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Three key steps to deliver a single customer view

8th Jun 2020
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We all know the benefits of a single customer view (SCV) in providing a 360-view of customers to deliver better targeting, as well as products and services, resulting in increased profitability and growth.

Today, marketers must take three important steps to deliver an effective SCV. Firstly, they need to encourage consistency of customer data across the business, secondly the data must be deduped to remove any duplicates, and finally it must be cleaned.

These actions are critical for brands looking to get ahead of the competition as the pandemic starts to ease.

1. Consistency of customer data

A recent study found that 29% of employees have issues when working with customer data from another department.

This is a worry when businesses need to be able to share valuable customer data between teams without any hurdles that may impact on workflow, productivity, and overall customer retention.

Too often large enterprises add new communications channels or use software based on departmental need. This leads to multiple sources of customer information being held separately throughout the company, without proper integration.

The answer is for marketers to encourage consistency of customer data between departments – in how it’s collected, stored and shared, for example. This will not only lead to efficiencies with business processes, but importantly help make accurate SCV possible, and therefore deliver insight that will help reduce customer churn.

2. Data deduplication

Multiple streams of customer data enter an organisation’s systems through an ever-growing list of digital touch points. This data needs to be connected together so it can be viewed as a single record.

However, this can be a challenge exacerbated by customers jumping on a smartphone then back to a tablet, for example, sometimes creating multiple profiles under different emails, phone numbers and so on. This makes the delivery of a SCV difficult.

It’s why, from our experience, that customer databases contain on average 8-10% duplicate records, which can result in wasted marketing investment, poor business processes, inaccurate reporting, inefficiency and missed opportunities.

Using a data deduplication tool, ideally one with an advanced fuzzy matching capability, will solve this issue. Such a service will deduplicate data by merging and purging the most difficult customer records to produce a SCV from fragmented and dispersed data.

3. Clean customer data

To effectively deliver a SCV customer data must be clean and accurate. Only then can it be effectively analysed to provide valuable insight that brands can use to keep existing customers happy and encourage them to purchase products and services in the long-term.

The issue is that data quality erodes over time. On average, customer data degrades at two per cent each month and 25 per cent over the course of a year.

The impact of bad customer data cannot be ignored with it costing companies an average of 18% of their overall revenue. It’s why the quality of data you are working with plays a major factor when it comes to making appropriate business decisions.

Data which is simply incorrect, such as a customer name, address, email or telephone number, is an issue that can be easily fixed. Marketers need to put procedures in place to ensure customer data is clean, which often requires only straightforward and cost-effective changes as part of their data quality regime. This should include cleansing and standardising held customer data to deliver data quality in batch, and as new data is collected in real time for a seamless customer onboarding experience.

In summary

Delivering an accurate SCV is more important than ever as we start to come out of the pandemic. This means it’s vital for brands to look for solutions that enable better data processes, particularly in cleaning and deduplication. No longer are such tools an optional extra, rather the key to unlocking competitive advantage.

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