In the psychology world, conversion disorder is a somatoform disorder characterized by medically unknown and often disabling neurological symptoms. Individuals diagnosed with conversion disorder present with at least one unfeigned and unintentional symptom which affects voluntary motor or sensory function, resembles a neurological or medical disease, and involves psychological elements. Symptoms may include impaired coordination, paralysis, weakness, difficulty swallowing, double vision, blindness, deafness, seizures, amnesia and loss of consciousness.
Many consumer businesses are experiencing similar symptoms of data conversion disorder. This disorder is increasing in magnitude because the elements that cause the disorder are growing. Consumer businesses that are heavily concerned about sales, retention, competition, and brand are more at risk for stronger forms of the disorder.
Consumer businesses with data conversion disorder typically present with several symptoms including low cross-functional collaboration, incorrect/slow/no action, long decision-making processes, re-work, corporate arrogance, complicated and complex processes, failed product launches, disconnected strategic plans and tactical metrics, high suspicion, and low trust, to name but a few.
At Customer Relationship Metrics we have identified several root causes for this disorder that go beyond the typical human control issues of politics and bureaucracy. The first is a group we refer to as the three V’s of Customer Experience Big Data:
Volume: Data about the customer experience is growing by terabits per second for many organizations. Surveys are not (and should not) be the only way to capture the customer experience. In this context, the amounts of both structured and unstructured data that are being collected is literally crushing many organizations.
Variety: One thing that is making customer experience data so big is due to the greater variety of sources than ever before.
Velocity: As organization relentlessly press towards real time, data volumes get big in a hurry. This can also add to the frustration as practically no organization can take action in real time.
If you combine these three V’s with the other root causes, you begin to see the business case for Customer Relationship Metrics and how we address it with our services.
The second set of root causes contains people resources. We call these the three C’s of Customer Experience Big Data:
Count: Many companies are running very thin on people. Many companies are handcuffed because they are unable to add work to an already overburdened workforce. Most organizations just do not have the time or resources to uncover insights and to act on them because they are too overwhelmed with their day-to-day demands.
Complexity: As mentioned in the three V’s, this customer experience big data problem is complex and getting more complex with every passing day. Addressing this issue requires special skill sets that most all find to not be internally available. Customer experience data scientists are needed with skill sets that extend well beyond those of data analysts or statisticians.
Culture: What we refer to here is not company culture but cultural bias. In order for a customer experience data scientist to analyze and interpret the customer experience accurately, they must know the culture of the people from where the data are collected. A customer experience data scientist that lives in the US could not correctly interpret customer experience data from India no more than a customer experience scientist in India could interpret the customer experience data from the US. The cultural bias for each would result in inaccurate interpretations that add to the data conversion disorder.
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