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With the huge amount of customer data that is being generated every day across sales, marketing and customer service teams, businesses face a real challenge integrating it all into one comprehensive source.
Businesses that are unable to do this are at a distinct disadvantage as they are unable to deliver a personalised customer experience which (as we all know) delivers significantly higher marketing ROI (Return of Investment).
What is a single customer view?
A single customer view (also known as 360, 360 degree, or unified customer view), is a method used for gathering all customer data and putting it together into a single unified database from which all customer stakeholders can work from. When customer information is consolidated in a centralised location, brands are given a powerful overview of how their customers have been interacting and transacting.
What kind of data is included in an SCV?
The single customer view is created by merging all customer data from across the business. Customer data is most often scattered around the entire organisation, in tools used by different departments such as marketing, sales, customer service, logistics and more.
Data may include:
- Mobile, web and behavioural data: Data on the product categories that are browsed by the customer, products added to cart, products abandoned etc. Additional data may include clicks, scrolls, hovers, time spent on the page.
- CRM & offline data: Customers’ name, age, postal address, phone number, email addresses, social networking accounts, permission and communication preferences.
- Transactional systems data: Data regarding transaction behaviour such as the number of items purchased, order value, subscription value, renewal dates, cart abandonments, returned items and more.
- Data on GDPR consent: Under GDPR, this information should list down all the data that is allowed to be processed.
The Importance of a single customer view
An SCV allows businesses to track customers and how they interact with the brand across each channel. It helps improve customer service, customer retention, secure higher conversion rates and improve customer lifetime value (CLV).
- Cross-channel marketing data
In a study published by The Aberdeen Group, “Brands with extremely strong cross-channel customer engagement keep, on average, 89% of their customers, in comparison to 33% for companies with weak cross-channel customer engagement”. Customers will often jump from one device to another which makes marketing attribution very hard. By having a fully integrated customer view, it is easier to deliver a seamless and personalised customer journey and, allows brands to track their customer’s interactions in glorious Technicolor!
2. Remove duplicate and isolated data
The single customer view helps identify and remove duplicate customer records because one single centralised customer dataset deduplicates duplicate records from multiple channels and sources. Many brands find it hard to maintain accurate customer data as new software and channels are integrated into the marketing and customer service mix. By creating a 360 view, data is stored in one single location for the entire organisation. Data isolation is another major problem that businesses often face; with different departments creating ‘data silos’ which are not accessible to other departments of the business.
While this may not sound dangerous, it can lead to mistakes that some customers (even loyal ones) may not forgive. For example, a brand may accidentally send multiple copies of the same marketing email to a single person. When this happens, customer retention may be affected.
Poor quality data can contain errors which could be devastating to any marketing campaign. Incomplete names, inaccurate addresses and contact information, duplicate records and obsolete information can easily result in a case of mistaken identity.
If used well, the SCV can enable the business to deliver more personalised engagement with the customer and the wider business will have a rich source of insight to improve sales, marketing and operations which will naturally result in higher customer retention rates.
Benefits of building an SCV
There are dozens of reasons why organisations invest in building an SCV. some of the most common are:
- Omnichannel – Customers want to have a consistent experience whenever they interact with a brand whether in person, on a computer or from a mobile device. With an SCV, brands can ensure that their customers enjoy the same experience and that their experience is personalised across all touchpoints.
- Agile business – Having data in a single and central location means that all stakeholders across the organisation can deliver timely and optimal solutions to customers.
- Mergers and acquisitions – In the event of a business being the target for a buy-out, having a SCV can make a huge difference in the company’s valuation. A fully integrated and mature customer data strategy can accelerate sales and marketing performance and customer retention. All key factors that are evaluated by potential investors.
- Predictive analysis – Predictive analytics can help brands understand the customer’s needs – even before they do. It guides organisation to take the next best action and helps ensure better customer service and sales conversions.
- Better customer experience – At the end of the day, ensuring customers have the best experience is the top benefit that an SCV can deliver.
Single customer view and GDPR compliance
Before brands start building their SCV they must consider GDPR Compliance. There are simple guidelines to make sure a brand remains GDPR compliant which are available on the ICO’s website. To start with, these tricky questions must be answered:
- Where is the sensitive and personal data stored in the brand’s IT infrastructure?
- How can personal and sensitive data be catalogued across different structured, semi-structured, and unstructured sources?
- How can a single customer view be created which can easily identify all the data that belongs to a particular subject?
To be under GDPR compliance, it is important that brands deal with sensitive and personal data the right way. By knowing where and how to retrieve the data, cataloguing it the correct way, and automating it, a brand shouldn’t have any issues in meeting compliance.
There are multiple tools that a brand can use to develop a single customer view in their organisation. One of the best is Bluevenn. This is an award-winning customer data and omnichannel marketing tool that can help consolidate data into a single customer view. It helps provide integrated, consistent and personalised campaigns into a single platform. Bluevenn allows drag and drop analytics, has advanced customer segmentation tools and predictive insights that can help brands understand their customers better and improve customer experience.
Bluesheep is a company which offers single customer view solutions for organisations. The company combines SCV with powerful marketing tools to ensure consolidated offline, online and multichannel data as well as powerful marketing tools so that companies can deliver deeply personalised marketing programmes all in one platform.
By building a single customer view, brands are able to provide an integrated customer experience, personalised marketing and identify opportunities to better serve their customers. All of these factors can contribute towards long term growth and business profitability.