Understanding Customer 360 Use Cases

Enhance customer satisfaction, personalize experiences and drive business growth

To stay ahead in a crowded marketplace, you must deliver exceptional customer experiences. That means knowing exactly who your customers are, what products they own or are interested in, how and when to anticipate their needs and much more. But what’s the best way to do that?

How Customer Data Delivers Insights

It’s more important than ever now for organizations to have a deep understanding of their customer. To achieve this, they can collect data from various sources such as marketing, inventory, physical stores, web shops and customer service. By analyzing this data, they can create a comprehensive, 360-degree view of their customer. This customer 360 view provides valuable insights that can be used to personalize customer interactions, establish strong relationships and provide the right experience at the right time. 

How Data Delivers Better Outcomes for a Variety of Use Cases

Whether your organization focuses on retail, operates in the B2B space, is a healthcare provider or is a public agency, the goal is the same: you want to understand your customer. Customer 360 solutions can help you break down departmental silos and combine customer data with other information to reveal hidden relationships and better understand that customer. Creating a data-driven customer experience means using relevant and trusted data to develop an intelligent 360-degree view of your customer. This allows you to create the kind of 360-degree customer views that elevate customer experiences. Here are some examples of how this single view can become the catalyst for creating new and innovative ways to engage with customers more consistently and with greater relevance

  1. Personalized Marketing: In retail, customer 360 solutions enable businesses to craft tailor-made marketing campaigns based on individual preferences and behaviors.

  2. Improved Customer Support: Having access to a 360-degree view of the customer is a game-changer. Agents who can access comprehensive customer data can swiftly address issues, anticipate needs and offer relevant solutions. This leads to shorter resolution times and happier customers.

  3. Cross-selling and Upselling: Across industries, a 360-degree view of the customer can help the organization understand customers’ buying patterns.

A customer 360 solution helps organizations improve their customer experience initiatives by providing deeper insights into their customers in a way that customer relationship management (CRM) tools cannot. Although customer 360 tools are often used for marketing, they can also be extended to other customer-facing business functions like sales, service and operations. The focus of the solution is to create a comprehensive understanding of the customer to provide a better experience.  

Below are some typical use cases that a customer 360 tool supports across an enterprise:  

Marketing Transformation

  • Website and mobile personalization
  • Cross-sell offers
  • Micro-segmentation for campaigns  

Deep Customer Analytics

  • Prescriptive analytics 
  • Predictive analytics 
  • Data science 
  • Real-time analytics 
  • Visual analytics 

Targeted and Optimized Sales

  • Account and contact 360s 
  • Hierarchy and graph relationships 
  • Proactive organization and personal event triggers 
  • Suppression indicators 

Personalized Experience and Next Best Action

  • Personalization engine
  • Next best action
  • Next best experience
  • Next best offer

Tailored and Efficient Customer Service

  • Personalized experience 360 for call center  
  • Digital experience analysis for improvements  
  • IVR/Chatbot integration 

Risk and Compliance

  • Extended network for risk decision-making  
  • Fraud analysis and real-time decision support  
  • Data regulation compliance — General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)i

How a Customer 360 Tool Works with Existing Systems

A customer 360 solution is not an isolated system. Instead, it’s a pivotal component of a larger, orchestrated customer data strategy. When 83% of customers in a recent survey say they’re more loyal to companies that provide consistency across departments, aligning marketing, commerce, sales and service teams can be critical.ii

Once a customer 360 solution is in place, customer data must flow effortlessly to applications/sources and be shared across business processes that may extend well beyond your internal systems. Data orchestration that includes messaging, API and event-based publishing capabilities helps you manage the delivery of master data internally and externally. 

How Customer 360 Solutions Enhance Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) is a very competitive battleground. To stand apart in a crowded marketplace, your organization needs to put customers at the center of your business and emphasize the importance of meeting their increasingly high expectations. This is a crucial point because a recent survey found that 73% of customers expect that the organizations they do business with will understand who they are and interact with them accordingly.iii A great CX can mean the difference between a loyal customer and one who doesn’t hesitate to jump ship to a competitor.

Being able to offer personalization in real-time is also another critical differentiator. Organizations can engage customers one-on-one, offering them precisely what they need at the right time.

To deliver on the promise of CX, data must be clean, accurate and accessible. However, this is only sometimes the case. Many organizations struggle with customer data scattered across channels, departments and systems, creating silos of duplicate and fragmented data. Data quickly becomes outdated and inaccurate, leading to poor marketing execution, mismatched efforts at personalization and less-than-ideal experiences that may result in unintended churn and lost revenue.

With a single source of truth based on detailed and illuminating customer insights, you can optimize your marketing operations. Customer 360 solutions are typically used to identify digital contacts and move prospects from anonymous to known, as well as for campaign segmentation and personalization.

How Customer 360 Solutions Can Help with Data Privacy and Security

Addressing data privacy and security is nonnegotiable, and Customer 360 solutions can help organizations safeguard sensitive information. This can include improving compliance with regulations such as the EU GDPR and the CCPA. Customer 360 solutions help organizations anonymize data, implement robust access controls and employ encryption measures.

With increased global connectivity and cyber-attacks on the rise, it’s critical to protect your customer data and ensure compliant use. Security should be a primary design principle. This can include application security, identity and access management, vulnerability management, security incident response, training and awareness, business continuity and disaster recovery, governance, risk management and compliance.

These measures protect customer data and help the organization maintain its credibility and trustworthiness with its customers.

How Customer 360 Solutions Help You Take an Agile and Scalable Approach

Based on historical evidence, one nearly sure thing is that data will continue to grow, as will customers’ expectations. The right customer 360 solution will offer an agile approach and create a persistent, unified customer database accessible to other systems. For optimal flexibility, a successful customer 360 solution will offer these five core capabilities:

  • Ingest data from any source. 
  • Capture full details of ingested data.
  • Store ingested data indefinitely (subject to privacy constraints). 
  • Create unified profiles of identified individual's business goals. 
  • Share data with virtually any system that needs it. 

Some solutions have evolved their capabilities even further, with next-generation platforms using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to power deep analytics and marketing activation and drive broader CX decisions across marketing, sales and support.

Customer 360 Solutions Best Practices

You can’t take an enterprise approach to the customer without an enterprise approach to customer data. Managing an unprecedented volume and variety of data takes a multifaceted customer data strategy. The right solution will offer capabilities such as data governance, master data management and data cataloging

The better tools will allow you to customize the data to deliver the most value to your organization:

  • Create context using AI: Supercharge your ability to personalize CX using AI, which helps analyze data and provide insights at scale.

  • Empower teams across the organization to use the platform: The right solutions will allow you to train teams across the company, from customer support to product development and design to business intelligence.

  • Ensure you’re compliant: Any entity collecting data must understand compliance standards around data governance. For instance, if a European Union citizen were to fill out a form on your site, their data would be protected by the GDPR.

  • Make data more engaging and palatable with the right dashboards: Compiling data is only part of the journey. Data visualization is critical for teams to engage with data and understand it. Good data integration will allow your teams to see data in ways that are easy to absorb and respond to.

  • Reduce data noise and redundancy: With so much data flowing in through multiple sources, there’s a high risk of collecting duplicate data. Use a master data management approach that puts checks and balances in place to trim data and minimize redundancies so you have clean, high-quality data that teams can trust.

Two Examples of Success with Customer 360 Solutions

Consider how these companies created success with a better understanding of their customers.

Building Brand Loyalty as Fashion Purchases Shift Online

A leading women’s specialty apparel retailer, Reitmans operates 415 stores throughout Canada. They wanted to support an omnichannel strategy that would simplify integrating data from several sources in a hybrid cloud architecture that includes on-premises, cloud and third-party systems so their customers could easily make purchases online. 

With connected data, Reitmans is now prepared for more convenient and efficient omnichannel models such as “buy online, pick up in-store.” This improved shopping experience is helping to increase online sales.

Powering a Customer-Centric Business Transformation

Fjordkraft supplies electricity to over 32,000 companies and 1.4 million people through over 600,000 delivery points in households, businesses and public entities across Norway. It recently diversified its business by becoming a mobile telephony provider to more than 100,000 subscribers. 

The company aimed to enhance its customer service and ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR. To achieve this, Fjordkraft sought to consolidate data from multiple sources. They accomplished this by deduplicating, mastering and consolidating customer data, allowing them to use clean, reliable data in their web and mobile apps. 

Additionally, they have leveraged client information for analytics, resulting in more strategic use of data. With a 52% growth in their mobile business, they have identified the best ways to advise customers about new services. Fjordkraft has reduced development time because it can find trusted customer data for virtually any scenario.

Implementation Challenges and Best Practices

Although an organization will realize many benefits with the right customer 360 solutions, implementation can take time and effort. Common challenges include data integration complexities, legacy system compatibility and change management. The best way to address these challenges is with a three-phased approach:

  1. Discover where customer data exists throughout your enterprise to understand how it flows between applications in business processes

  2. Apply that understanding to model customer data entities and hierarchies, develop data quality rules, consolidate data records and validate and enrich them

  3. Assign governance and privacy policies, and secure and protect the data  

The Transformative Potential of Customer 360 Solutions

You’re generating more customer data than ever, in more varieties than ever and collecting it from more places than ever. You also have more users demanding access to it through self-service tools. Meanwhile, new data science tools and technologies require vast amounts of data to drive new algorithms. 

A true end-to-end customer 360 solution lets you manage and master customer data across the enterprise. It helps you understand your customers in a way that engages prospects and turns them into loyal customers. With the right solution, your organization will have the right information at the right time to stay ahead of your competition, manage healthy customer relationships and maximize value for your stakeholders.

Additional Customer 360 Resources

Learn how the right customer 360 solution can help your organization unleash the full potential of enhanced customer insights and experiences.