Take any business open today, analyze it and you’ll realize that there’s one thing that’s more important to it than anything else. It’s not the budget, the people, or the reputation – it’s the data.
Data is the core of everything and anything, from product characteristics to employee performance and marketing statistics. Without the proper data and, most importantly, the right tools to help you interpret it accurately, your business will fall behind its competition.
When it comes to the complex world of marketing and achieving satisfaction for your customers, there’s no better source of information than a single customer view.
Let’s dive deeper into this subject and make it clearer. We’ll tackle what a single customer view is, what type of data it uses, the steps to creating one, and what the benefits are in doing so. We’ll also help you with some useful tools in this regard, like customer data platforms, so read ‘till the end to find out all about it!
What is a single customer view (SCV)
You may have heard about single customer view before – but maybe under different names. It’s also known as “360”, “360 degrees” or “unified customer view”.
Nevertheless, its function is the same, regardless of how you call it – single customer view means gathering data about both your prospects and clients, then merging it into a single record.
The idea behind this method is that by merging all the pieces of data in one centralized location, you get access to a strong overview of every action that’s being performed. This includes all areas of interaction, from mobile devices to your business’ websites and even offline retail stores.
What types of data does it use?
The amount and types of data used vary and are not limited to just marketing – it’s scattered in the entirety of your business, from sales to service & product design and yes, of course, marketing.
The customer data may include, but is not limited to:
Desktop, mobile and behavioral data – what they’ve browsed, products they’ve added to their basket, as well as products they’ve abandoned. This includes clicks, hovers, scrolls, time spent on each individual page, and so on.
CRM & offline data – their telephone information, postal address, email address, social network, permissions, and suppression data.
Transactional data – their order value, the number of products purchased (online and offline), subscription value, order/renewal dates, abandoned baskets, product returns, and so on.
What can this data be used for?
Depending on your individual business needs and future marketing efforts, the data is very versatile in its usage. Some of the most common applications of SCV are:
- Cross & upsell campaigns
- Content personalization
- Facebook and Google Ads
- Email & CRM
- Exporting audiences to other tools
Steps to creating a single customer view
In order to create a successful single customer view, one that will accurately help you to make better marketing decisions and increase customer experience rate, you need to:
- Eliminate the places where data is stored and forgotten about (also known as data silos);
- Create a process that integrates cross-channel data;
- Give this new information to all relevant employees and teach them how to use it appropriately.
Data silos or information silos are situations where only a fraction of an organization has access to vital information about the company. This can occur because of several reasons, including:
- Human: employees withdraw information from one another due to competition between them;
- Logistical: the structure of the company creates miscommunication and the information is lost as a result;
- Technological: the digital infrastructure of the organization is not customized to allow access to all people who might need it.
On the other hand, cross-channel data is one that takes into account all the possible uses of said information. The goals of each department are transparent and integrated in the overall strategy of the company, so every department and every employee knows when, where and how to access the needed information to complete each task.
Now, let’s see what are some concrete steps you can take right now to start creating a productive single customer view for your customers’ expectations and needs.
Walk a mile in their shoes
Well, not literally. But before you even start the process of creating a single customer view, it’s crucial to check and understand how your customers interact with the business. You really need to take a step back and check out their customer journey analytics from a macro level, so that you can get an accurate understanding of how they feel when they interact with your business.
Bring it all together
Let’s talk data management – take a look at all the data you already have about your customers. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Desktop and mobile browsing behaviors
- Customer preferences
- Customer support team interactions
- Sales team interactions
- Social media
- Any other customer journey interactions
You will generally find this data stored in:
- Data Warehouses
- Point-of-sale Systems
- Email Marketing Platforms
- Marketing Automation Systems
- Call Center Data Management Systems
This is where it all comes together. Identity matching is the process through which data associated with a specific customer is joined in a single place. In other words, it’s the action through which we unify customer data – teaching the system that all data referring to one person is stored in one place, regardless of the number of interactions, platforms, or channels.
How does Identity Matching work?
Let’s say a customer has interacted with your business whilst browsing for products from their desktop computer. Later in the day, they check their options from their phone. Identity matching makes sure that you will not see these two events as separate interactions from two different users, but as multiple interactions stemming from the same user.
This, in turn, collects the data accurately so that you can get a broader, accurate, and useful view of what that specific customer is looking for, how they operate, and what their browsing habits are.
In order to create the matching, there are several identifiers that can be used:
- Email Address
- Credit Card Number
- Transaction ID
- Device ID
- Cookie ID
- Ip Address For Customers
- Agent Name Or Agent ID For Customer Care Representatives
- Account Number
- Company Name
- Salesforce ID For Business Accounts
When the software detects a value for any of these identifiers, it knows precisely who engaged in the particular interaction, revealing the customer identities. Although these interactions might happen in two completely different places (e.g. call center interaction vs. mobile browsing interaction), the identifying data overlap will let the system know that it is, in fact, the same person.
Give your CX team all that useful information
After all that effort, there’s only one thing left to do: share the information in real-time. This way, they have all the resources needed to provide the best possible customer experiences.
Details such as:
- Spending habits
- Recent interactions
- Order history
- Satisfaction scores
Can make a world of a difference for how employees engage with customers, by better understanding their needs and desires.
For example, in industries where customer support calls are coming in at a high volume (such as telecom or banking), the access to a true single customer view can really change the interaction from an ok one to a totally personalized one. Agents no longer waste time keeping their customers on hold for minutes on end, they are less likely to miss deadlines or make mistakes and they can ultimately resolve the issue a lot faster.
Benefits of applying a single customer view (SCV)
By this point, you may be asking yourself: what are the benefits of using a single customer view? Well, short answer: plenty. Let’s take a look at all the amazing opportunities offered by this data-collecting method.
To cross-channel multiple sets of data
Back in the day, data was hard to collect and even harder to interpret. Paradoxically, as more and more people got access to more and more devices, the collection of data has become, in fact, easier.
Using SCV we can now collect data from any channel, anywhere and anytime – and gather it all in one place, where it can be interpreted and used properly for future campaigns, promotions, and other marketing efforts.
To reduce the amount of unnecessary data
Most businesses store their data chaotically – different departments conduct different types of surveys, they keep it stored on their devices and a plethora of valuable information is either:
- Lost, because it is not shared with the rest of the company;
- Duplicated, because more than one department get ahold of the same customer information;
- Ignored, because employees simply have no idea what to do with it and how to integrate it into their work.
By using a SCV, you’re eliminating all these problems. All the data is stored in one place, accessible to everyone, and clearly useful in all types of work, from almost all departments in the company.
To work smarter, not harder
When you have an objective overview of your customers’ behaviors, you’re no longer making assumptions and losing money on bad marketing decisions. With the use of SCV, you can cross-sell and upsell more easily, and therefore enhance your customer retention rate.
Moreover, by better understanding the mindset and behaviors of your audience, you are able to communicate with them the appropriate information for where they are in their buying process. You no longer send offers, vouchers, or useless newsletters to people that are not interested – you pinpoint exactly what they want to hear and you deliver just that.
Reveal helps the single customer view
You need not panic if all this information is a bit overwhelming. There are customer data platforms out there that do all the work for you. Such a platform, known better as a Customer Intelligence Platform, is Reveal.
Customer analytics is no longer reserved for marketing experts – they can become useful and easy to understand for you as well.
Whatever your business is, choose to better understand your audience, create personalized customer interactions, and increase customer lifetime value.