One of the most discussed topics in marketing and technology circles is the idea of constructing a Single View of the Customer (SVC).
Actual implementation of such a system can take a number of forms. But, at the most basic level, it involves gathering data from multiple sources (CRM, service department, Marketing Automation, social media, etc.) and then synthesizing that data into a single, detailed view of each individual customer, which is stored in a single database that is accessible to multiple teams and business units across your organizations.
This is no small feat. Creating a system that is capable of collecting, matching, and synthesizing such a huge amount of data takes significant investment in planning and technology. But, the rewards for doing so can be even greater.
SVC is a fundamental building block of a customer-centric organization. In order to focus on aligning your operations and business towards different needs of the customer, you must first obtain a full view of her persona and requirements. Achieving this level of data management allows your firm to deliver an unparallelled customer experience and communicate with each customer on a 1:1 scale.
Let’s explore how creating a SVC will enable such a transformation.
Unifying disparate data systems
At the outset, the SVC model allows an organization that likely has troves of customer data stashed in a number of disparate and non-integrated systems to instead bring all of that data under one roof.
Barriers between data collection and analysis lead to huge inefficiencies and missed opportunities for many firms.
Data collected by customer service may be locked in a database that can’t be accessed by marketing. Or a customer’s interactions on your website may never be relayed back to your CRM or Marketing Automation Platform, so they’re never used to trigger an actionable communication.
In short, these barriers contribute significantly to a poor customer experience.
By breaking down such barriers and unifying the data found in each of the firm’s systems into a single view of the customer across all of these different touchpoints, all of your organizational departments are able to benefit from improved data and your data-driven efforts will be bolstered with a broader view of each individual.
Identifying key customer insights
One of the most significant advances that your firm will make in its customer experience is moving to a data-rich, insight-driven marketing approach.
Most firms are using data to identify and segment certain groups of customers within their database. This information is often used to customize messages or trigger specific campaigns.
But without a full picture of the data associated with each user, these efforts are often lacking in true, data-driven insights.
With SVC, the tremendous power of your unified data across the customer lifecycle becomes apparent. Your firm will be able to better and more accurately identify key insights to drive action and improve performance.
Delivering a better Customer Experience
All of this data and technology working together is not just for the sake of having more information. Instead, we must use this data to fundamentally improve the way that we interact with individuals and to deliver a radically better customer experience.
The results of SCV can lead to the creation of a hugely superior customer experience that creates massive gains in customer engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
We’re all keenly aware of the fact that the customer lifecycle is no longer a neat path towards purchase. Instead, it’s a set of interactions - sometimes dozens of them - that take the customer from a basic level of awareness to the point of (eventually, maybe) purchase. But these interactions rarely follow any predictable, linear pattern. And as thus, we no longer have the luxury of expecting customer data and information to trickle into our database in a near and orderly fashion.
This is ultimately why SVC is such a critical component to customer experience management. In an era where we’re no longer able to piece together such data through traditionally means, we can instead use technology and data to piece together the same holistic, robust, and actionable information on each of our users as they interact with our firm at various times, through various channels, and across various devices.