The Single Customer View is the back bone and starting point of a successful CRM Solution. A successful Single Customer View (SCV) is a complete, holistic view of an individual contact in the context of a wider database.
Single Customer View
The main aim of implementing a Single Customer View is to shift to a customer centric business model. By gaining a true understanding of customer histories, contact details and preferences the SCV allows companies to perform highly targeted marketing as well as retain and manage customers.
First and foremost the implementation of a Single Customer View should give the brand a true 360 view of their customers and provide a Single Truth about their relationship with the brand. Although databases tend to be complicated, multi channel and dense a CRM solution with a SCV allocates each contact an individual file with a unique number. From here all relevant data such as personal information, interaction history and touch-points with other parts of the database are stored.
A key term when referring to The Single Customer View is the “Single Truth”. This refers to a common complication when implementing a SCV which occurs when multiple departments, that may have different relationships with the customer or a variety of reporting technologies, have to collaborate. CRM solutions that deliver an end to end solution with a well thought out strategy create a “Single Truth” that allows brands to gain all the benefits of a Single Customer View.
Benefits for the Business
- Keep data clean and up to date ensuring targeted, relevant communication
- Allow salespeople to access specific customer information quickly, from basic actions like accessing contact information to making an informed assessment of preferences and relationship history
- Increase visibility within the business allowing for more sophisticated inter-department strategies
- Contact prioritisation; brands can assess which customers require attention most urgently, which are most profitable and which present the best opportunities for cross selling and up selling
Benefits for the Customer
- Strengthen the concept of the “brand”; with all channels integrated customer experience is greatly simplified and improved
- An improved knowledge of the client base allows companies to respond quicker to customer requests and increase customer retention.
- Data changes are simplified meaning any updates to personal information is quick and convenient
- Minimises duplicated marketing communication as well as improving general targeting. Customers will only receive relevant information and receive it at times that suit them
Problems initiating a successful SCV tend to arise in larger businesses, particularly those that have undergone mergers or similar structural upheavals. These companies tend to have a variety of data sources based on a variety of platforms. Smaller companies with new, relevant information find it easier to implement a Single Customer View.
However these businesses should be aware that as they grow it is important to keep data in compatible formats to avoid problems further down the line. When a true SCV is achieved companies can analyse past behaviour with high levels of detail and efficiency and then target and personalise future customer interactions.
Keeping Data clean or “Garbage in – Garbage Out”
The Single Customer View is only really successful when a database is kept clean, de-duplicated and up to date. The SCV is both a unifying and individual process; providing insight into individual contacts whilst allowing proactive outreach and automated communication. However if the data put into the database is outdated or insufficient this process is impossible to achieve. The old adage goes:
Put Garbage In – Get garbage Out!
In order to avoid a fragmented and unproductive CRM solution it is key for businesses to ensure they put only clean data in their system. Once it has been imported most CRM solutions allow the information to be regularly updated and amended. This keeps data fresh and relevant. Users are often allocated security levels to determine how much data they can change.
As well as this Conversation Managers and Preference Centres can also be a vital part of the Single Customer View. These online portals allow brands to engage customers in a two way marketing relationship, sharing preferences and contact details. This process keeps the database up to date by allowing customers to regulate their own information.
- The Single Customer View is the cornerstone of any Customer Relationship Management solution
- It is only as good as the data put into the database, if poor quality data is uploaded the database will yield poor quality results
- The main benefit to the Single Customer View is a complete 360 view of the individual contact, as well as placing that contact within the database as a whole
- This improves both outbound sales work and existing customer relationships.