As Michael Hinshaw and Bruce Kasanoff highlight in their recent book, Smart Customers (Stupid Companies): Why Only Intelligent Companies Will Thrive, and How to Be One of Them, today's customers are borderline superheroes because they are, in a sense, all-knowing, ultra-aware, and supersensitive.

"Right now, smart customers can 'see' traffic jams two miles ahead – and avoid them. They can 'sniff out' delicious food being prepared 5.4 miles away – and reserve a table at that top-ranked restaurant in an instant. They can 'hear' the falsehoods in the voice of a pushy, unethical salesperson and recognize the precise factual errors he has stated – and locate elsewhere exactly the price, features, and delivery they require," they write in Smart Customers (Stupid Companies).

While these "superhero" customers are off saving the world each day, they depend on their technological sidekicks to keep them connected and current. Tablets, PCs, and smartphones provide access to unlimited knowledge at a moment's notice. This constant contact allows customers to find out everything they need to know about a product or service without stepping foot in a store.