I just returned from my high school class reunion. I visited with classmates I had not seen since our graduation many years ago. We looked at old photos in a slide show. I did not recognize many of my classmates who had dramatically changed since we donned our robes and mortar boards. We did a moment of silence for the eighteen classmates who had passed away. And we sang our school alma mater, although not nearly with the boisterous vigor we did in the high school gym right before a ball game.

The highlight of the class reunion, however, was not the recollecting. It was getting to learn where classmates were today and how they now lived their lives. I learned about hobbies that had become businesses and vice versa. I found out about fulfilling community service and rewarding volunteer work. College dreams of yesteryear have been joyfully replaced with today’s stories of grandchildren and their accomplishments. Gripes about too much homework were now about too many aches and pains. Old relationships were restarted; new promises of fidelity were declared.

It is time for your customer reunion. Your customers have changed dramatically. We used to giggle at the old sales joke that went, “I can give it to you fast, good, or cheap; pick two!” Customers today demand all three and tailor-made to boot. But the most memorable experience for today’s customers is a highly personal encounter focused on the customer as a unique individual, not as one-of-many consumers. They want a relationship, not a transaction. And they want to be recognized at their next reunion no matter how they have changed in the interim.