It’s amazing how much the topic of Big Data has monopolized the discussion for IT in 2012, and we aren’t likely to see it end anytime soon. At the C-level, the discussion transitions from managing Big Data to making Big Data actionable. How do we use Big Data to improve operations and fulfillment, marketing, sales and support, etc.? Even more importantly, how do we make Big Data actionable to improve customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty?
Let’s explore Big Data as the “driver” for the role of a Customer Experience Officer (CEO). This is what will move Big Data from a “managing” exercise to an “actionable” event, where all the work and investment made by organizations for leveraging Big Data will be personified either through an “Office of the Customer Experience.” The movement for a formalized senior level, customer-centric title is well underway. We’ve seen elevated titles associated with customer operations, customer experience, customer success, customer feedback, and customer advocacy across the industry and our customer organizations.
When you add “Big Data” to the equation — and all of the areas where Big Data comes into play in representing the Voice of the Customer (VoC) — you understand my point in Big Data accelerating the concept of the Customer Experience Officer. Big Data and VoC intersect across the entire corporation in areas such as customer service departments that gather input based on transactional interactions; marketing departments that analyze interactions on websites and in marketing campaigns; and product management that examines input to assess feature requirements and more. In all these cases, each business unit gathers information via its own methodologies and for its own use, stranding critical information in silos —and depriving companies the benefit of inter-group communication.
With companies investing in the technologies that capture and analyze Big Data, Customer Experience Officer can be the conduit for ensuring that all the relevant information is shared throughout an organization. Only when the sharing of information becomes part of the corporate design and philosophy can the informational insights be shifted from informal and sporadic to purposeful and ongoing. The Intelligent Enterprise insists on collaboration — not functional silos.
Creating a specific title and charter for the role of the Customer Experience Officer will lend executive endorsement and send the signal that an organization has completely shifted towards a customer-centric model. This is reinforced in a 2012 Strativity whitepaper titled ‘The Path to Customer Experience Success’.
The firm states: “Having strong technology support for the new customer-centric business strategy enables companies to engage their complex, multichannel customer in meaningful dialog-driven conversation while at the same time driving rich analytics reflective of the complete view of the customer experience.”
Furthering this point, a 2012 Capgemini study indicates that 85 percent of respondents say the issue is not about the volume of data but the ability to analyze and act on data in real-time. Another report sponsored by Oracle in 2012 indicates that 93 percent of executives believe their organization is losing revenue on average, 14 percent annually, as a result of not being able to fully leverage the information they collect.
A dedicated and formalized role is required to leverage the value of Big Data in Voice of the Customer initiatives. Big Data and the Customer Experience Officer — seems like they should arrive hand-in-hand.The author is Senior Vice President, Marketing, Verint Systems