Customer Experience

New IBM Lab Explores the Science of Personalization

IBM pushed deeper into the customer experience space with the launch on Thursday of its Customer Experience Lab.

The lab brings together various elements of IBM’s expertise, technology and staff to integrate mobile, social, cloud, Big Data and advanced analytics for its users. The end goal is to provide the tools and strategies to personalize marketing campaigns and product development to the individual customer level.

As part of the services, the IBM Customer Experience Lab will provide its customers — likely C-suite executives — direct access to a team of 100 researchers. These researchers will be supported by thousands of IBM business consultants.

A Step Beyond

IBM has been active in the digital front office for many years via its business consulting and tech development initiatives and other programs. It decided to expand and consolidate its efforts as it homed in on the growing importance of the chief marketing officer role.

The company also saw how integral the support of the entire enterprise had become to providing a solid customer experience, said Nguyen Strattner, vice president of the new lab.

“We are bringing together our capabilities in technology and our consulting services, so clients can innovate around the customer experience,” she told CRM Buyer.

Engagement x3

The Lab will be focusing on innovation breakthroughs in three areas: customer insight, customer engagement and employee engagement.

Customer insight “is all about understanding the customer at an individual level,” Strattner explained. Customer engagement is about personalizing engagement with the customer, as opposed to pushing transactional experiences.

Employee engagement uses the same technologies with employees to motivate them to help the organization become more customer-centric, engaging with customers in new ways.

Drilling Down

How these strategies will look will depend on the particular client. For example, for one large retailer that consulted with Strattner last week, the focus will be customer personalization, she said, as it sells multiple brands across multiple channels.

One of the technologies under consideration, which sprang from IBM’s research, allows a user to perform a personality analysis based on an individual’s tweets.

“Once we get a sense of someone’s personality, likes and dislikes, we can tailor outreach to the individual level in real time,” noted Strattner.

The Customer Experience Lab will have the capacity to engage with some 100 brands over the course of the next year, she said. Currently it is working with a handful of clients.

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