When we order food through UberEats, hire a cab using Lyft, or buy an insurance online we leave behind our digital footprints with the online business we are transacting with. The more we interact with them, the more they know about us – who we are, what and when we bought, how did we buy and potentially what we would buy in the future.

These digital footprints not only helps these companies to know about their customers, their preferences, their likes and dislikes but also to devise products and services that suit their needs and to make the entire buying experience more personalized. This holistic and possibly real-time view of the customer which is aggregated based on their interactions through various touch points is what is called as Customer 360

Each customer is unique, so are their needs and wants. Whether it is a B2C or B2B business, customers expect that the companies dealing with them understand their needs and wants and provide them with just what they are looking for. Whether it is an email that the customer received through a marketing campaign or an interaction through a customer touch point, the customer expects his/her experience to be consistent, personalized, relevant and contextual.

However, businesses find it extremely challenging to aggregate data from disparate sources, derive actionable insights from those data and then provide a personalized experience to the customer. The challenges include:

  • The business enterprise systems would have been brought over a period of time. Each of those systems could have been brought to solve a specific business problem. The overall customer journey and the role the particular enterprise system would play to complete that journey would not have been well thought through when it was bought. This creates data silos within the organization. With the organizations growing it will have many branches/divisions and business units across geographies which adds to the problem
  • With the differences in the way each system handles data there is a possibility of same data being represented in different ways in different systems (for eg. date of birth). This issue is compounded by human errors which adds more complexities to the quality of the data.
  • With technology available to extract insights from all types of data, companies end up aggregating structured, semi-structured and unstructured customer related data from various sources which throw challenges related to extraction and processing
  • With every action and interaction being tracked, it would need huge storage and processing capabilities to handle these large volumes of varied data. This sometime raises concerns about the cost incurred vs benefit realized

CUSTOMER 360 – A practical solution 

An organization that values data as an asset needs to implement an enterprise-wide data management and governance framework. While designing the data management architecture for creating a 360 degree view of the customer, it is important to note the following:

  • Create a clear understanding of the end goal for which the data is collected
  • Determine the right source for each type of data that is going to be collected
  • Outline the data extraction strategy for each of the data source, including the quantity and quality of data, the frequency at which it has to be collected, the extent to which it has to be collected and stored.
  • Define the data access privileges for each type of data

Customer 360 has a wide range of applications including real-time micro-segmentation, targeted marketing, account based marketing, next best action recommendation, personalization, customer retention, sentiment analysis, determining customer lifetime value, providing personalized customer support and many more.

Read: A Guide to Improving Customer Experience

Knowing the customer has always been extremely important to design the right kind of products and services and delivering them to the satisfaction of the customer. Modern businesses understand that the key to customer acquisition and retention is to build the right brand image and associate that brand image with a delightful CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE throughout the customer lifecycle. Customer 360 provides all required insights and intelligence to provide that right experience.

About the Author,

Raju Velayudhan
Raju Velayudhan is the Director of Digital Solutions at Suyati Technologies. He has 17 years of experience working with enterprise clients and has played integral roles in their digitization, digitalization and digital transformation initiatives. He has an MPhil and an MBA, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Emotion AI. At Suyati, he delivers digital solutions for varied industries such as manufacturing, retail, insurance and education. He believes in what he calls an Humanistic IT Solutions approach, which places the user first when designing technology solutions. Connect with the author on LinkedIn

09 Oct 2018