If You Care About Customer Experience, You Need to Care About Cloud
The cloud is not only transforming the customer technology journey, but it is also shifting how companies think about the customer experience.In the past, customer experience teams tended to focus more on product-specific feedback. However, the inherently decentralized nature of the cloud has forced experience experts to consider a new approach to customer engagement to ensure that the company’s future direction aligns with the changing technology environment. To better understand this trend, I sat down with one of EMC’s leading Total Customer Experience (TCE) experts, Dave Harrington, a Quality Experience Lead focused on the impact of the cloud on EMC’s customers, products and strategy.
There were two key takeaways from our conversation.
- The cloud is changing how we capture and act on feedback.
It was a lot easier to listen before we learned about the cloud…our TCE program surveys allowed us to easily measure the experience of EMC’s specific products versus our competitors. We could then seamlessly share these results with our product and sales teams. With our various emerging cloud products now shipping to our customers, we had to get creative in our feedback approach.
To understand what cloud customers really need, we pull together data from a variety of listening posts such as relationship, product use, services satisfaction surveys along with customer engagements, social media and new our quality metrics. We have also changed which questions we ask to focus more on the customer’s environment versus a specific product experience. Now we are combining all these metrics into customizable and user-friendly dashboards that allow us to see the impact on geographies, individual customers and industry groups. This holistic view with relevant insights is then shared with our account and product teams to ensure that we are responding in a truly personal and informed manner. The response to this new approach has been extremely positive.
- The cloud is changing who we talk to & what we talk about.
It’s amazing what asking the right questions has revealed. Through focused customer interactions and new survey results we are finding that the influencers of cloud adoption are shifting. Traditionally, large tech vendors were primarily focused on the needs of the IT department and the CIO. Now that organizations are enabled by cloud solutions, IT is not the only target. We are finding that operations teams are quickly becoming a driving force for cloud deployments. They need flexible solutions quickly and they aren’t afraid to go outside the company to get them. This means a shift in the way cloud values are communicated. It’s not necessarily about IOPS and time to deploy, but more on business agility while minimizing shadow IT.
To validate our process we compared our results to industry analysts and found they are in sync. Analysts at IDC are predicting that enterprise IT budget will be moving toward cloud solutions throughout 2015. Our survey participants echoed this sentiment clearly with 56% of respondents intending to purchase in 2015 and another 34% in the process of evaluating cloud solutions. However what is surprising is many organizations still have not developed a strategy for how they will actually incorporate these solutions.
This means that it falls on experienced companies like EMC to provide guidance and instruction. Fortunately, our robust customer experience program allows us to have more personal conversations with our customers. We have also invested in unique programs to provide more consultative recommendations. This means we will be putting more emphasis on capabilities like our IT Transformation Workshop and Cloud Advisory Service as well as creating more informational assets like the IT Transformation Storymap.
Although there is still some uncertainty as to what exactly the cloud will mean for customers in 5-10 years, there is no question that companies who are committed to adapting their feedback process to evolve with these changes will continue to lead the pack. Change can be difficult, both for customers and tech vendors. However, EMC’s TCE team is ready to help our customers and internal teams navigate this change through the use of advanced feedback tools, by leveraging our smart people and staying true the fact that caring for customers matters in every stage of the technology journey…why would we forget this when we talk about the cloud?!