The need for a new, true 360° customer view

Do you really know who your customers are? The need for a new, true 360° customer view

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 1 August, 2013 - Really understanding your customer is vital to business success. Many companies believe they have a complete 360° understanding of their customers and their preferences. But in the era of big data and increased customer-centricity, what is needed to have a 360° view has changed. So what elements make up the New 360° View and how can businesses ensure they really make the most of it?

Andy Moy, Director, Customer Engagement Management, Pitney Bowes Software said: “To get an all-encompassing view of your customer it is no longer enough to look at traditional attributes such as basic demographic data and transaction history. Real-time elements such as location, channel preferences, network and sentiment analysis should also be used to drive intelligent, personalised interactions with customers.

The main change businesses have seen over the past few years is the sheer amount of data that can now be harnessed. Thanks to an explosion in technology consumers are constantly connected, whether that is via the internet, email, SMS or social media. Just as technological advances have enabled this constant connectivity, it has also provided invaluable opportunities to gather and analyse customer data. Having this 360° view enables you to move from having ‘anonymous’  customers who you know little about, to customers that actively engage with your brand.”

Having a 360° view will help exceed customer expectations, build relationships and ultimately, drive profitability. To make the most of this opportunity and build a truly 360° view, businesses must have a view of what happened in the past, what is happening now and what the likeliest future outcome is.

1. The past view
This includes all previous transactions, interactions, complaints, behaviours and communications history.
The past view is valuable because opinions are formed based on  past experiences. So, for example, if a customer complained about a service in the past, they are unlikely to be open to any up-sells or promotions, but may respond well to personalised customer service.

2. The present view
This dynamic view is all about context. It is constantly changing and includes information about channel preferences, sentiment and influence with a growing emphasis on location and proximity. Through technological advancements it is now possible to determine what channel  your customers are interacting with you on, allowing you to provide real-time and relevant offers based on the channel and context of the conversation.

3. The predictive view
As a customer’s relationship with a brand grows, so do their expectations. The predictive view is where businesses can really increase their profit. It builds on the past and present views to create a trajectory of future behaviour. Using advanced modelling techniques the past and present views can help businesses understand which customers are most likely to be willing to respond positively to an offer.  For example it can provide insight into whether a customer is likely to become a retention risk or an ambassador. This is really the ‘lifetime’ view and gives insight into lifetime value, profitability, cross-sell opportunities and opt-out information.

Taken together, these three views form the New 360° view of the customer.

Andy said, “Understanding how to provide the best possible service and products to a customer and, in turn build customer loyalty, starts with analytical insight. It’s no longer enough to look at basic data and hope for the best. Businesses must ensure they really understand their customers’ needs by analysing all the data available to them, past and present and future.”