360-degree customer view: better understanding of customer needs and opportunities

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Times are changing. In times past, the manufacturing company was in power and the customer was mostly exposed to this power.

However, this balance of power is currently changing rapidly towards the “Age of the Customer”. The customer lifecycle is about much more than acquisition and sales processing. The customer has so many different touch points with your company and the product or service on their customer journey.

This is why it is more important than ever for your company to gain a 360 degree view of the customer. On the other hand as a potential but also to understand the 360 degree view of the customer on your company.

360 degree customer view - an overview

Table of Contents

360 degree customer view: What is it?​

In a nutshell, the 360 degree view is the foundation that makes your company’s relationship with customers experience-based instead of purely transactional. This is key to long-lasting customer relationships and positive referrals.

It is therefore understandable that companies gain a comprehensive overview of customers by collecting and utilizing data from various touchpoints or contact points on a customer’s journey.

In this context, data from the past, present and future are important.

The past

How have customers interacted with your products or services so far? A 360-degree view of your customers means you can see their story and find meaningful and easily digestible facts about the consumer. This includes elements like:

• Process history

• Product- / Serviceactivity

• Interaction-activity over all channels

• Campaign-activity

The present

When customers contact you regardless of the channels they use, your company needs to know what to do with that account in the current sales process. Knowing the current behavior of customers means that you need to track customer information in your company:

• Who is the customer?

• How is the customer connected to your company?

• What is the context of the interaction?

• Is there a current order or issue that a customer service representative should be aware of?

The future

Through understanding the past and present behavior of their customers, companies can gain insights and map a future customer approach and relationship. Using and implementing digital intelligence will allow you to identify upsell or cross-sell opportunities. 

Through analyzing what (potential) customers have looked at before or are currently looking at, marketers and salespeople can predict future buying behavior and create a plan that addresses vulnerabilities and issues.

The 360 degree view is only the beginning!

Customer Insights Suite Light dark version

Why is the 360 degree customer view so important

By analyzing and understanding these facets of customers, a company can provide a more personalized customer experience.

Customer orientation

For every company, it is essential to build lasting relationships with customers. By using an intelligent and robust customer relationship management (CRM) system, different departments can capture and share accurate, meaningful customer data or information about a customer regardless of the medium used.

This smooth exchange of data demonstrates professionalism and ensures that all interactions with a consumer leave little room for error. It also means that each department is aligned with internal and external objectives

Predictability (Predictive Analytics)

Through collecting and analyzing data at different points in the customer journey, your company can get a clearer picture of how customers act. For example:

– What do your customers’ patterns tell you about their likelihood to buy?
– Do they show increased dissatisfaction at any point in the buying process that may cause them to churn?
– What are the reasons for abandoning a purchase process?

Customer Intelligence

The more comprehensive an information-gathering process is, the more refined persona planning will be. Behavioral information, along with demographic knowledge, is critical to identifying broad trends and user responses.

Therefore, consider what data should be used and analyzed to provide insights into customers. Look beyond analytics to include anecdotal data or feedback from customer service representatives with ongoing contact with customers

Customer retention

Improving Customer Lifetime Value leads to a strong customer experience. Experts predict that the customer experience will overtake price and product as the most important brand differentiators by 2020.

 

Moreover, a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service-related, as opposed to price or product-related.

Cost reduction

Unsuccessful marketing campaigns are expensive. The more intelligent and data-driven your campaigns are, the more successful they will be.

With improved transparency of your customers comes the opportunity to segment them in a targeted manner. In this context, a 360-degree view of your customers gives you the opportunity to deal with them in a more individual way.

How to achieve the 360 degree customer view

Customers are much better defined by their behavior than by demographic characteristics. So you combine customer data for an increasingly comprehensive picture:

Social Listening

One of the best ways to study customer behavior is to use and link social media. Social data is unfiltered and gives insight into sociological attributes for your customers. It means your business can understand customer sentiments and how they change with the world’s shifting trends.

To discover who is commenting on social media about your product or service, tools like HootsuiteMention or Crowdalyzer come in handy. In addition, consumer characteristics such as browsing and shopping patterns related to social media activity can be added to a CRM. The reports on these can be analyzed meaningfully and, most importantly, efficiently and used for more detailed persona creation and customer segmentation. As a by-product, this knowledge helps to fine-tune or update products that are going out of fashion.

 

Data check

Without high-quality and structured data, insights are neither correct nor relevant. One of the first steps to data quality is usually to organize and cleanse the data.

To accomplish this, at best you implement a process that encourages all departments to enter data in a consistent format. Although time consuming, it is important to go back to the original systems and organize historical data when possible. Consistency in data entry and management makes it easier to communicate across departments.

 

In order to properly segment your customers, you need a process for categorization. When you share data, it’s easy to lose track of what the data shows. Remember to use categories that ensure relationships to other objects are intact.

Overlapping data

Every customer interaction should be tied to a business objective, regardless of the outcome. If, for example, a customer interacts with your customer service and is dissatisfied, data must be collected for customer retention.

At the same time, customers and prospects leave footprints every time they interact with your business. Whether it’s a website, an app, or comments on social media, marketers have the ability to capture their data from these data sources and understand their intentions.
However, beware of data silos, especially if there is competition between different departments in your company. 

Marketing, Customer Success and Sales are not always aligned in data management as they should be. So if your company publishes a whitepaper after relevant research, make sure your sales staff or customer service use it to proactively give advice or offer solutions. That’s what a consistently great customer relationship requires.

Conclusion

Ultimately, targeted and successful customer centricity is something that is gradually built up processually, based on data, and implemented across your departments. 

This is the only way to achieve a holistic view of your customers and to give your customers a positive overall view of your company.

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About Me

In my role as a growth marketing expert and customer developer, I experience the importance of a customer-centric corporate culture on a daily basis. 

With agile testing and optimization processes, you will bring your growth fully on track.

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