More than ever before, we have an opportunity to see and interact with our customers and prospects across the largest number of channels and platforms. That provides more data to identify patterns in behavior that can be leveraged to create better messages and interactions with them.
However, these multiple touch points have also complicated the viewpoints and decisions we make in relation to our customers. That’s why it’s important to collect all those perspectives and create a single view of each customer.
A single customer view is an accessible and consistent set of information about how a customer has interacted with your company, including what they have bought, their personal data, opinions and feedback. To achieve this single customer view, an organization must have some type of system that unifies all the available information on that customer, typically as a customer PIN or tag.
This PIN or tag is then attached to each data point on that customer so it can be pulled together to create that single view across all channels and points of contact.
By having this single customer view, you will be able to understand how their purchases, interactions, and behaviors will drive future actions so you can target them more effectively with the most appropriate messages at the optimum time. This intelligence essentially helps sales and marketing teams produce more effective strategies and campaigns as well as craft relevant content, resulting in a greater return for the effort made.
Additionally, this data collected from the single customer view provides feedback on the products and services the company is marketing. This intelligence could offer insights on what needs to be changed or improved and insights into what other products or services could be developed in the near future to increase audience interest and purchases.
The information on the single customer view could also be shared with other departments that interact with the audience, including IT and customer service, so they have a better understanding of how all functions are shaping that customer experience.
With access to this information across the entire company, there could also be a higher chance of continuity within the organization on tasks related to customers when someone may be on vacation or out on leave so that the customer still gets the exact same experience despite it being handled behind the scenes by someone who may not have serviced them.
The data may also assist with understanding where operational issues and costs could be addressed that simplify processes, speed response times, and strip out costs for a further competitive advantage.
While the benefits are clear, the actual migration to such a perspective on the customer is an entirely different thing. Unfortunately, existing technology may not always align with the ability to get a single view of the customer. That’s because existing legacy systems serve as barriers and make it more difficult to share data.
There are also data silos that hold onto valuable customer data and are not very flexible with letting go of that information. In the meantime, the number of devices and engagement channels march onward and upward. Disparate apps are plugged in, further alienating customer information.
In response, new companies are building solutions and providing open source processes that allow for seamless integration and encourage the unification of customer data from different places and perspectives. Along with technology solutions, the organization has to change its mindset and be open to this new way of looking at customers.
Therefore, it’s important to share the value of doing so with all parts of the organization, including quantitative and qualitative examples that illustrate the valuable insights that are gained from the single customer view.
There also maybe a need to alter the decision-making structure in the company to ensure there are no barriers to bringing all the information on each customer together into a single profile. Be sure to provide training and guidance so that everyone can buy into the new customer view and understand how they can facilitate it.
Customers are really the most valuable asset that a company has so it’s important to direct all activities toward the overriding objective of maximizing the value of that asset. By combining changes in technology, data, culture and mindsets, a company can leverage the single customer view to generate new benefits and opportunities while increasing its competitive advantage over those companies that still have not unified their customer viewpoints.
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