Three Ways Data is Transforming the Customer Experience
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Three Ways Data is Transforming the Customer Experience

Iwao Fusillo, Chief Data GMs & Analytics Officer, General Motors
Iwao Fusillo, Chief Data GMs & Analytics Officer, General Motors

Iwao Fusillo, Chief Data GMs & Analytics Officer, General Motors

While data and analytics were traditionally seen as a peripheral discipline in companies, they have now become central to impacting business success. As illustrated by McKinsey’s 2021 AI report, economies around the world are increasingly adopting artificial intelligence. What’s more, some companies are moving beyond the typical understanding of digital transformation into less chartered territory: embedding data and analytics into the foundation of the customer experience.

As the Chief Data and Analytics Officer of General Motors, my team and I are living this innovation daily. Data best practices have been core to our transformation into a platform innovator: revolutionizing how we—as a society—move people and goods. Across the industry, we’ve seen how key investments in software are ushering in a new era of safe and personalized mobility for all, with products that empower individuals and organizations to experience a safe and all-electric future.

In short, data and analytics are transforming products and experiences across industries – and should not be limited to the automotive space. At GM, and through my past roles at the NFL and American Express, it’s clear that intuitive customer experiences are a shared business imperative. As we collaborate to redefine data and analytics’ role in business strategy and services, here are three ways that leaders can use impactful, data-driven technologies to power the success of their customer experiences.

  ​Key insights from the voice of the customer have transformed start-ups into corporate giants. The challenge is how to get the consumer to tell you exactly what they want.  

Understand the Voice of the Customer

Key insights from the voice of the customer have transformed start-ups into corporate giants. The challenge is how to get the consumer to tell you exactly what they want. Data analytics open a direct window into the customer experience. While unstructured text mining has been a technical pain point for many years, advancements in data analytics technologies are now enabling companies to crack the code. For example, GM has developed a new data and analytics platform that enables its experience analysts to compare customer sentiment across all of its channels.  By putting unstructured text from different touchpoints into common themes using deep machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, service professionals are able to identify what is going well and what needs improvement. This approach should be adopted by other technology leaders to better understand the “voice of the consumer” and revolutionize customer engagement.

Empower New Customer Experiences

In McKinsey’s recent outlook on the top trends in tech, the group highlighted the rise and maturity of applied AI, predicting that by 2050, more than 75 percent of all digital-service touch points “will see improved usability, enriched personalization and increased conversion.” Traveling the data-enabled road to growth requires new mindsets as well as new tools and skillsets—with a heavy focus on software services. Enter automotive.

The vehicle is being recognized as a powerful platform to deliver software-enabled services that impact consumers inside and outside of the vehicle. Guided by its “Zero crashes, Zero emissions, Zero congestion” mission, GM is leveraging data to create new experiences and services for the vehicle and beyond. For instance, OnStar Guardian allows anyone with a compatible Apple or Android device to use the app to stay connected and protected, both inside and outside of their vehicles.​

Improve the Responsible Use of Data

According to KPMG’s recent consumer trust report, more than 85 percent of people feel a growing concern about data privacy, with 78% citing fears about the amount of data being collected and 40 percent doubting that companies will use the data ethically. With a growing number of data-driven industries, protecting consumers’ privacy and ensuring ethical collection of information are essential and must be at the forefront of any business strategy. Data and analytics innovations are opening new methods to improve the responsible, unbiased, safe and secure use of data. Take for instance the Data & Trust Alliance, a consortium of about 20 data-forward companies reinventing how systems are designed and managed responsibly. Founding companies like General Motors are collaborating to make responsibility central to data and analytics processes and strategies. The alliance’s recent initiative, the Algorithmic Bias Safeguards for Workforce, provides a framework criteria and education for HR teams to enhance their ability to detect, mitigate and monitor bias. More responsibility layered into the fabric of data and analytics operations will improve the development and use of trustworthy data-powered systems to strengthen consumer trust.

Businesses have an obligation to create a better future for generations to come. Data is the fuel that is powering that future. From autonomous and electric vehicles to sports teams on the field, AI-driven insights are empowering businesses to be more agile and deliver new, personalized, and trusted customer experiences.

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