Times are changing. Bygone are the times when manufacturing companies relied on their power and the customers looked up to it. This balance of power is changing quite rapidly towards the „Age of the Customer“. If we take a look at customer lifecycle we can see that there is so much more to it than just acquisition and sales procedures. The number of touchpoints between your company product/service and your customer along his customer journey
is so varied.
That is why it is so critical for your business to gain this 360-degree customer perspective, and it is no less important to gain the 360-degree view of your customer’s perspective, i.e, the way they view your company.
What is a 360 degree customer perspective
In a nutshell, 360-degree customer view is the idea which implies that your company builds its relationship with a customer based on the customer experience rather than purely transaction-based. This is actually the key to long-lasting customer relations and positive recommendations.
The company aggregates data from the various touch points of the customer journey: a customer may use those touchpoints to contact a company, for instance, or to purchase products and receive service and support. The data we talk about have equal importance when drawn from your customers past, present and future.
How have your customers been interacting with your product/service so far? The 360-degree view on your customer means that you can extract their customer history and find informative and easily digestible facts about your consumers. The ingredients included are:
- process history
- product/service activity
- interaction across all channels
- campaign activity
If a customer contacts you or registers independently from the channels used, your company has to know what should be going on with his account in relation to the purchase process. To understand the current customer behavior means that you, as a company, have to track customer information:
- Who is the customer?
- How do they relate to the organization?
- What is the context of the interaction?
- Is there a recent order or a present problem that the customer service employee should know about?
Understanding the past and the present situation with your customer history and their relationship with your company allows gaining valuable insights and building more trustworthy relationships in the future. By using digital intelligence you can get an idea about many key things in this regard: are there up-sell or cross-sell opportunities, or maybe some of the customers are likely to churn?
By analyzing what the customers saw and what action it encouraged them to do in the past and encourages in present enables the marketers and sales specialists to predict the buying behavior and develop a plan, which would already take into consideration all the low points and possible questions from the consumers’ side.
Why is a 360 degree customer perspective so important
The analysis and in-depth understanding of these customer facets empower a business to create and improve the individual customer experience.
Regardless of the field of activity, it is equally important for any company to consistently build stronger and long-lasting relationships with the customers. By using intelligent and robust CRM-Systems (Customer Relationship Management) different departments in your company get access to correct and meaningful data about your clientele regardless of the media used.
This smooth and seamless information exchange between the departments shows the level of your professional competence by making sure there is little room for any sort of mistake in the company-customer interaction. It also means that each department in your company targets both internal and external aspects.
When you collect all the customer journey puzzle pieces together you obtain a clear picture of how consumers like and want to buy. Those puzzle pieces could be:
- What does the buying behavior pattern of your clients say about their purchase probability?
- Do they point at some specific point of the buying process on the dissatisfaction of some sort that can possibly cause churns?
- What caused the purchase process to be terminated?
The more comprehensive the process of gathering information is the more precise and more individual the personal planning becomes. Along with the demographic data, behavioral information has a vital, defining importance for recognizing the far-reaching trends and customer activity reasons and implications. Decide for yourself what data should be deployed for you to gain a better insight into your customers head.
Look out for an analysis which would be proper for you to integrate some anecdotal info or feedbacks from customer support staff into continuous contact with your customers.
The improvement of Customer Lifetime Value makes for a stronger and higher quality customer experience. The experts in the field forecast that by 2020 Customer Experience will become the most important distinguishing feature of a brand, taking over price and the product itself.
Therefore, your customer is much more likely to buy from your competitor if the problem they experience with you is related to customer service, as opposed to any issues that might arise with your product or price.
Unsuccessful marketing campaigns come at a price. And they are indeed expensive. The more intelligent and the more data-driven your actions are, the higher the success rate for you. The increased customer transparency also lays a foundation to a more target-oriented and effective segmentation of your clientele. So, in this regard, 360-degree customer view helps to approach your customers more individually, with better care.
How you achieve a 360° customer perspective
Customers are defined way better by their behavior than their demographic characteristics. So, be sure to combine customer data to get the most comprehensive picture:
One of the most effective opportunities to study customer behavior is to look at the way they use social media. The social data is not filtered and provides some insight into consumer’s social attributes. It means that your company can get this valuable feel of how consumers respond to the fast-changing trends in the world, and how their tastes and desires change.
Such tools as Hootsuite
can help you to get an idea of what consumers comment about your services or products in the social networks. Besides, consumer attributes such as browsing and shopping-pattern related to social media activities can be added to the CRM and successfully used for a detailed consumer portrait compilation and segmentation. Moreover, this knowledge can significantly help with fine-tuning and actualization of products that become outdated.
The findings and insights can, however, turn out to be neither correct nor relevant if you do not use high-quality data. Therefore, one of the first steps would be to organize the obtained data carefully adjusting and actualizing them.
For the best effect possible implement the process which would encourage all the departments to enter and administer data in a consistent format. Although the process may seem time-consuming, it is important to return to the original data and organize the customer history data, if it is possible. If you succeed in maintaining consistency in data entry and data administration you will see how much easier it will become to communicate across the departments and inter-divisionally.
In order to segment your clientele correctly, you will need to deploy a categorization process. When you share the data, we often overlook what the data actually show. Think it through how you can use the categories which guarantee that the relations to other objects are sound.
Regardless of its result, any customer interaction has to be connected to your business goals. If, for instance, a customer of yours contacts your client support, and in the course of interaction the customer is unhappy, customer loyalty-related data has to be immediately collected.
What should also never be overlooked is that every time a consumer interacts with your company, they leave a sort of footprint. Whether it is about visiting your website, using your app, or leaving a commentary about your company in social networks marketers to have the possibility to collect the online data and understand consumers’ intentions.
Furthermore, marketing, customer success, and sales are not always geared in the way they should be. When your company is going to publish a whitepaper based on some relevant research, make sure to offer proactive advice or solutions to your sales staff and customer service.
At the end of the day, gaining a 360-degree customer view is not something that happens overnight. This is a process of your consistent and well-organized series of efforts that allow building this customer view. It is based on the customer-related data you collect and spread between your departments. Only this can enable you to obtain a comprehensive view of your customers and also creates a positive image of your company in the eyes of your customers.
Would you like a bit of professional advice or support on your way to 360-degree customer view? Do not hesitate to contact us