January 30, 2021 - 859 views|
Achieving a unified view of customers has proved elusive for many companies. Here are some real-world steps to move closer to Customer 360 goals.
When customer relationship management (CRM) burst onto the scene 30 years ago, the concept of “Customer 360” was born. Back then, the idea of seeing all of a customer’s data in one place was nirvana. Businesses were sold on the idea that, for example, a sales person on their way to a client meeting would know if there’d just been a major service escalation for that customer. Enlightenment was at hand.
Fast-forward to today, and most companies have a 180-degree view of the customer, at best. Although many have made efforts to weave a single view of the customer from disparate data sources such as sales, marketing, customer service and field service, many continue to come up short. While Customer 360 is within reach, it takes more technology know-how and executive buy-in than most businesses can muster.
More than a one-time victory
How did we fall short? A major factor is that while many companies view Customer 360 as a one-time victory, customer data isn’t static. Because data is always changing, achieving a full and accurate view of the customer is a dynamic, ever-expanding endeavor. We recently spoke to a VP in charge of omnichannel customer experiences, which he defined as the call center and chatbot – leaving out the organization’s retail stores, website, mobile app, social media and third-party data.
Another reason is that data is still siloed at many companies. Different teams handle the call center data vs. the website data vs. the retail store and chatbot data. The primary charter of each team is to serve itself. A cross-functional leader such as a chief data officer is crucial to break down silos and ensure disparate customer data points are woven into a unified view.
Data silos also tend to create fiefdoms, in which data leaders dig virtual “moats” around their data. We see many clients raise the drawbridge rather than try to convince peers to share their data across the enterprise. The result is a gravitational pull toward the status quo. Eliminating fiefdoms starts with a companywide Customer 360 mandate from the C-suite and leadership from the top.
How to get the big picture
Here are some real-world steps companies can take to move closer to the goal of a unified view of the customer:
As we’ve seen in the COVID pandemic, customer behavior is only growing more complex and multi-faceted. To develop a 360-view of customers, businesses need to update their data infrastructure, flesh out their customer journeys and close the gaps in their data collection. By doing so, they can keep up with the changes of today and remain nimble in the face of the changes yet to come.