[Executive Interview] Carolyn Muise VP, Voice of Customer Analytics & Intelligence, Dell

Today we are interviewing Carolyn Muise, Vice President Voice of Customer Analytics & Intelligence. Ms. Muise has been serving with Dell [formerly EMC] for 20 years and has stepped into a role within the newly formed Chief Customer Office as Dell continues to expand their commitment to stellar customer service as the corporation itself expands. Muise has operational responsibility for engagement with Dell’s customers, partners, and employees to drive quality, innovation and continuous improvement into its products, services and business operations. Under Muise’s leadership, Dell’s Customer Experience program has been recognized by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) for its Innovation in Customer Commitment, Temkin Group for Customer Experience Excellence and Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) for Customer Experience Impact. Prior to this role, Muise led Dell’s Engineering Lab (E-Lab); a global operation considered the industry’s premier brand for rigorous, end-to-end interoperability testing and the development of “best-in-class” integrated solutions. In this role, Muise lead a team that worked closely with Dell’s customers, partners, vendors and competitors to promote integration across every major platform, operating system, and network element available.

Ms. Muise has an impressive list of credentials that showcase her commitment to strive for excellence, including:

  • Active Board member of CXPA;
  • Membership with the Society of Women Engineers at Simmons College;
  • Member of The Boston Club – one of the largest communities of women executives and professional leaders in the Northeast; and
  • Active participant in the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

Carolyn, can you share with us and our readers more about the function and focus of your role within Dell? And what exactly, does this mean to your current and future customers?

Dell has made a strong and visible commitment to our customers through the creation of a new organization Chief Customer Office and investing in a broad range of proactive, as well as reactive, customer experience activities & programs. We are expanding a unique program, “Voice of Experience” to listen to our customers and ensure we are proactively developing products, services & solutions driven by their [customer] feedback. We have also aligned our data governance efforts within our Chief Customer Office operations. This allows Dell to funnel reliable customer, partner & field insight into a centralized repository to establish a “single source of truth” about our customers.

We don’t just store information; we invest heavily in predictive modeling and analytics to make our customer data work for the customer experience first, the corporation second. We have married this philosophy with our long history of data-driven decision making. Today as the largest privately held technology company, we believe it’s about having a business strategy that uses big data and analytics to drive customer outcomes.

To further this notion, we have invested in a robust data lake. The data lake helps Dell ensure the quality and the security of its data are in place and that data is being effectively shared. This helps our analytics & insight team provides the support and collateral (e.g. action oriented dashboards) that will drive relevant conversations and proactive predictions around the customer experience. The information provided spans several categories like product ease-of-use, customer service satisfaction, and loyalty—all of which are part of customer experience. The data lake allows Dell to tie it all together and provide a holistic picture that’s not just the product metrics, but also the relationships between the metrics and the end-to-end customer experience.

This approach is truly game changing and positions Dell to continue to lead the customer experience charge – putting our customers top of mind in everything we do.

The Voice of Experience Program sounds as though you are forming a productive partnership with your customers and building their feedback into your business model across the organization. Can you tell me more about this program and which customers it involves? 

Dell has a long-standing history of being data-driven; however, due to the digital transformation in business today, there’s a lot of change going on. Dell’s customers have the expectation that the company clearly understands their needs and will provide a personalized experience. Customer intimacy is no longer an option—it’s a requirement. Leveraging big data about customers is the way that Dell delivers personalized customer experiences.

The first challenge is getting the data into a useful format. Data is being created and delivered in a variety of ways. Dell’s challenge is to take disparate data sources and formats and synthesize them into a functional format. Data has to be consumable before it’s meaningful. Once you get past these challenges, tying data together provides a robust vehicle that can assist in predicting customer needs across their end-to-end experience with Dell.

For example, Dell has implemented a predictive customer service model. This has been a way for Dell to identify potential at-risk customers. Dell takes customer satisfaction scores, customer sentiment analysis, and other information from customer listening posts to identify trends that can predict at-risk customers. Once you have the data sources in place, you can begin the analytics and start to paint a picture of what’s going on throughout the customer journey and develop leading performance measures that let you understand which customers are at risk. This model allows Dell to refine its processes and proactively engage customers with a personalized solution before possible dissatisfaction. Organizations that have these systems in place have a significant competitive advantage over those that continue to use reactive technologies and customer engagement models.

Every company in this market space has a customer service plan and department. What are the unique aspects of Dell’s approach to the customer experience?

At Dell, we believe a three-pronged approach focused on technology, process and culture is the key to unlocking customer intimacy; delivering a memorable experience that drives a long-term, trusted partnership.

First, technology opens the door to stronger relationships and a deeper understanding of the challenges our customers face. Dell has invested in innovative technologies to drive relevant conversations and proactively predict multiple facets of the customer experience—from product risk to customer service satisfaction. By translating customer insights into user-friendly tools and models, Dell is able to proactively take action to ensure customers succeed.

The abundance of data presents an incredible opportunity to understand customer needs, expectations and challenges. At Dell, we have established processes around the data we collect to:

  • Drive collaboration, transparency, and access (both internally and externally) to recognize the data value;
  • Ensure its integrity, consistency, security and predictability; and
  • Deliver personalized insights and take actions when and where it matters most.

Finally, what defines a customer centric culture has changed – yes, it is still necessary to have people who are passionate customer advocates. But, it is critical that employees understand and embrace their expanded roles as data investigators and interpreters. Dell understands the need to create new skills, tools and cross –functional collaboration opportunities for our teams to ensure that we deeply know our customers and at in line with their revolving needs.

The combination of Dell and EMC created the world’s largest privately-controlled, integrated technology company. That is a large number of customers to serve. What can existing and new customers expect as Dell and legacy EMC combine?

Let me start by stating, it does not matter whether you spend $1 or $100M with Dell; the bottom line is you are a customer and we want to hear from you. This is an integral part of Dell’s customer experience strategy.

Going forward, we are aggressively working to integrate our two award winning CX programs. Our progress has been brisk and the results have been exciting. Our goal is to build off the best aspects of each program and hone in on elements that will create the best experience for our customers.

As a combined technology CX focused powerhouse, we must be humble enough to understand where we have room to grow and in some cases improve. We shall continue to evolve Dell’s Customer Experience program. To do this we will commit to:

1. Invest in prescriptive technologies to provide proactive insight into our customer portfolios;
2. Close the feedback loop in critical areas to ensure your insight is proactively integrated into our product roadmaps, delivery approaches and future solution development;
3. Strengthen our enterprise-wide Data Lake to provide more consistent and personalized customer profiles;
4. Develop advanced methods to capture customer sentiment by leveraging analytics and social media; and
5. Celebrate customer success and the passionate employees who are dedicated to it (including through our upcoming CX Day event on October 5th).

The future is bright and we look forward to the continued partnership with our customers to achieve the success we know is possible. Together, we define the Customer Experience.

A customer creates a storyline about the corporations they do business with. A way they describe the experience to their colleagues. What would you like for your customers’ storyline to be about Dell?

I hope they feel they have a partnership and that they are doing business with friends – with people who know their needs and care about their outcomes. And also I hope that they feel we deliver a quality product with personalized, dependable support coupled with enthusiastic problem-solving of any issue a customer needs us to tackle. This is the commitment we’ve made with our heavy investment in programs, systems and training to best serve our customers.

It’s about customer loyalty and trust. If we are privileged enough to earn their respect– then I can promise that our global team members, 140,000 strong, will strive to provide an industry leading experience each step of their journey with Dell!

Join the Dell Customer Experience Day live virtual event October 5 @ 2 pm EST featuring customers, leaders and special celebrity guest—one of the most popular professional sports stars!

 

Additional Resources

InFocus Dell EMC Service Blog

Driving Digital Business Transformation

Total Customer Experience Global Celebration

The Key to a Best-in-class Customer Service Experience

Unlock Customer Intimacy Through Big Data

 

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