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Getting a 360-degree view of customers: What companies need to know

Information like buying habits can give organizations a better idea of their customers'  preferences.

Business leaders understand how important their relationships with their customers are for the future of their companies. Without loyal and happy consumers, organizations would struggle to survive in the marketplace and within their industry. Executives implement a number of tools and resources to provide better interactions with their audience, from mobile optimization to the ability to store credit card information.

Companies always strive for more data about their clientele. In fact, organizations can never have enough information in this regard, as it lends itself to continuously improving business practices and processes. Getting a 360-degree view of their consumers is a critical step for executives. Let's take a look at how organizations can do just that:

Companies need to pull information from a number of sources to get a well-rounded picture of their consumers.Companies need to pull information from a number of sources to get a well-rounded picture of their customers.

The definition
Although it's sometimes considered unattainable – as it depends on customers to share as much data as humanly possible – compiling a 360-degree view of a consumer requires businesses to pull information together from a variety of touch points clients may use to not only contact an organization, but to purchase goods and services, according to TechTarget.

This can be a challenging process, utilizing a number of technological systems and programs to pull off the feat. SFG has a breakdown of how can get as close to the 360-degree view as possible:

Introduce a software-as-a-service element
Companies use many methods to gather feedback from consumers about products they use. It's important for business leaders to understand how people interact with their services, as well as how successful their offerings are. One strong way to gain this insight is to introduce a SaaS sales model, also known as a subscription or membership strategy. Not only will this tool give organizations a clear idea if clients are enjoying their membership – depending on whether they continue or cancel their subscription – but the online platform delivers large quantities of data on a regular basis.

With these materials, companies can gain a more real picture of how, when and why a particular good or service is used as well as the amount of value people are obtaining from their purchase, according to Forbes.

"Businesses can learn a lot from the comments and reviews people post online."

Be a social media troll
Today, almost everyone is connected to the internet via social media profiles. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or Instagram, consumers have constant access to their subscriptions and products at their fingertips – as well as a means of informing companies when they like or dislike what clients are purchasing. Posting comments, reviews and more to online sites is a common occurrence and it's crucial for businesses to stay ahead of these posts. Failing to respond to an angry product mention efficiently could lead to a loss of not only the customer who sent the message, but others who don't see a timely response. Companies should designate a team to handle social media accounts. That way, organizations can aggregate information from these profiles to better complete the 360-degree view of their clientele.

Be cognizant of customer history
Does a customer frequently call with questions about his or her membership? Did the consumer cancel their subscription only to come back later? How did the client pay for products and services?

All of these questions, and many more, yield information organizations can use to their advantage to better understand their customers. Business leaders need to remain on top of consumers' histories, introducing helpful software to manage this data and much more. With a single platform to contain all the materials concerning a person's relationship with a company, executives can get a gauge on what elements of their businesses are truly working – and which ones need to be altered for stronger results.

SFG offers companies a variety of tools they can use to gain a 360-degree view of their clientele. From business intelligence and analytics to database management and beyond, SFG's resources ensure organizations not only maintain – but improve – their relationships with their customers.

Gaining a full understanding of their consumers is no easy task for business leaders. Luckily, they don't have to complete the process by themselves. By introducing helpful software that aggregates data from a number of sources, businesses can attain the unattainable. 

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