Today, customers interact with your business in more ways than ever before. Browsing storefronts on their mobile phone, asking questions over Instagram, and calling to ask about their order status - many customers will interact with a brand over multiple channels just to complete a single transaction.
To be able to serve these customers effectively, businesses need to be able to amalgamate these touchpoints into one view of the customer. Treating each of these interactions as completely separate will not only frustrate customers, but also prevent customer insight teams from understanding what the customer experience looks like.
Microsoft says it well in their report on the global state of customer service: “As customers jump from channel to channel, especially during the course of a single service inquiry, brands must be empowered to transform that collection of unique customer interactions into a single engagement Experience.”
To unlock business growth in the post-COVID era, businesses must find ways to develop a 360-view of the customer experience so that they can better analyze, understand, and act on it.
What is a 360 degree view of the customer?
A 360-degree customer view is a collection of all the data generated about your customer and their actions - in a usable format. Companies with a 360-degree view of their customer are able to make better decisions that are centered around what their customer really needs.
Four advantages to building a customer 360 view
Without a 360 view of the customer, each team acts using their own perspective and limited set of data points. They can’t see the full picture. Picture your customer standing in the middle of a room, with each of your functional teams standing in a circle around them. Each team would have a completely different perspective on what the customer looks like and what they need. Even worse, you might have a blind spot if your team isn’t looking at every side of the customer.
But with a customer-centric view, you are able to fully understand your customer. Whether you’re on the marketing team, setting up customer support, or developing a new product, you’ll have a complete understanding of your customers’ needs. Not only does everyone have the insight they need, but everyone is aligned towards the same singular goal: acquiring and retaining customers.
More actionable insights
An actionable insight is a piece of information that your team can use to grow the business. These insights come from analyzing data. However, without context....insights are not actionable. If you don’t have enough supporting information, it’s impossible to understand what the data means, or what you should do next.
By knowing what customers want holistically, customer insight teams can provide actionable insights with increased predictability and forecast accuracy.
A 360-degree view helps drive customer intelligence and customer management strategy. Every additional piece of information added to your database is an extra piece of the puzzle. Completing the puzzle gives you a full picture of your customers’ wants and needs.
Uniting this data from disparate sources and inputs is essential to developing a customer experience strategy. Without being able to put together the puzzle, you’ll be left with individual data points, rather than a unified strategy.
A 360-degree view of the customer is one of the building blocks of personalization. Without this data foundation, no departments will be able to provide the personalized experience they want. And that’s a problem... 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to work with brands that use personalization to make relevant recommendations.
Companies that have implemented personalization routinely show an uplift in revenue according to Econsultancy, likely because over 70% of customers say that personalization positively influences their loyalty.
How to create a 360-degree view of the customer
Despite how important a complete view of the customer is, there aren’t many companies that get it right. In fact, over half (54%) of marketing and CX professionals believe they don’t have a strong understanding of customer actions across digital channels. That’s because customers produce a lot of data, and it tends to get siloed into different functional teams and different tools. Combining all of that data into one usable format requires coordination between people, and platforms.
To create a 360-degree view of the customer, it’s critical to centralize data into a single source of truth. For some companies, that may look like a CRM with multiple integrations. For others, that may be a data warehouse that is accessible for each department’s needs.
From there, layer on business intelligence tools and integrations to analyse data as needed. Pooling data in an accessible format breaks down silos, but still allows the flexibility to meet each team’s individual reporting needs.
The benefits of being able to see your customer’s full array of actions, behaviours, and motivations are huge. A 360 view of your customer will be essential to growth in world after COVID-19. Not only because customers are interacting with your business in more ways than ever, but because their expectations are continually rising. Develop a customer-centric business with the tools your teams need to make better decisions - implement a 360 view of the customer experience today.