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First-ever study released on the future of the B-to-B customer experience industry

INDIANAPOLIS – The first-ever study of the future of B-to-B customer experience industry, Customers 2020, was released by customer intelligence firm Walker Information.

The study reflects Walker’s view of the future based on input from customer experience professionals from large, multinational, B-to-B organizations representing a range of industries, and is designed to reveal the customer experience industry of the future.

"Customers 2020 is a thought-provoking look at a future that is already unfolding," said Bob Thompson, founder and CEO of CustomerThink Corp., an independent research and publishing firm focused on customer-centric business management. "To earn customer trust and loyalty, B-to-B leaders must work harder to provide relevant experiences, anticipate needs and orchestrate a consistent multi-channel experience."

The study revealed the B-to-B environment will be more complex with knowledgeable customers dictating the experience. Customers 2020 explores how customer expectations will evolve, what companies must do to adapt, and how companies can capitalize on the emerging customer revolution.

Some of the findings include:

  • Customers will demand a more personalized experience; forcing companies to tailor their products and services to the unique needs of each customer.
  • Customers will expect companies to be more proactive, anticipating their current and future needs. To meet these expectations companies will need to leverage advanced analytics to predict customer behavior and exceed customer expectations.
  • With an explosion of communication methods, customers will interact on their own terms. Companies will need to deliver a consistent, high-quality experience across all channels of communication.
  • As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, companies will focus on creating a competitive advantage based on the experiences they deliver, placing less emphasis on product and pricing strategies.
  • In the future there will be a great deal of attention on how “engaged” a customer is with a company. Highly customized measurements will focus on customer engagement as a leading indicator of growth.

Customers 2020 was conducted by Walker Information over the period of nine months, and the research is reflective of a combination of four initiatives:

  • Walker conducted roundtable discussions with business leaders and customer experience professionals. Their views reflect large, global, B-to-B companies from a range of industries.
  • In-depth interviews with executives, including CEOs, executive vice presidents, and senior directors were conducted to explore the common themes that emerged from the roundtable discussions.
  • A quantitative survey was conducted with customer experience professionals to validate the findings from the in-depth discussions. They represent a range of industries, company size, and titles with responsibilities for supporting the development of customer strategies.
  • Once findings were gathered, they were reviewed by a panel of Chief Customer Officers.

For more information about Customers 2020, and to purchase a copy, go to http://www.walkerinfo.com/customers2020.

About Walker

Walker is a consulting firm specializing in customer experience. Helping businesses for more than 75 years, Walker’s diverse team of consultants provides tailored, comprehensive solutions to help companies achieve their business objectives and grow shareholder value. Walker specializes in customer retention and growth, using predictive analytics and other innovative approaches. Walker works with some of the world’s most influential businesses as well as emerging organizations of all sizes. For more information, please visit www.walkerinfo.com.

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