If modern marketing was a fire, then data would be the wood which keeps it burning. In the 21st century, consumers generate a lot of data, but not all businesses collect and store that data in the right place.
The single customer view is a method of storing all of the data about your customers and prospects into a single record which can be accessed from a centralised location. This, in turn, can bring many benefits to your business; which we discuss in this blog, to keep that marketing fire burning bright.
As the age-old saying goes “knowledge is power” and that is no different when talking data.
The more information you have on your customers, the better you can predict their behaviour, as well as anticipate and fulfil their future needs.
A classic example of this is supermarket loyalty cards.
Customers use their loyalty cards to earn rewards and vouchers, but at what cost?
Supermarkets use loyalty cards to gather highly valuable data about the decisions their customers make. This data is used to market products more efficiently and often dictates the store’s layout and seasonal offers.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
Businesses that can anticipate a customer’s needs efficiently not only save time but also money and other resources; in addition to building a positive relationship with their customers.
Ensuring you have a single customer view means that customers data is kept consistently and properly maintained. Ultimately, this helps build trust between you and your customers.
As a bare minimum, when a customer contacts your business, they will expect you to hold accurate and up-to-date information on them, including their purchase history and previous communications and correspondence. Ensuring things like their name is spelt correctly are a given.
In a modern world with multiple communication channels, a single customer view is vital for effective and efficient customer service. If a customer were to contact you via social media regarding a telephone interaction they had last week, your customer service team should be able to access every historic conversation with that customer, including notes.
Targeted and efficient marketing relies on accurate and up to date data.
A single customer view is therefore vital for both marketing and sales departments to become more efficient. This can have a dramatic effect on the return on investment and marketing spend of a business.
As a rule, it is often more economical for a business to market and sells to an existing customer, than it is to convert a new customer. Accurate data on your customers can highlight new sales opportunities, such as repeat purchases, contract renewals or supplementary products.
Achieving the Single Customer View
It is unrealistic for any business to expect their database to be perfect, especially as the database grows and matures.
Databases are dynamic and as customers’ circumstances change, data should be updated to remain accurate. Some businesses may suffer from inaccurate data due to the way it is collected and stored. In this case, internal processes should be reviewed to prevent inaccurate records from being stored in the first place.
Businesses that are committed to the Single Customer View and excellent customer service invest in data quality tools to help cleanse and maintain their CRM systems.
Industry-leading data quality software such as DQ for Dynamics™ can find and fix errors in customer data, match records that are likely to be duplicates, remove problematic records and ensure addresses are standardised.
As a result, these businesses benefit from knowing their customers better, building better relationships and ultimately become more profitable.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business achieve a single customer view.
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