What is a single customer view

| | Data
Stephen Schneekloth 2

A Single Customer View (SCV) is an aggregated summary of a customer’s interactions, transactions and relationships with an organisation. Having access to a Single Customer View allows organisations to make more informed decisions, provide better customer service, and personalise future marketing communications based on past behaviour. In the UK, maintaining a Single Customer View is also now mandatory for banks and other financial institutions.

Many organisations today hold data in several systems, with different departments often operating in “silos” with limited or no integration.  Over time this disconnection leads to data discrepancies, hampering an organisation’s ability to provide effective customer service or deliver targeted marketing campaigns.  In general, the more separate databases and legacy IT systems that an organisation uses, the more difficult it is to achieve a Single Customer View due to the complexity involved in aggregating the data.

A Single Customer View Explained

A single customer view (SCV) brings together all the information you have on your customers from across the disparate business units into one central place, giving you a complete view of your customers and making your database far more manageable and maintainable.

A Marketing Director without a single customer view can find it nearly impossible to get the right segmentation of data to plan future campaigns or track campaign effectiveness. A Sales Manager that does not have a single customer view to see what he or she has bought, where issues have arisen and what is missing for his or her key accounts. This makes it very difficult for the Sales Manager to plan their next move.

Without visibility into a single customer view of all sales, marketing, customer service and all enterprise data, how will you know what’s working, what’s not and how you’re going to improve?

Why would I need a Single Customer View

Often the way firms collect data on their customers is through a variety of sources; speaking to customers over the phone, taking enquiries through the web or meeting them in person. Information on customers may then be held across different locations making it difficult to get a complete view of the customer.

There are many ways to talk about the benefits of achieving a single customer view. More and more businesses are investing in the collection of customer data, either within a CRM application, or a vast array of ERP systems, to achieve of a single customer view. But these investments often don’t meet expectations (or simply fail) when they fail to connect the data they collate into a single, consolidated master record.

Being able to see all the information you hold on a customer at once allows you to target them more effectively through a great understanding and in doing so, increase ROI. For example, a single customer view will allow you to upsell and cross sell more effectively thus unlocking the low hanging fruit of revenue you could not achieve without it.

A single customer view will not only produce a valuable ROI due to improved sales; it will also sharpen your customer service capabilities and marketing performance monitoring. A customer service team with a single customer view can proactively resolve cases and propose solutions, while the marketing department can track and measure campaign performance to become an even more valuable part of your business.

A single customer view benefits organisations, allowing them to minimise costs, simplify business processes and have the strategic edge over the competition. With a 360 degree view of the customer in a single location, business can run more efficiently and effectively. Not only are companies able to better target and drive business with a higher quality of insight, they can also minimise costs by avoiding ineffective marketing tactics. Additionally, a unified view of the customer on a single interface ensures that business can run without complications when employees are out of the office, sick, or on holiday.

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