With so much data related to customer demographics, purchasing history and other preferences available to companies, brands are doing all they can to learn as much about their target consumer audience as possible. Many are leveraging strategies that provide them a single view of their customers, but what does this really mean and what benefits can an approach like this provide?
Single view of the customer: Explained
As Econsultancy contributor Christopher Ratcliff noted, the idea of a single view of the customer emerged alongside multi- and omni-channel strategies. As brands reached out and interacted with their customers across an array of channels and platforms, details pertaining to these consumers became increasingly scattered.
"Of course this makes things very complicated for customer service teams," Ratcliff wrote. "Consumers hop across various channels in order to carry out even the simplest of tasks … As far as customers are concerned, they are dealing with a single company, whether online, in a shop or via social, and therefore consistency is expected."
The single view of the customer – which enables brands to identify customers and their related brand interactions across every available channel, and aggregate all of this data into a single database for further analysis – was born out of this need for consistency.
"A single view of the customer offers companies an array of benefits."
What happens when brands achieve a single view?
While an advanced strategy – like identifying and capturing details from every customer interaction – requires the right technological tools and expertise, getting to this level enables businesses to reap a few key benefits:
1) Keep a finger on the pulse of customer preferences
Knexus reported that even when brands work to continually update their customer profiles, about one out of every 10 of these will be outdated within three months. This is because consumer preferences change all the time, according to an array of seasonal, cyclical and other factors. And it's imperative for brands to keep up, improve their customer service and offer relevant recommendations. One of the only ways to maintain this pace is through a single view of the customer.
With the right tools and systems in place, data can be captured and profiles updated automatically. In this way, the information in the customer database is always as up to date and pertinent as possible.
2) Enhance recommendations and consumer targeting
One of the top demands among shoppers today is a need for improved personalization. Brands can achieve this – and boost their profits in the process – by offering up the perfect product recommendation or promotion at just the right time. A single view of the customer will help brands see exactly where shoppers are in their customer lifecycle, and can ensure that the product recommendations and sales or deals offered align with current preferences and buying stages.
3) Boost customer loyalty and profits
A brand that consistently works to understand its customers and provide tailored merchandise and services that align with their needs will quickly differentiate themselves from the competition. At the same time, the company will increase loyalty among its repeat customers, and drive up profits.
To find out how your organization can achieve this single view of your customers, connect with the experts at SFG today.