3 benefits of building a 360-degree view of your customers

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Achieving a unified, 360-degree picture of your customer journeys can seem like a daunting task. There’s a reason marketers call it the holy grail. But consolidating your data and building an end-to-end view can reward you with precise customer insight. It can enhance your personalization and help you deliver seamless omnichannel experiences. Ultimately, this view is what takes your customer interactions from transactions to experiences.

 

The benefits of a 360-degree customer view are clear—but fewer than 10% of companies are seeing the full picture. And only 5% are using it to grow their businesses. In addition, less than half of international marketing leaders surveyed by Salesforce in 2019 have a completely unified view of their data sources. As a result, brands are falling short of customer expectations and missing out on golden opportunities.

"Fewer than 10% of companies have a true 360-degree view of their customers."

  • Gartner Research, 2018

In return for an improved experience, customers are happy to give brands access to more of their data. 73% of people are willing to share more personal information if a brand is transparent about how they plan to use it. However, four out of five American customers don’t believe the average brand understands their needs.

 

What does a 360-degree customer view consist of?

There are five main types of customer data: demographic, transactional, environmental, behavioral and social. At many businesses, this data is siloed across multiple channels that don’t intersect—web behavior in one, customer service data in another, sales figures in a third, etc. Here are three benefits of syncing up your data and building a 360-degree customer view.

 

Customer insights

Recency bias and a lack of accurate customer information can doom your marketing strategy. Marketers get tunnel vision based on a single data point, while sales reps base their opinions on their most recent call with a customer. Lack of cohesion between channels can obscure customer trends and camouflage actionable insights.

 

By integrating your customer data across channels and aligning your departments, you’ll ensure every single person at your company is drinking from the same fountain of customer information. You’ll have a much clearer picture of your customers’ activities and priorities. This includes purchase history, social media interactions, service requests and email communication.

 

Customer predictions

With a clearer view of your customers’ past, you’ll be better equipped to pick out patterns of behavior and anticipate their future. In addition to human insight, some marketers are beginning to harness the power of AI and machine learning to drive predictive analytics.

 

These insights enable you to develop effective marketing strategies. If you’re trying to forecast how a new product line might go over, you can use your 360-degree view of customer data to form an educated guess. On the sales side, it allows your team to anticipate and act on opportunities for upselling, cross-selling and more.

 

Customer service and retention

A customer relationship is about much more than a sale—it’s about a journey that ebbs and flows over time. With a 360-degree view, you can spot things in the data that could lead to customer pain points down the road. When your customers run into problems, your response makes all the difference. Don’t make them do any extra work. Give your service agents the tools they need to quickly assess the situation and troubleshoot issues.

 

On the customer retention side, dispatching relevant messages at the right time is the key to building ongoing customer relationships. Anticipating customer needs and developing a strategic communication plan keeps your business top of mind and turns a one-time purchase into a continuous string of sales.

 

Meeting customer expectations in the digital age

Customers expect you to deliver the right answer the first time—on whichever channel they prefer. It doesn’t take much for them to do their research online, quickly comparison shop to find a brand that feels more in tune with their needs and switch to one of your competitors. Building a 360-degree view of your customers can help you fill in the gaps and deliver seamless omnichannel experiences time after time.

Insights

Sitecore & Salesforce

Creating experiences that evolve at the speed of customers

Work

United Health Group

Helping a company find its future through smarter hiring

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