In a marketing world overcome by a wave of Big Data, brands struggle with the sheer volume of customer insights flooding in at any given moment. Without powerful analytics tools, it becomes nearly impossible to separate the signal of actionable insight from the noise of seemingly infinite data points.
Few brands have come to embody this computing solution quite like IBM. In a recent session at Forrester CXSF 2016, Larry Yusuf, IBM’s head of customer loyalty, focused on the importance of context when it comes to customer behavior.
“Last year we were talking all about customer journeys; how customers interact with a company over time, what they’re doing with the company, how they’re doing it, and why,” Yusuf said. “Now we know that it’s imperative to also understand what’s happening at the macro level.”
These two levels of thinking—both at the individual level and on a broader scale—aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Rather, they should be combined to create a complete picture of how customers behave and how that behavior is influenced by factors outside of the individual journey.
“There’s really a gamut of things happening (within the data) that we’re trying to gather,” Yusuf said. “You see large levels of customer data, emotional data, EEG data, and everything else that comes in, and as CX professionals, the reason we look at all these things is to answer questions for our businesses and our clients. The questions change every day because the context changes the conversation every day.”
Whereas CX industry professionals were once able to work relatively independently to implement improvements to the customer experience, now they must work with numerous departments to bring together the elements needed for tangible results.
Part of this new required skillset is the discovery of new technology. These countless technologies hit the market, seemingly, by the second, with CX teams left to sift through and learn which are right for their verticals and goals.
“Only so many people know these technologies, and with all the people you need to speak to just to understand them, it feels like you need to make 2,000 calls before you can answer the question,” Yusuf noted.
By being able to effectively analyze and implement the proper technologies, CX professionals can carve out a distinct advantage over other brands in the market.

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