Forrester’s CX North America focuses on personalization, identifying devotees and measuring impact

The research firm's analysts are joined by CX leaders from Cox Communications and ATB Financial to explore best practices in 2020

Melissa Parrish decided it was time to face the facts: no matter how much she and her husband tried, there was no way they were going to be able to hack their baby.

Reflecting her first year as a mother during the opening keynote speech of Forrester’s CX North America 2020 virtual summit on Tuesday, the firm’s vice-president and group director recalled all the apps and gadgets she initially tried to capture little Frankie’s initial 12 months.

Some of this was the stuff you’d expect, like nap times, eating times and diaper changes. But the new parents didn’t stop there.

They also started tracking Frankie’s oxygenation levels, heart rate and other data.

“Eventually it got a little crazy, because at one point we downloaded all the of the raw data in CSV format, and my husband wrote script to look for patterns and let the data guide us to the best possible things we could do for our baby on a day to day basis,” Parrish said. “At one on it I realized this was kind of insane and we needed to stop the madness.”

While data can help you make great decisions, Parrish said, it can’t make the decisions for you. A baby’s going to do what it’s going to do. Not unlike customers who are at risk of being manipulated by overreaching customer experience (CX) efforts.

This was one of the key themes at CX North America 2020 on Tuesday — the idea that brands need to strike a better balance between the way they use data and how it manifests itself in marketing, sales and other aspects of customer experience design.

Most of the Forrester event sessions are available on demand, but if you didn’t buy a ticket or can’t attend, subscribe or log in to learn:

  • The counter-intuitive step Parrish says brands need to take (even though no one she knows has, so far)
  • The key to distinguishing between a customer and a ‘devotee’
  • How CX leaders from Cox Communications and ATB are changing the way they approach metrics

The truth about data

One of the biggest problems in CX today, Parrish suggested, comes down to a fundamental disconnect between brands and their customers:

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