Data-Driven Customer Experience

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It's all about customer experience.
It's all about customer experience.

Does Big Data require a new way of thinking or should marketers simply consider it data?

Leveraging the power of Big Data analytics—through the integration of all data elements—is a new approach and a must for the faster decision making required today. Significant organizational and process changes are necessary, as well, and are largely dependent on two factors: how your organization currently manages data analytics, and what goals have been established to take advantage of Big Data analytics.

Consider how Big Data analytics is transforming EMC's Total Customer Experience program. EMC's TCE program is a customer-focused, data-driven strategy encompassing all elements of the relationship between EMC and its customers, through each step of the customer journey. That journey is the customer's end-to-end interactions with EMC, and provides the foundation for measuring each customer touchpoint and customers' perceptions of their experience.

The TCE program is built on a measurement system that incorporates both structured and unstructured data. EMC enables customers to provide feedback on not only how well EMC manages the entire customer relationship, but also on every step along the journey. In addition, EMC monitors key performance indicators that represent customer interactions. Some of these customer metrics include product reliability and availability, response time, and total time to resolution.

The ultimate goal of the EMC TCE program is to enable business growth through continued improvements in the customer experience. Many different types of data elements are captured, analyzed, and turned into information that internal businesses can use to make decisions that are focused on continued improvements in the customer experience. From analyzing unstructured data via sentiment and suggestions in open-ended comments, to analyzing structured data via customer metrics, Big Data analytic technologies and tools are only part of the equation; people and processes are also essential to improving the customer experience and business results.

A transformational journey

So how does an organization go from mostly structured data manual analytics, to an organization that is enabled through Big Data? For EMC, continually enhancing the customer experience and improving the business, managing disparate data sources, applying data analytics to understand the findings, and driving actionable recommendations through Big Data analytics is what it takes. To use Big Data analytics effectively, organizations need to have a vision for what they want to achieve and how they want to achieve it. Developing a business case is critical to the success of a project like this.

Establishing a partnership with IT is also essential, as it provides organizations with a fundamental understanding of the technologies needed to aggregate data in one place and in the same format. Working with EMC IT, our organization created requirements for the types of data to be captured, a road map of what systems will be used for data access, and the types of analytics to be performed.

Next, organizations need to employ the right people, who can merge their data analysis skills with their inherent curiosity and creativity to correlate data sets that seem unrelated to help uncover new insights. Data scientists are a new breed of professionals who apply advanced analytical tools and algorithms to generate predictive insights and new product innovations as a direct result of the data.

In the case of EMC's Total Customer Experience organization, this transformation of people and processes took place over many months, giving individuals in the organization an opportunity to become data scientists through EMC's Education Services curriculum.

Systematic process changes are largely dependent on technology enablement, and on the requirements and goals of the business. While some process changes are evident, many can be modified as staff gain new skills and new technology are deployed.

Today, many companies don't know or truly understand the value of the data they're managing. They know the basics of what they're looking for, and traditional methods

and technologies often suffice. But the real advantage of Big Data analytics is to uncover truths they didn't even know existed. Enabling technology, while driving organizational and process changes are keys to taking advantage of Big Data analytics.

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Jim Bampos, EMC

As the VP of customer quality at EMC, Jim Bampos has under his belt nearly 30 years of experience working to make the customer journey as good as it can possibly be. Though he has a background in software quality, Bampos found himself set on his current career path when he seized an opportunity: There was true value combining customer experience feedback with the hard metrics that delineated customer success. In understanding how quality affected both the customer experience and overall business, EMC was able to develop its Total Customer Experience program, led by Bampos. Though devoted to making sure that EMC's customers have a great experience with the company, he still enjoys the guilty pleasure of a classic comedy like Caddyshack or Airplane!. Surely he can't be serious all the time.

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