How the expectation economy will shape 2016

Once upon a time, expecting a barista to know your coffee order before you walked into the coffee shop depended upon a relationship built up over many coffee breaks, and a lot of caffeine.

Thanks to Starbucks’ in app Mobile Order and Pay,caffeine-lovers everywhere need never fear again that their favourite light venti java chip frappuccino with four pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup - no cream - won’t be waiting for them when they walk through the door.

Customers expectations are rising and in 2016 every new innovation will bring ever higher expectations. “Excellent” customer experience is no longer a permanent position but something won by continuous optimization. This isn’t a journey with a finish line anymore and standing still at the horizon will only enable rivals to overtake you.

The debate on customer experience has shifted from its importance, to how to deliver it and make your offering more sophisticated than their rivals.

In a Gartner survey of 2014 two-thirds of companies believed they would be either industry leading or much more successful than their peers by 2019. The companies that go the distance will do so by being first-in-class and staying in pole position by consistently raising the bar for excellence through innovation.

First-class experience hinges on the acknowledgement that the customer is everything, and must go ahead of the bottom line in strategic priorities. Winning experiences will be totally reorientated to mould in real time around customer needs and preferences.

The true trailblazers will centralize their data into an operationalized record of their customer. Built from quantitative and qualitative data, and enriched with additional data sets, it will enable the leaders to create an evolving and consistently vibrant experience for their customers across all touch points.