A 360 Customer View: The What, Why and How

A 360 degree customer

What is a 360 degree customer view?

A 360 degree customer view is the concept that organizations can consolidate data about their customers from multiple touchpoints and systems in one place. This helps CX decision makers, and the entire company, make data-driven decisions about how customers interact with your brand and how your organization can best help its customers.

All of the data is typically stored in an organization’s CRM that their sales and support teams use most frequently when interacting with customers. This helps your team know information like what they last purchased, what their last complaint was, which pages on your website they visited before interacting with a human and if they follow your social media channels.

Today, having a superior product isn’t enough, you need a top-notch experience strategy to match. Being able to access all of their customer-service related inquiries, like complaints and requests is essential to getting a comprehensive view of the customer. Understanding how and when your customers interact with your website and social media channels help you gauge how they may interact with your brand on a day-to-day basis.

Why does a 360 degree view help you?

Predictive analytics

A 360 degree view will not only help you track where your customer has been, but will help you predict where they may go next. Once all of the data is stored in a single location, you can map the behavior of customers in similar scenarios and notice patterns.

This helps your sales team know what and how they can upsell, cross-sell or need to upgrade. This can help your marketing team know where and when to meet customers with offers or discounts. This helps your decision makers know where they need to make adjustments with their services or offerings.

Anticipate, prepare and adapt with the power of data.

Enhanced personalization

We already know from numerous studies, and I’d argue common sense, that customers prefer to do business with organizations that know personal information about them, without having to tell them (especially repeating information numerous times).

So, essentially, it’s a domino effect: knowing personal information builds trust, which grows relationships, which boosts brand loyalty, keeps current customer and even referral customers. Let’s break it down.

Consider your customer support rep knows that you’ve called in with the same problem with your cable twice, on the third call perhaps the business knows to offer to replace the issue with a new product instead of calling to repair because they know after the second attempt the percentage of customers leaving their organization increases. The customer is immediately happy as the rep states “Hi, Mr. Martin, I see you’ve had cable issues twice this year, how about a brand new box?” This immediately pleases the customer, who will remain a customer and perhaps share the great experience on their social media platforms.

Cross-department holistic view

Finally, a project multiple departments can agree on! A 360-degree view of your customers can help sales, marketing, support and stakeholders make smarter, data-driven decisions that can help your business grow.

A holistic view of the customer means each department can share information from each stage to one another so that the customer’s journey from each department owned area feels seamless.

This helps increase revenue because sales and marketing can build strategic campaigns based on actual data of their customers to capitalize and influence buying decisions.

Drive a more successful customer management strategy

And ultimately, all of these points lead to the big event, a more successful customer management strategy.

Businesses often fall into two categories when it comes to using information to drive better customer interactions: using information from their most recent interactions, or siloed information that is only relevant to that department.

Both of these scenarios lead to fragmented or disjointed experiences for your customers, because they are only based on a portion of the customer’s interactions.

A 360-degree view of the customer prevents both of these situations from occurring because a comprehensive collection of customer data is in a singular, easily accessible location.

How do I get a 360 degree customer view?

Decide where the data will be stored

Before you begin planning anything, you must decide where the information will be stored, and it must be a location where every department that needs the information can access it. If you don’t have a single infrastructure in place, information may fall through the cracks and remain siloed.

Because most organizations are already using a CRM, and it typically already accessed across multiple departments, this is a great place to store.

Decide which data helps support your goals

After you’ve considered your goals, make sure the information you want to gather is going to support achieving this, or you’ll waste so much time sorting through irrelevant data.

Decide which additional tools you need

Even if you already have a lot of customer data, there is a chance, especially if you’ve solely been relying on your employees to enter it, that its incomplete. There are additional third party tools you can utilize to gain additional information.

Social media listening tools: There are several tools that monitor when you brand is mentioned on social media platforms and review and opinion sites available.

Storing customer feedback: Use your actual customers to build additional data about how your customers feel about your brand. Conduct surveys and polls or get a team together to start calling or video conferencing them for information.

Customer data platform: If after analyzing your data you find there are significant gaps in your customer database that you need to achieve your goals, you can purchase third-party data to fill the holes.

Like any customer transformation project, it’s not a one and done operation. A 360 customer view will need to be an evolving project as customers grow and goals shift.

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