The days of businesses simply offering up goods and services to consumers are long behind us. Now, in order to gain loyalty and support the customer lifecycle, companies must have as deep an understanding of customer preferences as possible, and leverage these insights to enable an experiential relationship with buyers.
However, this level of 360-degree view is something that many organizations have struggled to achieve. It’s become more of a buzzword, but with the right tools and strategies, businesses can work toward a better understanding of their client audience and the elements needed to support their experience.
“The customer experience should be more than transactional.”
Defining the 360-degree view
First things first, we must define this concept, as it’s about much more than just customer preferences. While these surely play an important role, TechTarget’s Margaret Rouse explained that the 360-degree customer view involves getting “a complete view of customers by aggregating data from the various touchpoints that a customer may use to contact a company to purchase products and receive service and support.”
Gathering and analyzing this data can tell a business a lot about those that currently make purchases, as well as those that might connect with the brand, but abandon before converting. As the Digital Marketing Institute pointed out, having an in-depth view of the customer journey and understanding other demographic details about them can enable a company to push its customer experience from just transactional to experiential.
What’s included in this customer outlook?
This particular view of the customer will change from company to company and client to client, as brands support different touchpoints across the buyer journey and consumers have their own, individual preferences.
However, as the Digital Marketing Institute pointed out, a successful 360-degree customer view can encompass elements like:
- Purchase history, as well as interaction history and the ways in which each customer used different touchpoints on their journey through purchase completion.
- Recent product views, including items that the customer did not purchase.
- Campaign history, and the marketing elements used to reach out to the customer.
- Current demographic information.
- Any customer service interactions, both positive and negative.
- Analysis that could help map out future needs, such as products to recommend, upsell or cross-sell opportunities, or marketing efforts that would best connect with the customer’s unique preferences.
How to achieve a 360-degree view
This level of insight into the customer journey and consumer preferences comes with a nearly endless list of benefits, including the ability to capitalize on upsells and ensure that marketing dollars are spent in the best manner possible.
However, as Gartner discovered, less than 10 percent of businesses have been able to achieve a full-fledged, 360-degree view of the customer, and only about 5 percent leverage this information in a way that supports company growth.
“[A]chieving a 360-degree view requires all hands on deck,” the Digital Marketing Institute noted. “Organizations first must commit to developing customer-facing teams and start tracking structured and unstructured data. Then everyone from marketing to sales to customer service has a stake in capturing, analyzing, and responding to the data.”
With the right tools in place, including a robust order management system that comes equipped with customer database management features, businesses can further their efforts toward a true, 360-degree view of their customers. To find out more, connect with us at SFG today.