6 steps to building a single customer view and improving the customer experience

Have you ever seen those cool 360 degree cameras on red carpets at awards shows?

A famous person will stand in the middle and multiple cameras positioned around it will take pictures of the star at the same time, creating a spectacular picture that will give you a 360 degree view of the person.

Imagine if you could do that with your target audience? Capture them from all angles as they interact with your brand. With a single customer view, you can.

The problem is, many companies struggle with knowing where to start.

At the end of this article, we’ll tell you what a single customer view is and how to create one for your brand.

What is a single customer view?

Single Customer View (SCV) is a centralized platform that gives you a holistic view of your customers across the entire buyer’s journey. With an SCV, you can identify and track every interaction you have with existing and potential customers and thus develop relevant and targeted strategies.

A single customer view combines data about a consumer’s web and email behavior, social media activity, demographics, customer service interactions, and purchase history.

Let’s go through an example of a consumer and brand interaction.

A consumer, let’s call her Jazmyn, discovers a brand on Instagram. Jazmyn visits the brand’s website on Instagram and downloads a free quote. Jazmyn added said brand to an email list and started receiving nurturing emails.

After months of no interactions, Jazmyn rediscovers the brand and makes a purchase. A month later, she called customer service about a problem with her product.

In just a few months, Jazmyn has interacted with at least three departments in the company: Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service. In many companies, each department keeps track of the data with its own system.

For example, sales teams often use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track their interactions with customers and prospects, while marketing teams use marketing platforms and automation tools to generate leads.

This creates huge data gaps that make it difficult to understand how a user behaves over a long period of time outside of a single industry. It can also lead to duplicate information resulting in dirty data.

For example, Jazmyn may receive ads for products she has already purchased. Or she receives a call from customer service asking about a product that she has already reviewed via email.

With a single customer view, companies can build personalized interactions with consumers based on their current stage in the customer lifecycle. This creates a better customer experience, stronger brand loyalty, and better retention rates.

Knowing where your target audience is can help you create great deals based on their current needs. This is personalization at its finest.

Benefits of a single customer view

When you invest in a platform with a single customer view, you have:

  • Have cleaner data – With an integrated system, you eliminate information silos that often lead to data duplication.
  • Get better insights – If you have an accurate map of the customer journey, you can better understand the performance of your campaigns and identify areas for improvement.
  • Assign the right credit to the right channels – Correct attribution is an important issue in target group tracking. With an SCV, you can identify the best and worst channels for future campaigns.

How to create an individual customer view

  1. Align your data owners and your KPIs.
  2. Find the right technique.
  3. Hire data managers.
  4. Sort and integrate all data from your legacy systems.
  5. Define your data governance strategy.
  6. Test your processes.

1. Align your data owners and your KPIs.

The first step in creating an SCV is to align all of your data owners across your organization.

It’s important to align your teams with key goals and key progress indicators early on. So everyone stays on the same page and strives for the same goal.

So even though everyone works on different sections, they all contribute to the same goal. This is key to keeping everyone in the same mindset and making the transition to a data-driven approach easier.

Your data owners act as the link between IT and your team, enforcing governance standards, and providing IT with the access it needs.

During this process, your IT team will play an important role as it needs to consolidate data from multiple systems and sources.

2. Find the right technology.

The next step is to find a platform that will meet your company’s needs.

Some of the most important characteristics to consider when looking for a platform include:

  • Ease of use and accessibility of software
  • CRM integration
  • Data quality tools
  • automation

You should also consider the size of your company and the scalability of the software. All-in-one CRM platform like HubSpot that combines sales, marketing and customer service data to support a holistic customer experience.

3. Hire data manager.

Depending on the size of your company, you may want to include data-specific roles such as data miners, data analysts, and data migration specialists.

Migrating data is an expensive and time-consuming process that you may not be prepared for. Instead, hire experts with the knowledge and experience to get it right.

They’ll be important not only during the initial construction phase, but also as you grow your customer base.

4. Sort and integrate all data from your legacy systems.

If you’re an established brand with a ton of data scattered around, you need to search your systems.

Start with an audit of your data quality. From there, clean your data so you can start integrating with your other systems, including:

  • Your data warehouse
  • Your POS systems
  • Your Marketing Automation Systems
  • Your call center systems

5. Determine your data governance strategy.

Since you are in the process of cleaning up old data, you need a new system for new, incoming data.

This is where your data governance standards come in. They serve as operational guidelines for the retrieval, storage and processing of data.

You may be wondering what is the difference between a data management strategy and a data management strategy? The former relates to the actions you take to meet the guidelines of your governance strategy.

To learn how to develop a governance strategy, click here.

6. Test your processes.

The final step in this process is testing your new centralized system.

To make sure that your new environment is working (that is, the data linkage is complete), some test data must be used to ensure that the data is being correctly collected, stored, and reported on your platform.

This will likely be an ongoing process as your business scales and you implement new touchpoints.

The sooner your team can implement a single customer view framework, the better equipped you will be to serve your audience. While the process can be expensive and time-consuming, it is a worthwhile investment that is critical to making strategic business decisions.

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