There’s a reason why enterprises from all industries prioritize “Know Your Customer” best practices. It’s because they know that customer knowledge is at the heart of great day-to-day work and long-term success.
But those best practices include more than just remembering a person’s name and some details about their business. That’s just the basic stuff you need to make the sale.
Instead, a comprehensive customer management strategy, especially in today’s digital environment, goes beyond the simple details. A robust customer relationship is experiential. It’s a complete picture, from beginning to end, of the customer journey, with touchpoints at every stage.
That’s why we call it the “360-degree customer view.”
What is a 360-degree customer view?
A 360-degree customer view encompasses every part of the customer journey. You see the past, present, and future of your company’s relationship with a customer. This is the starting point for what makes an organization’s customer interactions experiential rather than just transactional.
Companies can obtain a comprehensive view of their customers by leveraging data from various sources. This helps them access customers’ account information quickly, understand their priorities and preferences, and anticipate their future needs.
But despite the importance of truly knowing your customers, the practice is not yet widespread. According to Gartner, fewer than 10 percent of companies have a 360-degree customer view, and only about 5 percent are able to use this view to systemically grow their businesses. But those 5 percent definitely enjoy a competitive advantage.
Here are four ways in which having a 360-degree customer view gives your business an edge.
1. Enhanced customer intelligence
A 360-degree view drives your customer management strategy by providing a more complete picture of customer activities and priorities.
Too many strategy discussions are limited by “recency bias.” Sales reps or managers often discuss strategy by referencing a single piece of information: their most recent call with the customer. But that call was nothing but a moment in time. It’s hardly a complete picture of the individual’s history with your company.
Customer relationship management software offers a great solution for tracking all touchpoints throughout the customer’s lifetime. By using a CRM, your team can focus on the big picture:
- What is the customer’s purchase history?
- Do they communicate with your company on social media?
- Have they opened any service tickets? If so, what were their concerns?
- Can you gain any insights from their emails?
In addition, by ensuring that every person in your business is getting their information from the same source, your interactions with customers will be consistent across the entire team.
2. Superior predictive analysis
It’s not just about what your customer has done — it’s also about where they’re going. Since your CRM provides enhanced customer intelligence, you can use this data to drive predictive analytics.
It’s about taking that complete picture of the customer’s situation — drawing on their accounts, transactions, priorities and service calls — and predicting where they’re headed and what they’ll need in the future. As such, your sales reps can anticipate and act upon opportunities for re-ordering, upgrades, and cross-selling.
Predictive analytics are also beneficial in helping your team leaders and executives develop sophisticated strategies. If you’re trying to forecast how customers might respond to changing products, timelines or campaigns, you can use your 360-degree view of past customer behavior to predict their future actions.
3. Seamless customer service
Customer relationships aren’t just about sales. Service is a big part of the customer journey and each customer’s happiness.
A prudent company doesn’t prepare for the “if” moment — the possibility that a customer might need help making their product run smoothly. Instead, the smart ones prepare for the “when” moment — the reality that there will be times when they must jump into action to address concerns or difficulties.
How you handle those challenging calls makes all the difference to the customer’s experience. That’s why a 360-degree view is essential. Don’t make your customers do any extra work to explain their needs or provide details about their purchase. Instead, give your service agents the tools they need to assess the situation quickly and respond competently.
Landing a customer is important for starting a business, but keeping them coming back is the secret to long-term success. Well-timed and informative communications are at the heart of building those ongoing customer relationships.
This is another opportunity to leverage the power of
No matter what your business does, it’s important to truly know the people you’re serving. That’s why it’s crucial to look beyond the day-to-day interactions. By developing a 360-degree view of your customers, you can deliver amazing experiences while setting yourself up for long-term success.