Unpacking Customer Experience at Meta's Reality Labs with Pegah Valeh


Ibby Syed

Q: Can you introduce Reality Labs and explain your role there?

Reality Labs is Meta's division focused on innovative technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and building the metaverse. I've been there for four and a half years, building the customer experience (CX) program from the ground up, especially on the listening and analytics side.

My team is focused on the B2C side, understanding the end-to-end experience for customers purchasing and using our Reality Labs products and services. When I started, there was no formal voice of the customer program, so I built one centered around three core functions - listening to customers, analyzing that feedback data, and influencing teams across Reality Labs to take action based on the insights.

Q: How does your team "listen" to customers?

We take a comprehensive approach to collecting customer feedback across all touchpoints - from purchase, delivery and usage through support and returns. For direct feedback, we have transactional surveys capturing feedback at each of those key moments.

But we combine that with indirect feedback from other sources - like product reviews, social media conversation, and operational data that can infer whether a customer had a good or bad experience. We're also investing more in predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs proactively.

The goal is to build a unified view of the entire customer journey using all those varied data inputs.

Q: What tools and processes do you use to analyze all that customer data?

On the analytics side, we're using a mix of third-party tools for customer experience management and social media analysis. We also build a lot of proprietary technology in-house to enhance our analytics foundations and understanding.

We have dedicated analysts aligned to each key area - ecommerce, logistics, support, and more. Their job is to deeply understand the needs of those partner teams and provide insights tailored specifically to them.

If we just threw over reports without that specialized knowledge, the insights wouldn't be as impactful or actionable. The analysts embed themselves, attend partner meetings, and really learn what drives value for those teams.

Q: How do you enable action and improvement based on the customer insights?

While my team is responsible for listening and analysis, we don't actually execute on fixes ourselves. Our role is to influence the act and fix, while empowering and fostering a culture of customer-centricity across Reality Labs.

We work hand-in-hand with partners, pushing for action plans, escalating issues, and making sure customer voices are included in long-term strategic roadmaps. We aim to provide that holistic, end-to-end perspective showing how one team's actions impact other touchpoints up and downstream.

It's about sharing insights frequently, understanding the "so what" for each audience, and equipping teams with the data to make intelligent tradeoffs and prioritize what matters most for customers.

Q: What are some of the key challenges you face in this role?

One of the biggest challenges we face is data accessibility, trust, and quality, which we are navigating through building more connected and robust data infrastructures to support our growth and maturity.

Reality Labs is also still a relatively new division, so we're working to build more mature data infrastructure over time. But we're making great strides, pioneering VoC capabilities.

Another key challenge is ensuring we have the right skillsets, with analysts who deeply understand the nuances of each product area they support. We can't treat CX as a monolithic thing divorced from the actual customer realities.

Q: Any final tips for companies looking to improve their customer analytics capabilities?

A few key pieces of advice I'd give:

First, take a comprehensive, end-to-end view of the entire customer journey and all the touchpoints that feed into the experience. Don't get stuck looking at just one facet like support or checkout.

Bring in as many different data sources as possible to enhance your voice of customer insights - surveys, social, operational data, etc. The holistic view is so important for understanding root causes and mapping the "why" behind customer pain points.

Embed your analysts and tailor their insights for each audience. Don't just generically report metrics - translate and prioritize for each team's specific needs to drive action.

And finally, balance investments in both technology and human experiences. You need the right tools and data infrastructure, but you also need those personal relationships and well-rounded skillsets on your team to truly understand the business impact and context.

What did we learn?

It’s hard to know where to start! We barely scratched the surface of Pegah’s knowledge and experience, but here are some key takeaways for us:

- To understand the customer experience, it's essential to examine the entire customer journey from beginning to end. This involves collecting and analyzing data from various sources such as surveys, social media, product reviews, and operational data.

- Instead of keeping CX analysts separate, embed them within key business areas like ecommerce, logistics, and support. This allows them to deeply understand each team's needs and provide tailored, actionable insights. Generic, one-size-fits-all CX reports aren't as effective - insights must be customized and prioritized based on each team's unique context.

- Listening to customers and analyzing data is important, but driving real CX improvements requires fostering a customer-centric culture across the organization. The CX team should collaborate closely with cross-functional partners to ensure the customer voice is included in action plans, issue escalation, and long-term strategic planning.

- It's crucial to invest in both technology/data infrastructure and human experiences. While advanced tools and analytics are valuable, personal relationships and well-rounded skill sets on the CX team are equally important to truly understand the business impact and nuances for each product area.

Let me tell you a story about customer experience ...

We run a podcast interviewing best in class CX teams. We get to know how they are helping their businesses win.

We'd like to share some stories of what good CX looks like, and what, uhhh! - less than good looks like. Are you in?