that 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, while only 1 percent of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations (Forbes).

A recurring topic of discussion among chief information officers and product leaders at the largest software companies is that 2018 is the year of customer service innovation. To engage clients and earn their loyalty, you must anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations.

Customer-focused business transformation

A focus on customer service and customer experience is non-negotiable. Since 80 to 90 percent of a company’s revenue is generated from existing customers, creating brand affinity is a requirement for sustainability. Prioritize your customer experience to protect your base, foster brand promoters and increase customer lifetime value.

To achieve a sustainable customer-focused business transformation, there are three things you must recognize today.

1. Commit to a low-cost or high-end experience.

Customers are seeking value, which can be realized via low prices or high-end experiences. Essentially, you need to be better at being cheaper, or be a premium service that gives customers more than your competitors.

What’s driving this change? Companies are increasingly commoditizing their offerings and lowering costs by cutting out the middleman. Think of Amazon, Casper Mattress, Uber and other disruptors. These A-list companies benefit from disintermediation, wherein sellers connect directly with buyers rather than depend on a network of intermediaries. The only way to compete, if you can’t follow a disintermediation model, is to create a high-touch, high-end experience.

Why is this distinction, and commitment to one approach Read More Here