A little over a year ago in late 2013, Forrester Research proclaimed “We have begun a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.”
If this is so, what was Jan Carlzon, former President of Scandinavian Airlines, articulating in his 1987 book Moments of Truth, when he said “We are at an historic crossroad where the age of the customer orientation has arrived”?
And what did the famed business management guru Peter Drucker mean when, in his 1954 book The Practice of Management, he stated “There is only one valid definition of a business purpose: to create a customer.”?
Of course, the most successful companies throughout human history, are the ones whom have understood that customers are their most important asset. After all, they pay the salary of everyone from the board, to the CEO, to the back office and the front line. Without customers to repeatably buy what you are selling, you have no company.