Blockers and Solutions to Getting a 360-Degree View of Your Customers

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In this blog we take a view on what are the blockers and solutions to getting a 360-degree view of your customers.

According to a recent Gartner survey of 402 marketing, IT and other enterprise leaders responsible for customer data initiatives from May to July 2021, only 14% of organisations have achieved a 360-degree view of their customers. However, 82% of respondents said they still aspire to attain this goal.

In the same survey, Gartner discovered that organisations that have achieved a 360-degree view of their customers share some notable hallmarks that all organisations should keep in mind. These include:

  • Create a consensus on what a 360-degree view means
  • Overcome data quality issues
  • Implement a cross-functional governance structure for customer data

The survey also revealed that those who had achieved a 360-degree view were more likely to say they were motivated to improve product features. This suggests that successful organisations invest in product innovation that can create meaningful customer value in exchange for data collection.

Create a consensus on what a 360-degree view means

It’s the ever-present challenge to rationalise numerous customer touchpoints; emails, complaints, purchases, clicks, invoices, conversations and much more, into something coherent and comprehensive. The ability to capture data from every possible touchpoint and refine this to singular insights about your customers is the Holy Grail for many organisations.

A 360-degree view of your customers may mean different things to different departments. Customer services may want to see previous issues and product information, sales will want toreview purchase history, spending patterns and pipeline information, marketing would like to analyse product preferences, review customer website activity and email marketing interactions and so on. Building a cross-department consensus as to what a 360-degree view of customers means to the organisation is a crucial step in any CRM implementation and needs to be regularly visited over time to ensure that data collected, reported and analysed continues to be fit for purpose.

Overcome data quality issues

A 360-degree view of customers is critical to ensuring that teams are engaging with customers in a way that reflects all of their interactions with the organisation. Is sales aware of a particular customer’s support ticket? Does marketing know that the customer expressed interest in a certain product? Does the website chat system know who the customer is? Unified customer data creates cohesiveness from the all-important customer perspective across all of those touchpoints.

Below are just a few areas where data quality issues become a blocker to a successful 360-degree customer view.

  • Conflicting data across different systems
  • Inconsistent data formats
  • No common identifier across systems
  • Duplicate data
  • Missing Data

Data analysis is the key to success in today’s fast-changing post pandemic world, but organisations need accurate and comprehensive data to fuel their analytics projects. Data is quickly becoming every organisation’s most valuable asset, and to get the most value out of that asset, you have to be able to share and integrate it across applications, groups and departments in the organisation.

A unified source for customer information can serve as a building block for success. It not only provides a better customer experience and supports the UK Data Protection Act 2018 & UK GDPR compliance — the growth of your organisation may rely on it.

Implement a cross-functional governance structure for customer data

Whilst some organisations may have specific people or groups designated as data owners, the overall management and maintenance of data needs to be a cross-functional responsibility that involves everyone who uses it. Data owners should make sure that governance is working, data quality is improving, and the organisation is getting maximum value from its data. If data owners are treated as housekeepers, whose job is to clean up the data created by users, you’ll find yourself with systems that fall short on refining processes and improving the way people work.

We strongly believe that data governance is essential for increasing the value of data within any organisation. Gartner recommends a list of several data governance best practices when implementing a CRM.

  1. Align data governance to specific business outcomes – This can be done by laying out attributable business metrics to stakeholders who work with data. Data governance decisions should reference both business and data metrics while relating those decisions to business goals.
  2. Ensure a data governance strategy is rooted in accountability – It is best to start with evaluating the current accountability model your company follows for data governance. Compare that model with the way your data decisions are currently made in your organisation, and then understand why you do so. Create a centralised team or person responsible for data governance in your organisation. Work with internal stakeholders to agree on an approach to data governance. Work with tools to deploy your data governance model that works for both systems and people. Review regularly.
  3. Ensure data governance operations are transparent and ethical – Your governance operating procedures should be connected to the principles of your digital ethics, which are clear and are communicated throughout the organisation. When it comes to data governance, it is important to be as transparent as possible with your customers and to gather consent before tracking their information.
  4. Train employees involved in data governance to improve their efficiency – For data governance to be effective within your organisation, employees should know what to do, why it needs to be done, how to do it, and, most importantly, want to do it. This especially becomes important when it comes to setting up tracking in a consistent way across your organisation.
  5. Create a collaborative data governance environment for your organisation – Data owners should be brought into collaborative data governance initiatives across the organisation. To make data governance a collaborative task, it is best to assist employees in understanding the role they play in data governance.

In this blog post we’ve highlighted a few key blockers and solutions to getting a 360-degree view of your customers. If you would like to discuss your challenges and how ViewPointCRM can help your organisation, please get in touch with our expert team today or book a demo.