360˚ view of the customer..
The term "360˚ view of the customer" is widely used term across the industry for several years. I thought of doing some research on this term and write this blog in continuation to my earlier blog on 'Engage customers through social channels' (http://www.infosysblogs.com/thought-floor/2012/09/digital_transformation_engage_.html), and also due to the fact that I have heard this term as a key requirement in most of the digital transformation presales engagements I have been with, and in actual execution I have seen many business and IT folks struggling to achieve this requirement, as there is no single tool or platform which will help the organizations achieve the 360˚ view of the customer in complete sense.
What exactly does it mean - It is a holistic approach to provide an enterprise with a full picture of its customers in order to
· Enhance the customer experience
· Provide better customer service and support
· Improve the company's sales and marketing initiatives to better target those customers.
· Making customer interactions efficient and effective
· More sales by achieving higher conversion, satisfaction, retention and acquisition rates
A true 360˚ view needs to include customer views of the past, present and future covering all the channels (web, mobile, stores, on delivery etc.) the company operates in.
· The past provides a meaningful and an easily digested view of the customer's history which includes customer browsing history, product or service purchase transactions, interaction history across all channels including community, forums, social media etc., recent product views, campaign activity and process history etc.
· The present is to understand, why the customer is interacting with us now? It is also about determining the context of the conversation/interaction specific to that channel and ensure that the communication is seamless and effective for the customer as well as for the organization.
· The future is all about the actions that can be initiated to guide the future of the relationship. Can we expect conversion from this customer? Are there up-sell or cross-sell opportunities or targeted messages and campaigns to bring in at this time of interaction with the customer?
Delivering on the 360˚ view is not as simple, about having a unified database of all activity, but rather being able to pull together the pieces of information that are relevant for a specific customer and for a specific interaction. By creating a 360˚ view of their customers, Best-in-Class companies increase customer satisfaction and retention. And of course, satisfied customers translates to increasing their share of the "customer's wallet," new account acquisition and improvement of bottom-line results.
The 360˚ view of the customer has become a common phrase with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution providers. While these solutions can provide a majority of the account information needed to understand customer profile and track and manage customer communication, but it is still missing an element of predictive analytics. Similarly, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions give companies an operational system of record of the business transactions data to complete the customer view. ERP and CRM solutions are becoming more closely intertwined in order to satisfy the growing informational needs of more constituents within the organization, from marketing, sales, and service, to design and delivery of product and services, to finance, administration, and senior management. The 360˚ view of the customer platform should take every source and form of customer-related data - structured, unstructured and event-related; cleanse it, synchronize it and integrate it to produce a complete analysis of each customer/customer segments. It should have demographic, customer behavior, marketing, sales and product information and should include a record of all customer interactions and have event information relating to each customer (such as being unable to purchase the service due to poor search relevance). It should have sentiment and influencer analysis. It should have metrics that relate to both efficiency (how many clicks/visits lead to the purchase or product view ) and effectiveness (how much new business they generated individually and through recommendations). It should include historic, current and predictive analysis. In short, 360˚ view of the customer should have everything about the customer.
Snapshot for 360˚ view of the customer :
· Identity: name, location, gender, age, status, income, preferences etc.
· Current activity: orders, faults, deliveries, etc.
· History: contacts, campaigns, processes, cases across all lines of business and channels.
· Value: which products or services they are associated with, including history.
· Relationships: influence, connections, associations.
· Flags: prompts to give context, e.g. churn propensity, up-sell options, fraud risk, mood of last interactions, fault record, frequency of contact etc.
· Actions: expected, likely or essential actions based on who they are and the fact they are interacting now.
The 360˚ view of the customer initiative for an organization should focus on:
· Customer focus and Context Judgment - Your view of the customer should take the customer into account. While it's a good business sense to maintain customer relationships by personalizing and customizing your interactions, responding to your customers' specific needs first, is more important than applying industry best practices, which may not always apply. It's this attitude--not marketing campaigns or special offers--that will eventually turn prospects into loyal customers. Customer profiles should be based on customer needs, not on your company taxonomy.
· Customer Profiles - Ask your customers what they think is important for you to know about them. You can build customer profiles by following individuals on social media. Most people will gladly provide much of the information you need, as long as they see the value in doing so. You need to reassure them that the information will be used to their advantage. When they do provide information, make sure you know what they want you to do with it. (And, of course, you need to give people the option to easily opt out.)
· Customer Segmentation and Targeting - Once you know what your prospects want, do not bombard all potential customers with general promotional messages--as you're likely to lose their interest. You should target only those prospects interested in what you have to offer. As for existing customers, you should use level of satisfaction as the criterion by which to target them; an unhappy customer will be unlikely to want to buy from you, no matter how tempting your offer may be.
· Unified Multi-channel Customer data - Your business software solutions that contain multi-channel customer data needs to be integrated so that you can have a single version of the truth. This also simplifies data management and analysis. Try to monitor your customers on social media and include your findings in their profile, along with the enterprise data.
Ultimately, the 360˚ customer view is the very least that a customer expects of an organization. They are not concerned with the internal departmental, line of business, political or system silos that all businesses have. Customers simply see it as one enterprise; it is vital that organizations see them and serve them just as clearly; this is a basic foundation for delivering a good customer experience. Organizations can build and enhance the 360-degree view of the customer by creating customer communities and forums, developing social media initiatives, using feedback gathering processes and tools, analyzing companies interactions with the customers, as well as the interactions between them, and re-engineering business processes to be more flexible and responsive to customer needs.