February 1, 2016

Ten key reasons why developing a single customer view (SCV) is an essential for marketers


And eight criteria for selecting technology to provide an SCV


Ten key reasons
1. It’s green!
By bringing together all your records in an SCV you will reduce the number of ‘customers’ in your systems. This in turn reduces mailing and other customer communications costs. We often experience duplicates within customer systems amounting to 20% or more.

2. Delivering a consistent customer experience across on-line and off-line channels
Customers require consistent service however they contact an organisation or the organisation contacts them; customers expect to be remembered, and their previous history of purchases, enquiries, accounts, consents, loyalty points, browsing interests etc. should all be taken into account when decisions are made about what to offer them through digital and non-digital channels. Hence the SCV needs to knit together all the information available at a customer level.

3. Marketers need to maintain customer consents at a customer not a channel level
The forthcoming EU Data Protection Regulation will require organisations to hold at a very detailed level information about opt-ins and opt-outs including the dates and circumstances in which they were provided. These consents may be provided via the website or for instance on a paper form. The EU Legislation expects these to be matched up at a customer level.

4. Providing a single source of customer data for reporting across all departments
A shared SCV enables consistent customer reports. We have come across very large organisations who overstate their customer numbers by 20% or more because they don’t hold a single customer view. Customer reports are crucial for evaluating the impacts of marketing on recruitment, cross sell and attrition. This information can then be distributed internally via dashboards.

5. Responding to customer triggers
Customer triggers are crucial for CRM. Some organisations like banks can have multiple pre-set triggers that come alive when a customer behaves in a specific way (e.g. deposits or withdraws a large sum of money).
A customer record may for instance show a birthday looming, whilst a call centre record may contain a recent complaint. It may be time to deal with the complaint and forget the birthday card!

6. Making selections for outbound campaigns
Selecting customers for campaigns is a larger scale version of the trigger problem; pushing the right message out but in great volume.
Campaign selections must be made on the basis of a consistent and complete customer view. Customers whose transactional records show for instance a likelihood of attrition need to have differential treatment to those identified for an upsell. Also it is important to understand the level of historic contacts made across all channels when deciding whether or not to communicate with a customer. Without this knowledge of contact density customers can rapidly become upset.

7. Analysis of content viewed by customers can be key to pushing out the right digital message
If you have multiple linked or associated web-sites, each customer visiting multiple sites needs to be identified by Cookie ID as they flip from one to the other.
Few organisations do content analysis well, but at least linking obvious content interests over time will allow a picture to develop of what a customer might be looking for.

8. Developing customer insights like a segmentation code or a future value score
With an SCV in place, it is feasible to build an analytical data mart or ADM. This is a consistent store of customer data where each customer may be recognised by a single row in a table. The ADM can provide a stable environment in which to build customer insight and apply scores. The ADM will hold several engineered fields like customer tenure or historic value, as well as ‘simple’ fields like gender or DOB.
The insight built inside an ADM should take account of browser activity as well as past transactions

9. Customer based planning
Often driven by investor reporting considerations, but also by the need to plan for metrics like market share and customer acquisition, it is essential to know the volumes of current customers; these may be then described within an RFM categorisation or other form of segmentation.
An SCV enables customer counts by these criteria as well as by geography, demographics, and if required, through importing external variables for further descriptive analysis.

10. Responding to subject access requests
Customers have a legal entitlement to be informed of all the data you know about them wherever it may be held; without an SCV, responding to subject access requests can be very time consuming, expensive and the results often quite inaccurate.

Here are our eight criteria for selecting technology to provide a quality SCV

1. Ability to integrate data from on-line and off-line channels
2. Quality of the ‘digital passport’ where customer identifiers from different channels are brought together
3. Capability to update the customer record in close to real time
4. Ease of set-up and mapping of data feeds from multiple sources
5. Quality of report building and provision of dash-boards
6. Ease of making multiple campaign selections and recording contacts made
7. Capability to push digital messages
8. Development of a unified and consistent analytical data mart

We have developed our own SCV technology called UniFida which we believe satisfies all these criteria. It is available as an on-line solution.

The affordable pricing for UniFida can be viewed here: UniFida price list