A Guide to 360-Degree Customer View

What’s a 360-degree customer view

A 360-degree customer view, also known as single customer view (SCV), is an aggregated, consistent and holistic representation of the data held by an organization about its customers that can be viewed in one place. It allows you to have all the customer data in one central location which can be accessed at any point when needed. 

360-Degree Customer View                                                                                                                                              (Image source)

A 360-degree customer view includes several important types of information about customers updated in real-time. Depending on your specific circumstances, the ways to gather data for it may vary. Common sources include: customer feedback, support ticketing, sales calls, social media, emails, application data, usage metrics, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

For Customer Success Managers, having all of this information in one place is greatly beneficial. It helps with understanding your customer relationships, such as when the last contact happened, as well as monitoring customer activity. However, simply sitting on massive data doesn’t build relationships for you. You get value when data serves as a means for human interactions.

Know your customer deeper

A 360-degree customer view helps you understand the customers’ purchases, interactions, behaviors and how these will drive future actions. Basically, it allows you to know where in the customer lifecycle this customer is. In this way, you can communicate with your customers more effectively with appropriate messages at the optimum time. A 360-degree customer view shows your customer relationship in:

The past

How have consumers interacted with your products or services before? Includes elements such as:

  • Product/service activity
  • Interaction history across all channels
  • Campaign activity
  • Feature requests

The present

What’s going on with customers’ account and what’s their lifecycle stage? Tracks customer information such as:

  • What are their roles?
  • What is the context of the interaction?
  • Is there a recent purchase or issue recorded to be aware of?
  • Are there any red flags or warning signs?
  • What’s the customer health?

The future

Take findings from the past and present behaviors to map out a plan for the relationship. By using a business intelligence tool, you can see if there are available opportunities such as:

  • Are your customers intrigued by cookies or retargeting?
  • What content are they most interested in?
  • Which new product/feature would best suit the customer’s needs?
  • Which users can we engage to become advocates?
  • What type of trainings would be most beneficial to the customer?

What are the benefits of a 360-degree customer view?

Here are the top nine advantages of a 360-degree customer view:

  1. Data Integration: Allows you to store customer data in one place, update constantly in real time, and provide a robust process for data management and governance.
  2. Holistic customer knowledge / awareness from one location: Leads to thorough understanding of and empathy towards a customer’s needs. By knowing those needs you can then communicate solutions that work for them.
  3. Data Access, Ingestion, and Connection: Increases accessibility to all the up-to-date data that gives a single source of truth about the customers.
  4. Cross-Channel Engagement: Simplifies the orchestration of cross-channel campaigns across multiple systems. With deep knowledge of the customers, you can develop and sustain consistent and relevant engagement across all the channels. Simply put, you can meet your customers at the most appropriate time in the most appropriate place.
  5. Audience Profiling and Segmentation: You need less effort to create customer segments across customer engagement systems. It helps to personalize customer journeys. By enabling dynamic personalization and segmentation of campaigns using multiple behavioral attributes collected in real-time, you can make data more effective and relevant.
  6. Right Service at the Right Time: With a closer one-to-one customer relationship, which in turn helps streamline the interaction, you can better predict customer behavior or future demand. When the data is converted into actionable insights, you can use it to deliver the right service at the right time.
  7. More Sales, Less Churn: Based on the comprehensive customer information such as products/services that they have shown interest in before, you can enhance customer satisfaction, resulting in an increase in customer retention and conversion rates, and potential chance of sales through customer support along with more strategic sales and marketing campaigns.
  8. Compliance and Security: Easily comply with rapidly changing regulations and practices around personally identifiable information and the protection of this information through directives like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
  9. Customer satisfaction: Customers will be delighted by you knowing where they’ve been in the customer journey, where they are now, and you can guide them where to go in the future.

What are the challenges?

It sounds awesome to have a 360-degree customer view, but businesses face challenges when it comes to actually building this unified view. There are three major obstacles:

  1. Bring together data from disparate sources to create a 360-degree customer view: A customer’s data may be stored in different systems or silos that are difficult to share with each other. Although some companies are providing open source processes that allow for seamless integration, there is still the lack of proper technology to facilitate the process in general.
    Solution: Consult data analysts to choose the right tool.
  2. Define the metrics: Each department has different metrics that they deem as essential. There is a massive amount of data you can potentially include to enrich your customer information. However, having too much information can cause as many problems as having too little. It could be a real struggle to define what’s important to put on the 360-degree customer view.
    Solution: Get advice across business departments and analytical talent.
  3. Ensure the quality of data: Without accurate and reliable data, a 360-degree customer view is meaningless.
    Solution: Get involved in the data collection process and monitor information over time.

Best practice

In order to achieve a successful 360-degree customer view, Experian recommends a 7-stage process available at best practice.

Conclusion

Providing detailed customer information in one picture, a 360-degree customer view can assist in enhancing customer service, increasing customer retention and conversion rates, and improving overall customer lifetime value (CLV). However, be careful of information overload. Since having too much data to look at during a call can disrupt the call flow and slow the whole process down, you should identify and include only necessary and meaningful data. For further insight, check Gainsight (the thought leader in Customer Success) to see the contents and purpose of the various sections typically included in Customer 360 DETAILS.


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Yuyan (Fiona) Mao

About Yuyan (Fiona) Mao

Hi! I'm Yuyan (Fiona) Mao. I'm currently pursuing my Master's degrees in International Business and Business Analytics from Hult International Business School and received my Bachelor in Economics from University of Maryland. I care about efficiency, profitability and feasibility. I believe in data and communication. So I'm excited to share my knowledge and keep learning at the Data School by Chartio.