Why Understanding Your Customer Is Critical to Improving Customer Experience

April 22, 2020

Why Understanding Your Customer Is Critical to Improving Customer Experience

Consumers today want their favorite brands to deliver experiences and offers tailored to their unique interests. But many brands are running into a significant roadblock on their route to achieving true 1:1 personalization: the ability to get an aggregated, real-time consistent and holistic view of data about their customers.

Brands may have a lot of customer data, collected from a variety of sources, such as loyalty programs, demographics, surveys, web analytics and customer service or sales analytics. But the problem is that all of this information doesn’t reside in one place. It’s often siloed in legacy systems used in different ways, and at different times, by IT, data science, sales, marketing and other teams within the organization. The inability to see all data in one, easily accessible place creates challenges and disconnects across the brand, and impacts their ability to deliver the personalized experience consumers demand.

Some companies have attempted to gain a holistic view of their customers. One way is to create a single customer view (SCV), through data integration projects like building a data warehouse. But those don’t go far enough. Even though a data warehouse “also collects high volumes of structured and unstructured data, it does not necessarily need to match to a customer and will not go through the necessary cleansing and enhancement process that is so key to the SCV,” according to the eBook, "The Ultimate Guide to Single Customer View."

The eBook noted that an SCV is responsible for several functions, including:

  • Extracting, transforming and loading data from various sources, and preparing it in a standardized format
  • Removing inaccuracies and cleansing the data to provide the most trustworthy insights, which ultimately enable brands to make the best and most well-informed marketing decisions
  • Merging duplicate customer information from different silos
  • Centralizing data from online and offline channels to provide a refined, comprehensive view of each customer
  • Combining with marketing technologies to visualize and analyze data at speed to identify target audiences

How to Improve Customer Experience With a Single View of the Customer

Having an SCV gives brands numerous advantages.

#1 - Streamlines Processes

First, it streamlines internal processes. By having all customer data and interactions in one place, brands can more quickly and accurately answer questions, provide support, solve problems and offer recommendations, which enhances the customer experience.

#2 - Improves Targeting

Second, an SCV improves targeting. It helps brands go beyond segmentation, or microsegmentation, to achieve true 1:1 personalization, which we call Stage 3 of Personalization. Unifying customer data across all internal systems and capturing each individual’s activities across all channels in real time enables an SCV to provide insights that allow brands to deliver the best offers to customers, and fine-tune them over time.

#3 - Provides Insights to Enhance Customer Interactions

Third, an SCV can pinpoint what steps the customer took that led it to finally buy a product. Tracking these interactions – whether it’s on social media, pay per click advertising, traditional marketing, in-store promotions or other touch points – helps brands understand the customer journey, and what factors ultimately motivates them to take the desired actions and to inform how to best engage with them in the future.

Creating a holistic view of your customer is one of the six steps that brands must take to succeed in a customer experience strategy and reach the pinnacle of 1:1 personalization. To learn more, download our latest white paper, "The CX Effect: Why Marketers Need to be More Customer Centric."