Businesses must understand customers’ needs and habits to provide hyper-personalized experiences with relevant information. A single data point, such as an entrance channel or campaign, is insufficient. Personalization requires reliable data interaction that provides meaningful insight into who your customers are and what they want.
Marketers frequently refer to this knowledge as having a 360 view of customer data, which means being able to perceive and act on the consumer’s entire history of encounters with your business — both past and present.
As companies try to attain this 360 view of customer data, it’s critical to understand what that entails, what are the benefits of viewing the customer relationship from all aspects, and how to collect data to build that 360-degree picture.
A company may learn about its target consumers through various methods, including collecting detailed data from forms, tracking website visits and sales, and acquiring unstructured data, such as contextual information from social media.
While there are several methods for painting a holistic picture of a consumer, an essential thing to remember is the importance of aggregating this data in a single location. The more information you have in one place, the easier it is to analyze a single customer’s behavior and provide personalization to match their exact demands.
When you have a complete picture of the available customer information, the next step is to make it available to all relevant departments across the organization. Anyone who engages with the customer will understand what has already occurred and how the consumer will likely feel about the present situation. By easily sharing customer data and insights across the enterprise, you reduce friction and enable faster response and better customer service.
Table of Contents
- What is a 360 View of Customer Data?
- 6 Ways a 360 View of Customer Data is Essential for your Business
- Challenges in Building 360 View of Customer Data
- Modern Way to Create a 360 Customer View: Centralizing Data
- Making Data Actionable: Reverse ETL
- Benefits of 360 Customer View for Different Teams
- How to Build 360 View of Customer Data Using Hevo Activate?
- Final Thoughts
What is a 360 View of Customer Data?
A 360 view of customer data is a singular, complete, and unified image of a customer’s interaction and journey with a business. It emphasizes the many stages of the journey and how the consumer interacts at each point.
Furthermore, a 360 view of customer data denotes a strategy that enables businesses to provide customers with the most profound possible experience across all channels. It helps the company connect several touchpoints, which in turn helps them to offer fantastic customer satisfaction at every stage of the process.
To offer the best assistance to their customers, businesses require a 360 view of customer data. To obtain the soft and hard consumer data underpinning the 360 view of customer data, companies use a variety of strategies, including customer encounters and feedback.
Before diving into that, let’s first answer why you need a 360 View of Customer Data?
Do you Need a 360 View of Customer Data?
If your business does not have a 360 view of customer data, you might not be able to provide a better customer experience. Here are some of the key reasons why you should have a 360 view of customer data:
Personalize Customer Experience
Consumers now demand individualized purchasing experiences more than ever. According to a report from Accenture, 91 percent of consumers are more likely to buy with companies that provide personalized suggestions.
A 360 view of customer data provides comprehensive knowledge of the customer, allowing your marketing, sales, and support teams to readily refer to their prior activities and engagements with your business.
For example, this data could help your support team tailor each encounter with a specific consumer and swiftly find the best answer for their needs. Furthermore, customizing the customer experience will likely increase customer loyalty by building a reliable connection in the long term.
Better Service Response
Customer intelligence is essential for your service representatives to succeed. When your team members have a complete picture of a customer’s problem, they can work rapidly to fix it.
For example, as a client, you might find it frustrating when companies shift you back and forth between agents — it’s a time-consuming procedure, and you often find yourself rehashing your case to each person.
These ineffective encounters have three negative consequences: waste of customer’s time, worsening customer’s patience, and loss of company’s resources.
A 360 view of customer data simplifies the job for service personnel to access each customer’s interactions and inquiries, including historical ones. Reps can get to the root of a problem faster and more effectively, which ultimately boosts client satisfaction levels.
Enhanced Predictive Analytics
Gathering detailed and complete customer information can also improve your company’s predictive analytics. Predictive analytics provide insights about your customers based on their past and present behavior to forecast their future demands and desires.
This will allow you to plan and prepare as needed to satisfy these expectations – you may even provide related services through upselling or cross-selling. Predictive analytics may also provide insight on how different stages of the buyer’s journey may hamper or entice the client and what efforts you can make to improve their experience.
On a bigger scale, these projections can help companies enhance their strategy. For example, essential insights from customer data may be used to improve future campaigns and product upgrades to alleviate a customer’s pain point.
Real-life Business Example of Creating a 360 View of Customer Data
Bluegreen Vacations is a completely owned subsidiary of BFC Financial Corporation, offering time-share holidays at 60 company-managed resorts with additional resort and cruise alternatives through third-party exchanges.
Bluegreen Vacations redesigned its website to improve the transactional aspects of purchasing timeshare homes and offer personalized information and holiday ideas to each individual. This significantly lowered call-center hours, saving an estimated $3 million annually.
Customers who choose to phone in are now serviced by agents who have a complete picture of their journey – spanning mobile, desktop, and contact-center platforms. Bluegreen anticipates a $10 million revenue gain through upsells, extra nights booked, resort stays, and increased activation rates through its upgraded web and call-center channels.
6 Ways a 360 View of Customer Data is Essential for your Business
Let us look at the 6 ways a 360 view of customer data is essential for your business:
- Improve Understanding of Customer Potential
- Compound Collaboration and Cross-department Campaigns
- Create Strategic Sales and Marketing Campaigns
- Capture and Utilize Micro-Moments
- Timely Actions
- Teams Become Better “Listeners”
Improve Understanding of Customer Potential
Businesses nowadays are constantly striving to capture as much of a customer’s business as possible. Many, however, embark on this road without clearly understanding a customer’s short and long-term potential. Organizations now have more external sources at their disposal than ever before to develop an accurate picture of a customer’s true potential.
Companies with a comprehensive view of existing or projected customer potential have a solid foundation for calculating current shares and analyzing future possibilities and profit objectives. They may then build an educated plan for growing the connection, including what they expect to achieve and which resources they should devote to it.
Compound Collaboration and Cross-department Campaigns
360 view of customer data facilitates improved cross-departmental communication, particularly within sales, marketing, and service teams. Sharing the same customer perspective via a shared CRM allows these departments to convey crucial information to one another effortlessly.
For example, the service agent may identify and tell the account manager if an up-sell or cross-sell opportunity arises via a service ticket. Perhaps a sales representative is on his way to a big pitching meeting with a customer. Knowing that the same consumer has recently encountered difficulties with customer service will help them arrive more prepared.
The Aberdeen Group discovered in their CMO’s agenda research that by properly connecting sales and marketing activities, companies have been able to:
- Increase their top line by 32%.
- Increase client retention by 36%.
- Increase their victory rates by 38%.
According to the study, strong alignment in sales and marketing teams ensures that their strategies and efforts are in sync, which leads to increased brand recognition and average sale size.
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Create Strategic Sales and Marketing Campaigns
A 360 view of customer data creates an opportunity to expand the company’s sales and marketing teams. Using past and present data of their customers, sales and marketing teams can make more strategic campaigns.
For example, suppose a retailer notices that a customer often buys sneakers and sports equipment. In that case, the sales and marketing teams can develop marketing and advertising campaigns that cater to the customer’s needs.
Capture and Utilize Micro-Moments
In recent years, the concept of micro-moments—when a customer goes to a device or channel with a profound purpose based on a need to know, need to go, or need to buy—has gained popularity.
Micro-moments can be critical turning points in the cycle of building a healthy and loyal customer relationship. Identifying when a connected client or potential customer needs quick gratification and sending targeted material or a customized offer on-demand can strengthen a potential or existing customer connection. Organizations that can seize these possibilities will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
In today’s on-demand society, the capacity to assess and respond quickly is vital. Consumers, particularly millennials, expect immediacy and omniscience from vendors, whether that means delivering co-branded offers based on a customer’s physical location or simply understanding a customer’s history of withdrawing money from an ATM and serving up that option immediately so that they can get on their way more quickly. Organizations that can best meet these needs will profit both in the short and long term.
Teams Become Better “Listeners”
As most business teams know, listening is critical to fully comprehending the consumer as a person. Listening may take numerous forms, including in-person conversations, client surveys, and online or mobile transaction trends.
The capacity to notice important messages, collect them to build a 360 view of customer data, and then respond appropriately to the customer queries is critical which can help foster a listening attitude in your teams.
When customers are asked to provide feedback on their own, either through in-person conversations or through customized surveys, the information they provide is likely to be candid and honest. These comments provide a wealth of information about a customer’s honest feedback, which can provide insight into the direction for future improvements and initiatives.
Challenges in Building 360 View of Customer Data
There are several advantages of developing a 360 view of customer data, but businesses also confront problems in achieving this unified vision. Here are the 5 challenges of building a 360 view of customer data:
- Data Technology Integrations and Actioning
- Presence of a Standard and Consistent System of Record
- Defining Intent and Guiding Questions
- Company Culture
Data Technology Integrations and Actioning
The first and most visible issue is technological. The single view of customer capacity is not well supported in modern organizational architectures, where business divisions, product groups, and work activities operate autonomously. Each of these groups has created its technology stack with specific goals in mind, generally utilizing specialized technology tailored to meet their particular needs with little regard for long-term integration with other business units within the same corporation.
While linking these systems is a considerable task, exploiting these integrated systems to create action from the connections and insights is the second obstacle.
Presence of a Standard and Consistent System of Record
Specialized data is a natural byproduct of specialized systems and team requirements. Each of these systems collects and stores data in a unique manner and format. Untangling this tangle is much more complex than connecting the systems, especially when cleaning up and matching millions of data lines per system with 100% accuracy.
Adjusting and developing for future state demands is a frequently disregarded necessity in this process. Most solutions for integrating these systems and data focus on current-state difficulties rather than anticipating future-state requirements to add more channels, systems, and people to the mix as business units and the organization expand.
Defining Intent and Guiding Questions
The single view of customer data and transformation processes generally begins as an operation or technological problem to be solved, with little regard for customer demands, marketing, sales, or a more prominent company. Most businesses do not ask basic questions to align the organization to a clear goal, practical utility, and long-term value of the exercise and its deliverables.
Most organizations don’t give much attention to 360 view of customer data, which becomes a bottleneck in their organization. You’re not going to get things rolling if your employees aren’t expected to be problem solvers.
You won’t benefit from this job unless your employees are required to access data from other sources and ask broader questions about more complex challenges. And suppose leadership continues to incentivize product or business teams to compete against one other with no standard profit & loss or larger corporate picture. In that case, they will not collaborate since it is in their best interest to remain isolated for job security and individual compensation.
Modern Way to Create a 360 Customer View: Centralizing Data
Marketers and sales teams are gathering more customer data than ever, including purchase data, CRM data, website traffic data, paid-media data, and a plethora of other information. When utilizing legacy technology, however, it is difficult, if not impossible, to piece it all together and understand the broad picture of how customers engage with your business.
The continued dependence on old data warehouses, which do not allow for real-time or parallel access to querying, makes it harder for businesses to attract and retain top data and analytics expertise. This reduces their speed towards achieving a customer 360 profile. A lack of flexible and adaptable infrastructure to support their work is a significant source of turnover among data professionals. Because demand for their abilities outstrips supply, they may be pretty choosy.
In numerous ways, a modern cloud-based data warehouse overcomes these difficulties and aids in the realization of a 360 view of customer data. For starters, it enables real-time and parallel querying and analysis of distinct data sources. This capacity is critical for a comprehensive customization approach, allowing you to identify high-value consumers and ensure they have a positive experience at every touchpoint. That is not feasible until you can see the overall picture of how and where those people connect with your brand in real-time.
Centralizing the data using a modern data warehouse also minimizes latency, allowing data and analytics teams to be more agile and productive. They now have the freedom to experiment with novel questions that may improve the success of Customer 360 projects without the worry of disrupting key processes. A modern data warehouse also assists marketing companies in retaining essential personnel by freeing data scientists and analysts of time-consuming “data munging” procedures, allowing them to focus on higher-impact work.
Centralizing the data and having a 360 view of customer data is an ambitious but attainable objective, and B2C marketers must keep their data teams motivated and satisfied to achieve progress that justifies growing levels of investment.
Why Should you Bring Data Together?
With all the effort required, you may wonder, “Why am I doing this in the first place?”
Here are some practical ways that combining data to allow a 360-degree consumer picture might benefit your company.
Orients you Towards Problem Solving
Different departments or divisions, such as sales, marketing, customer service, and finance, each have their own data sets to examine.
As a result, when they utilize their data to answer organizational questions (such as “Why is this happening?” or “What do we need to do to reverse this trend?”), people from various groups waste time disputing the data’s quality rather than finding solutions.
Destructing disconnected data silos can serve as the basis for a cultural transformation. So that when complex problems occur, there is widespread faith in the data. With consolidated data, business executives can spend more time developing solutions and resolving critical issues.
Connects Investment to Outcomes
Companies spend to expand their operations. But how can they know what’s driving growth if the systems that track those investments aren’t, for example, connected to the systems that measure sales and other business outcomes?
Marketing departments must finish the loop to determine which investments generate leads that convert to sales. However, that is not the sole use. Organizations should also integrate data to draw the connections between business results and investments in product management, account management, and customer support to identify which essential actions and milestones contribute to success.
Improves Customer Experience
Today, the customer experience is everything. And data silos fragment the customer experience. With increasing customer touchpoints, the situation will almost certainly worsen before it improves.
A typical data resource is essential for ensuring that your employees and teams communicate with consumers in a way that represents all of their experiences with your company. Is a specific customer’s support ticket known to sales? Is marketing aware that the client showed an interest in a specific product? Is the website chat system aware of the customer’s identity?
Unified customer data fosters cohesion from the crucial consumer perspective across all touchpoints.
Centralizing consumer data is a good plan because of the growing number of rules and regulations. For example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is slated to go into force in May, and firms that fail to comply face fines of up to 4% of their sales.
Companies must identify systems that store customer data and verify that processes and protocols are in place to fulfill the criteria for managing that personal data. Connecting apps to a centralized data warehouse aid in the solidification and automation of these operations.
Making Data Actionable: Reverse ETL
Reverse ETL supports a new paradigm known as operational analytics by democratizing access to data by feeding insights from data teams to business teams in their typical workflow so they may make better data-informed choices.
The same data that generates reports in a BI tool is “operationalized” in downstream SaaS solutions by making it accessible and actionable. Because your data warehouse – the tool you purchased to eradicate data silos — has paradoxically become a data silo. Without reverse ETL, your company’s basic definitions exist solely in the warehouse.
On top of the data warehouse, businesses are developing essential definitions in SQL, such as lifetime value, Product Qualified Lead (PQL) and Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), propensity score, customer health, ARR/MRR, funnel phases, and so on.
These insights are far more valuable if they drive the day-to-day operations of your teams in sales, marketing, finance, and other departments in the tools they use. Many companies use the reverse ETL technique to stream converted data from their cloud warehouses into CRMs, marketing automation tools, advertising platforms, customer care, ticketing systems, and Slack.
This makes enormous volumes of client data generated and kept in warehouses more available to business teams, enabling more tailored customer experiences and data-driven decision-making in the long run. Reverse ETL solutions can also convert your warehouse into a system way above a standard off-the-shelf Customer Data Platform (CDP), giving you more flexibility and control over your data.
Benefits of 360 Customer View for Different Teams
- Marketing Teams: When customers visit your website, they might click on certain ads or discounts and then click on your product or service, revealing what they are most interested in. By having a 360 view of customer data, marketing teams can simply forecast customers’ purchasing behavior and establish a proper plan for responding to their inquiries.
- Sales Teams: With 360 view of customer data, you gain a complete and up-to-date picture of our customers. You get to know the past and present behavior of the customers towards various sales activities, allowing sales managers to forecast or instead plan our future actions with ease. This will make it simpler to find or create upsell or cross-sell chances.
- Customer Support Teams: The way you respond to your customer’s queries significantly impacts the customer experience. Having a 360 view of customer data with the service agents helps them to analyze the problem and respond appropriately rapidly. This will reduce the burden on customers to explain their needs or provide details about their purchase. Armed with this, you can put your customer service skills to work to improve satisfaction, meet customers’ expectations, and reduce friction.
- Data Teams: A 360 view of customer data offers enhanced customer intelligence and superior predictive analysis. A complete picture of the customer data assists your team leaders and executives develop future business plans. You can also predict how customers will react to changing products, timelines, or campaigns with the complete picture of customer data.
How to Build 360 View of Customer Data Using Hevo Activate?
For years, data and business teams have utilized ETL/ELT to input data into their systems. They would start by collecting data from various third-party systems, cleaning it up, and storing it in data warehouses such as Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, and others. Most firms are known to dump raw data into their systems and then deal with it somehow.
Companies would use ELT (Extract, Load, Transform) to enter raw data into a data warehouse and then perform data transformation for a specific use case to reap the benefits of the data warehouse.
There is still a last-mile gap between the warehouse and frontline tools. The last-mile gap of your modern data stack is solved using reverse ETL, which allows you to migrate from your present data insights to your data systems exploiting near real-time data.
Reverse ETL may be used by businesses to obtain data in real-time and use it to inform about day-to-day operations. By synchronizing data from data warehouses to third-party platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and others, reverse ETL makes data actionable. You may build a 360 view of customer data for your company by combining ETL and Reverse ETL.
A 360 view of customer data in your business does not require you to use different platforms for ETL/ELT and reverse ETL. It is possible to accomplish this by utilizing a bidirectional data pipeline platform, such as Hevo Data.
You may use Hevo to ingest data from many sources and store it in your chosen data warehouse. Once insights have been extracted from the data, you may operationalize them by delivering them back to your application using Hevo Activate. This will provide you access to a 360 view of customer data, which was the biggest bottleneck in the decision-making process and caused a hindrance to deliver a best-in-class customer experience.
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Businesses must be able to keep up with shifting customer expectations. Customers expect a more personalized experience, and firms that fail to establish a real, human connection will suffer in the marketplace.
A 360 view of customer data may assist organizations in identifying what they did well and areas for development to create better client journeys and experiences. This helps in increasing their prospects of long-term customer retention and the creation of customer intelligence. Such strategies may be used for all digital platforms and marketing efforts to increase operational efficiency through predictive analytics and improved consumer intelligence.
Modern technologies, such as bi-directional data pipelines provided by vendors like Hevo, enable a 360 view of customer data, allowing businesses to guarantee that all parts of the customer experience are considered. No matter how little, all customer contacts are logged, resulting in a more inclusive experience that fosters loyal consumers who are more inclined to evangelize your brand and buy from you again.