Data here, data there, data everywhere.

Every day, organisations lose opportunities purely because their data exists in different silos.

They believe they have a single source of truth, whereas, in reality, they only have one piece of the pie.

A single customer view contains all customer behaviour and demographic data in one place.

This could include data such as;

  • Website activity
  • Customer service interactions
  • Purchase history
  • Email engagement
  • Personal and associated company data
  • Social media engagement

Customers in 2022 have more control than ever before which means your organisation needs to stand out.

And one of the most effective ways to stand out?

Make every communication and experience relevant and as personalised as possible.

So how can you achieve a single customer view?

By consolidating every important data point into one platform.

One of the most effective ways to get the best view of each of your customers is to create one single source of truth where all data is stored.

1) Data Across Multiple Legacy Systems

If your organisation has scattered data across platforms, then you need to do a data audit.

Firstly, you will need to first shortlist the systems which are operating independently of your CRM and data is not integrated.

Common systems include;

  • Your online store and the point of sale (I.e., WooCommerce or Shopify)
  • Customer service ticketing & support (I.e., Zendesk or Freshdesk)
  • Email marketing and/or marketing automation (I.e., Mailchimp or HubSpot)
  • Your sales pipeline (I.e., Pipedrive or Salesforce)

Once you have identified your systems, you will need to conduct a data audit.

This is to determine which data points moving forward will provide practical insights.

Once you have determined your siloed systems and key data points, it’s time to integrate.

To sync data properties, you might get lucky where your CRM has a native integration to a couple of your systems (that you just haven’t used).

But the more likely scenario is that you will need a third-party app to create automations that sync and update data.

I would recommend you look into a tool such as Zapier, which can connect thousands of different apps together.

As for tracking behaviours, there are two effective ways to gather these interactions.

The first is through embedding a script from your CRM into your website or online store.

The other is to set up Tags or events within Google Tag Manager and sync these with events within your CRM.

NOTE: Ensure that every data property you sync is identical to how you identify it in your other platform. This includes both the name and categorisation i.e., Contact Information or Contact Activity.

Having customer insights siloed across multiple systems will result in hundreds of hours a year lost for your workforce trying to make sense of them all.

2) Poor First-Party Data Quality

Your organisation might have its data consolidated to one platform, however, how accurate and clean is it?

Making sure your first-party data is accurate and up to date requires ongoing maintenance. First-party data is any information or behaviour that you collect directly from your audience. Maintaining first-party behavioural data is quite straightforward. The key here is to ensure that you are always tracking the key engagements across your systems.

If there are new engagements you want to track, then you need to set up new automations that pull the data from one system into your core one.

Where it gets a bit thicker is the information piece. This includes properties such as email, job title and company.

On average, your email list will decay by about 20% each year (give or take). This means you need to be proactive in getting your users to update key data points.

One great way to do this is through exclusive gated content which you share with your database.

Now, I’m not talking about making them fill in 100 fields to access the resource, but rather one property at a time.

This could be their current Job Title, Company or even something to qualify them (i.e., a use case or pain point question).

The idea here is to bit by bit, month by month, keep your data updated to ensure you know exactly who each contact is.

Don’t just assume and enter data points for contacts or companies. Always ensure you have processes set up to track and gather as much first-party data as possible.

3) Identities Are Not Matched Across Platforms

When using multiple systems, chances are that you might not identify a customer using the same metrics or data points.

For example, within your email marketing platform, you would use a contact’s email address. But for your customer service platform, your team might prefer using a customer’s account number.

The key here is to avoid creating duplicate contacts and companies within your core platform.

You can achieve this by identifying one or two common fields across all platforms and initially using that as a baseline.

If your common property is an email address for example, then find the contact across all of your platforms with the address.

From there, look to find overlapping identifiers across channels. For one platform it could be a phone number and another could be their account number.

Use this process to confirm that you are associating data with the correct contact and company.

In conclusion, a single customer view is essential for any business that wants to remain competitive and provide an effective customer experience. By gathering data from multiple sources, companies are able to create unified profiles of customers, enabling them to better understand their preferences, behaviors, and needs. This enables more personalized marketing strategies that can drive engagement and loyalty. Implementing a single customer view strategy can be the difference between success and failure for businesses in the digital age.