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Customer 360: Creating Authentic Experiences

George Phipps

Director of Product Marketing

Customer 360: Creating Authentic Experiences

Brands today looking to differentiate themselves in the marketplace know the key lies in providing the best customer experience possible. Consumer expectations have dramatically shifted in the past few years. Consumers now expect every experience they have with a brand to be tailored and personalized. In fact, 80% of consumers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services.

So how do brands gain actionable insights on their target demographics and cater to every customer demand?

All brands realize personalization is absolutely critical, but many are no closer to delivering better experiences than they were 2-3 years ago.

By having a 360 comprehensive view of your customer purchasing journey brands are now able to quickly understand consumer trends and behavior and improve their overall experience.

This invaluable concept of customer 360 — enables brands to leverage data (known and unknown data sources) and digital technologies to make smarter, data-driven business decisions. The concept of customer 360 can be put into practice with targeted initiatives that utilize the solutions made possible by digital transformation.

How can leverage a comprehensive customer 360 put it into action?

We Now Live In An Experience Economy

Why is this?

For too long, brands have looked internally to solve this problem (e.g. digital transformation initiatives), rather than focusing on the needs of their customers. This can lead to brands having no idea what type of experiences customers actually find valuable versus annoying. In order to compete and win in this new economy, it is critical for brands to access and act on all their customer data with maximum speed, agility, and intelligence.

A common barrier to customer-centricity is the lack of a customer-centric organizational culture. At most companies, the culture remains product-focused or sales-driven, while customer-centricity is considered a priority only for certain functions such as success, support, and marketing. To successfully implement a customer-centric strategy and operating model, a company must have a culture that aligns with them — and leaders who deliberately cultivate the necessary mindset and values in their employees.

Understanding CRM Versus Customer 360

If you’re a company that uses Salesforce, Hubspot or and marketing automation software, then you’ve undoubtedly heard of the term CRM or Customer Relationship Management. CRM’s are powerful applications for operationalizing customer information but are not the ideal solution for integrating customer data across your enterprise in real-time.

The optimal way to ingest your CRM system, and other systems of engagement, with unified and governed customer data from across your enterprise, is with a 360 view.

A CRM Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and prospects. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability but with limitations.

Alternatively, Customer 360 allows brands to build a complete and accurate picture of every customer by integrating all of each customer’s multi-structured data sourced from inside and outside your organization. A Customer 360 acts as the smart-hub that links and synchronizes and unifies customer data in the most accurate and up-to-date information from any application.

To build a customer-centric culture with a 360 focus should take the following into account.

Knowing Isn’t Enough

When creating truly personalized experiences, simply proving you know your customer is not enough—birthday emails and abandoned cart retargeting are terribly ordinary customer experiences. A recent Gartner survey found that brands that focused just on knowing their customers (e.g. customer 360, single view of the customer, etc.) saw a 4% drop in business value. It’s because these types of customer interactions feel very transactional to the customer and self-serving to the brand. In no way are these experiences actually trying to help the customer achieve a goal or task.

Focus On Helping 

However, when brands go beyond just knowing their customers—to actually helping them—they create the type of experience that generates sustainable business value. The same Gartner survey found that brands that create tailored, helpful customer experiences see a 20% lift in business value.

Examples of helpful customer experiences include:

  • Guiding and delivering personalized customer experiences through a complex process (e.g. how to use a new product)
  • Teaching customers something new (e.g. product care or complete the look)
  • Rewarding customers (e.g. exclusive benefits when customers hit a goal)

Brands need to keep in mind that 79% of customers are willing to share relevant information about themselves in exchange for contextualized interactions.” At a time when data privacy is a continuous and evolving conversation, companies should recognize that customers are happy to provide their data when it immediately and clearly benefits them.

Democratize customer insights

For you to adopt a customer-centric mindset, every employee must understand their brand’s customers. ActionIQ’s smart hub CPD has opened up access to customer insights for all employees to access. Having the ability to integrate directly with your existing IT and business systems while removing fragmented customer data and siloed systems and continue to increase security and governance.

Conclusion

Knowing your customers is important, but it actually destroys value if you stop there. Helping your customers should be your top priority. To do this, you must be obsessed with understanding and solving their pain and goals. Technology alone will not solve this for you. It requires a uniquely human trait—empathy.

To schedule time with an industry expert for tailored guidance and an action plan that meets your objectives, contact us at marketing@actioniq.com.  

Written By

Director of Product Marketing

George is dedicated to educating enterprise businesses about the impact on customer experience and organizational performance enabled by centralizing customer data. He works closely with creative and prolific engineers, UX designers, marketers to help design and enhance technologies that improve access to customers' data.

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