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In 2013 Walker released a forward-thinking view of B2B customer experience in the year 2020. Now, four years later Walker’s follow-up report, Customers 2020: A Progress Report, set out to gauge what customer expectations and trends are still relevant as 2020 approaches and what B2B companies should do today to ensure they’re able to win and keep customers in 2020 and beyond.

Among the findings of the new report are (1) the most important emerging customer expectations for B2B companies are personalization, ease and speed, and (2) the biggest challenges in meeting these expectations is increasing complexity and the heightened standards that have been set by B2C companies.

Interesting findings no doubt.  But here is something the report revealed that I find to be really intriguing.  According to Walker, it’s time for transformative change in the way we define customer experience. Meeting customer expectations in the new decade means shifting from being “customer focused” to “customer committed.” This deliberate transformation requires fundamental change in how B2B companies think, act, and collaborate.

Customer committed.  We’ve heard the phrase used in terms of customers being committed to a company —- a customer that is loyal and a true advocate for the company/brand.

But Walker is flipping this concept —– saying that B2B companies need to be committed to their customers. This means putting the customer at the heart of every business decision made throughout the organization. As such, it makes sense that Walker found that 95% of customer experience professionals expect demand for customer intelligence to increase by 2020.

CX professionals need to also realize that given the critical role they play in spearheading this mindshift, their function in the organization —- and their direct impact on the bottom line — is put center stage. From leading the creation of governance to ensuring the right intelligence exists to make informed decisions, it’s the CX professionals who must step up to meet new demands.