(Barely) Speaking about Data and Customer Experience

RMA Consulting at Marketforce's 20:20 CX Summit
RMA Consulting at Marketforce’s 20:20 CX Summit

Last week I spoke at the 20:20 Customer Experience Summit. The talk was about data-centric customer experiences.

Data is a big focus for us here at RMA. A lot of the projects we work on involve large or complex sets of data being presented to users. We take pride in our ability to visualise it, to tame its complexity, and to turn it from a cause of confusion into a genuinely useful resource.

One issue with data is that organisations can become overly obsessed with it, eventually losing sight of what really matters: the human beings whose decisions and activities ultimately generate that data. Korzybski gave us the expression “the map is not the territory“; the same holds true for data and people. As a means to an end, data can be extremely powerful, but only as long as we understand that it is only a means to an end.

So our talk on data-centric customer experience placed the emphasis firmly on the customer, not the data. It explored how data, as a tool, can help deliver unexpected customer experiences which don’t feel digital and algorithmically determined but can in fact be very spontaneous, organic and unplanned.

Another thing that was unplanned—though not in a good way—was that, on the morning of the talk, I’d started to lose my voice. It’s disconcerting enough to hear your voice amplified back to you over a PA system, but it’s even more disconcerting when the voice coming through the speakers isn’t your own but Darth Vader’s.

Thankfully I was able to croak my way through the talk before my voice gave out altogether. And a few people came up to our stand afterwards to say positive things about the talk. That’s always a nice experience—whether data’s involved or not.