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How to achieve a total customer view

Published: Monday November 09, 2015

We can all see things from the customer’s perspective. After all, we’re all customers ourselves – so we all know what it’s like to shop with someone online as well as in-store, and we all may interact with a retailer using a variety of different devices.

Because we have this perspective we can all understand the expectations. If customers know every way they deal with us they expect us in return to know and respond to all their needs. It’s called the Single Customer View, or SCV. It brings everything together into a single golden record we can understand and on which we can act next time that customer walks in our store or checks in with us online.

“Remember you bought that top from us? Here’s a great jacket that goes with it.”

“You were looking at that dinner service? It’s on a great deal now.”

If your SCV mojo is working it won’t just be the online system that can generate such prompts. The information could be passed to your in-store sales assistants too.

From Single Customer view to Total Customer view

But wait. You can take something like this that’s great and make it better still. You can pull together everything you know about customers from their many interactions with you to create a Single Customer view – and then you can aggregate it with a whole range of external information about them to create what we call a total customer view, or TCV.

With external data and some smart analytics you can reliably recognise global consumers, whatever their channel, device or country of origin. You’re not just able to confirm their identities – you’re also aware of their preferences beyond your own experience of them. You have real insight. You can see them as whole people. The result? Whether face to face or online, you can validate and serve them better and faster than ever before.

Sure, this kind of approach needs an investment of time and resources, and you’ll need to present it to senior management. You’ll need to predict the financial benefits for the business, in terms of lower costs, greater revenue and higher profitability.

You might want to set lower limits for these metrics that will demonstrate success for each stage. For example, a TCV might aim to decrease contact centre resolution time by 15% within six months, or increase web and email cross-sell conversion by 20% as a result of improved recommendations.

With stats like these you can build a strong case with proof points, best practices and customer references. In short, with this evidence, you’ll be able to make a compelling case in favour of a Total Customer view and the lifetime value it delivers.

Find out more about the total customer view – and how to make a business case for it. 'Deliver an excellent retail customer experience’ whitepaper.