Nearly every organisation strives to have a "single view of customer". Unfortunately, nearly every organisation fails...
Achieving a single view of customer is not a linear process. It often involves the coordination of different systems (including legacy systems), and can often be subject to internal politics around who and how data is managed within your organisation. But if you can figure out how to do this correctly, it will pay huge dividends on the way you understand and enhance experiences provided to your customers.
What is a single view of customer?
According to this blog, a single view of customer is defined as an "aggregated, consistent and holistic representation of the data known by an organisation about its customers."
This single view enables organisations to understand how and when customers interact with them. This can influence future decision-making, allowing more targeted and personalised customer experiences across critical touch-points - otherwise known as "moments that matter".
Why is a unique identifier so important?
A unique identifier is the key to unlocking the single view of customer across your organisation. It is a unique code that will connect information about your customer across multiple systems, or data points.
Examples of well-known unique identifiers include;
Tax File Number (TFN) - allows the government to see all of your income
Medicare Number - allows the government to see your health records
University Admissions Code (UAC) - links secondary & tertiary study information
Whilst the above numbers may seem rudimentary to you, these numbers have been created for a larger purpose - to link copious amounts of data from different sources in order to pull together a holistic view of an individual.
A unique identifier in your organisation should do the exact same thing - pull together records about your customer in order to facilitate decision-making about how their experience can be improved via personalisation.
What should you use as a Unique Identifier?
This answer depends on the data & system capabilities within your organisation. At the simplest level, an email address could be used as a unique identifier for your customer as this piece of information will generally be captured in most interactions. But what if the customer calls the contact centre ..?
If your organisation has a system which is the single "source of truth" for your customer data, a 5-point validation check (as a minimum) should be used to create a unique identifier for your customers;
Customer First Name
Customer Last Name
Customer Email Address
Customer Mobile Number
Date of Birth
Once the above information is validated, you should be able to create a "Customer ID", which could become the single most-important piece of data that your organisation holds.
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What should you do once a Unique ID has been created for your customers?
The hard work is done once you have established the infrastructure to generate a Unique Identifier for your customer - the fun now begins!
Under each respective Customer ID that you create, you should be able to see rows of records that pertain to that particular customer - phone calls, emails, surveys, complaints, email correspondence, marketing campaigns etc.
From this information, you will be able to begin mapping out a linear journey of the customer - what channels they use to interact, frequency of interaction, types of feedback they provide, customer sentiment etc.
This information (whilst granular) will be invaluable to your business as it will ultimately allow you to drive MACRO and MICRO changes to the experiences that you offer to your customers!
If you're keen to have a chat further about how your organisation can build a single view of the customer, please get in touch below.
The Bearded Man