Do you remember the time when CRM systems first came to market?
The excitement was at fever pitch with the notion of some great software would transform your business as relationships with prospects and customers
can now easily be built, subsequently growing your revenues exponentially.
20 years later we can reflect on how well these projects delivered on the original vision. In reality, many projects failed to deliver the promise of Single Customer View, not because the concept was wrong, but because implementations are so much more than just software.
It’s also about how your business engaged with customers, your internal processes being replicated in a new application, the ability for IT to deploy a CRM solution, how well business users where engaged in the process, how well senior management understood the new technology, and so on.
And we come full-circle now, with all these elements recognised as just as important, if not more important than just the software; and now we know how to manage each of these factors.
Now we are in a world where data has a massive impact on the success of a Single Customer View. Actually, it always had a massive impact, but we just didn’t know it. Seemingly other factors seemed more important back then and data had a lower priority.
The best companies manage their data very well and know how essential it is to have good data in a Single Customer environment.
With social media and other advances in internet marketing, having an accurate and current view of every prospect and customer is vital.
Look how well Amazon performs by targeting everyone as an individual.
You can’t have an effective Single Customer View without having good data.
In this post, we look at 6 reasons why you need a Single Customer View and how data affects each of these reasons.
Campaigning to data that resides in multiple places will result in campaigns either not reaching all possible prospects/customers or reaching them more than once.
With multiple data sources you may find yourself sending multiple campaigns or merging data every time you perform a campaign.
In either scenario, time is being wasted and results not tracked correctly.
Having all your data in one place enables efficient marketing and allows you to concentrate on higher value activities like campaign design or
The key is to have clean data with no duplicates all stored in one place.
This is one of my favourite reasons why a single customer view is so vital. In the world of sales, we’ve all seen sales people purposefully create
customer records even if there are 5 different versions of the same customer on the system.
They do this to protect their commission. If they declared the opportunity for an existing account then they are likely to have to pass the opportunity to the salesperson who owns that account (a process not always followed when sales pressure is on.)
The end result is duplicate accounts are created comprising all reporting and business intelligence activities.
Not to mention having multiple account managers for the same account creates confusion for the customer and conflict for the salespeople.
Potentially a bigger business opportunity is lost.
3. Accurate Business Intelligence
Using Amazon as an example of a company with a Single Customer View, there are able to know so much about us. How we buy, where we buy, what our interests are, and so on.
Now if all these systems where separate and didn’t talk to each other, they would not be able to market to us individually or as precisely as they do, and most certainly would not have been as successful.
Amazon have a complete 360 degree view of a customer because their data had a single view.
It’s not enough these days to just know WHO our customers are, but we need real intelligence to engage with them and generate leads. With multiple data sources, the issue of unclean data, duplicates will never provide a clean view of what your customers are all about.
4. Accurate Reporting
From directors to managers, they all rely on reports to make intelligent decisions. But if the report itself is based on incorrect data or data in multiple sources, then the report become meaningless.
The most basic business question: How many customers do you have? Often has an incorrect answer for most companies.
Every database I’ve seen has duplicate data, hence having multiple records of the same customer will give you the wrong answer. Very few organisations are likely to answer this fundamental question accurately.
In fact, finance systems tend to be more accurate, as contact details are required for invoicing.
Having a single application for all your data is less expensive and simpler for you compared to having data in multiple areas.
- Less hardware required for holding applications
- Training required on only one application
- Users learning only one set of processes
- Less technical support staff required
- And so on.
Economies of scale come into play everywhere with a Single Customer View, making your business less complex and more profitable.
Effective marketers are often working on a niche marketing approach i.e. take a segment of the data and campaign to them with the correct messages.
If your organisation is working with multiple sources of data, segmentation is very difficult indeed and in some cases virtually impossible.
Targeting your data effectively again comes down to having a 360 degree view of your customer. Sometimes the bigger the company, the harder it becomes to really understand your customer base.
By having clean, accurate and current data can you really take advantage of a Single Customer View and all the benefits it brings.
Often, data is cleansed and corrected at the time of a new Single Customer View deployment, but as time passes, data quality decays and users complain about the CRM application being less useful. In fact, it’s the data that’s becoming less useful. CRM application do not become less useful, they become out dated with new technological advances or new ways of working. It’s the data that must be maintained.
Based on hundreds of Single Customer View projects we have a methodology that gives you a real single view. So, if you require advice or help with your Single Customer View project, then contact us.