The forces of digital disruption have empowered consumers and inverted the power relationship between buyers and sellers. Competitive advantages based on manufacturing, distribution, and IT are no longer sustainable. Customer loyalty has all but disappeared; buyers can and will shift their allegiance immediately if disappointed. In the era of the empowered consumer, business success depends upon offering consistently outstanding customer experiences across multiple touchpoints and over the entire customer lifecycle.Mastering this new discipline of customer experience management (CEM) will entail massive and disruptive changes across the organization, and require new or refocused technologies, skills, teams, and corporate commitments. Most companies are at the beginning of this transformation; best practices have yet to be established – and in many cases they never will be, given the speed and unpredictability of change. One thing is clear, however: earning and keeping customers depends on understanding them.