Get Closer to Your Customers with a 360-Degree View

360 customer view

Why a 360-degree view is important to your business?

How customers interact with brands has changed. We’re not strictly talking about our grandparents who shopped from catalogs and cared about the product they bought – not so much the brand that made it. Even over recent years, possibly propelled by the pandemic, customers have more vocally expressed their need to be valued by the brands they shop from. They want that personal relationship that goes further than the exchange of money. 

Of course, developing strong customer relationships using CRM strategies and platforms has provided companies with many of the tools they need to develop these relationships. Top marketing websites promise the secret to gain a 360-degree view of your customers, claiming it to be the best method, once perfected, to growing your business. A clear 360-degree customer view is the foundation to engagement and brand awareness, especially when it comes to social media.

What is a 360-Degree Customer View?

Simply defined, a 360-degree customer view refers to the gathering of all your customer touchpoints into one place to allow a better understanding of customer’s buying habits, etc. through the entire customer journey. Every channel’s data is strategically analyzed to build a complete picture of the customer. But this is easier said than done.

According to a report done by Gartner in 2017, only about 10% of brands have implemented a 360-degree customer view strategy into their company – and only 5% are actually using this view to scale their business. Now, Gartner has released another article telling readers that the customer could be better viewed by picking the “right” data points to analyze instead of attempting to assemble the ambiguous “360-degree view.” They discuss the difficult fact that many brands continue to pursue the dream of gaining that 360-degree view while never knowing exactly how to get there and when they’ve achieved it and eventually giving up along the way.

It’s not time to give up. 


Why is the 360-degree customer view necessary?

Having access to a bigger, more detailed view of your customers gives brands a better perspective of the customer journey.

Think of it this way. When you take a picture of a tree and it comes out blurry, you can’t see what kind of fruit is on the tree or even make out the leaves. You also have no idea what’s going on on the other side. It could be completely different or in mayhem and you wouldn’t have a clue or the ability to predict how it will look tomorrow Now, having that clear picture and being able to zoom in or swipe around to the other side any time makes everything so much easier, right? The same goes for building a 360-degree view of your customers. Why wouldn’t you want to have the clearest picture possible?

The benefits of a 360-degree view are plentiful. Your brand will be able to better understand past behaviors and use predictive analytics to gain a better idea of how they might behave in the future. No more guessing what to do next because you’ll sometimes know what a customer will do before they do – or can minimize the chances of dissatisfied customers by knowing what drives them to be unhappy, therefore streamlining the entire customer journey. 

How can brands successfully and systematically use a 360-degree view to develop strong customer relationships and grow their business?

Think Small and Wide.

Less isn’t always more. Before the pandemic, companies typically gathered and analyzed as much data as possible, creating a large historical “bank” of information to draw from. This, however, only gives the brand one view of their customers: what they’ve done in the past. And, it’s not easy to predict the future. 

A problem with gathering as much data from as many sources as possible, including the largest ones you can find, is that there is no approach to pinpointing what is “good” data and what isn’t. Many brands keep collecting with the hopes that they’ll find the “right” data along the way. Although this may be true, simpler and more effective methods can seek out and pinpoint the data you need without the mess. 

Companies need to find data in other forms, bringing it together and analyzing it in new, effective ways that will gain a better picture of who their customers really are. This can easily be done by utilizing approaches that focus on small and wide data sources. Often, you can get huge amounts of insight from the smallest sources. No one said bigger was better. Well, except maybe Freddie Mercury. 

Get The Entire Team Involved.

For many companies focusing on a 36-degree customer view, they think that bringing data from all sources together into a single viewing and analytical platform means solely streamlining from various channels such as social media, email, and customer support. It’s more than that. Brands truly need to bring in and unify every single customer touchpoint throughout the entire journey. This means your marketing team, sales team, customer service and support, and anyone else who interacts with the customer must have access to and contribute data to this platform. 

If some team members slack a bit when it comes to adding data or connecting through this platform (often using consistent CRM works well for this) try making it a mandatory part of business procedure. For example, a sales member doesn’t receive commission until their report has been added to the software, or a customer service rep can’t close a case until they’ve posted all the necessary data as well. 

You’re going to find different viewpoints and possibly “the secrets to building the best 360-degree view of your customers” across the internet. One thing to remember as you build your CRM strategy is to know that your customers and their buying habits probably differ from other businesses. Even if another brand has the same customers, their buying habits and the journey are likely unique to you. Be sure to create a strategy that aligns with your entire team as well as your marketing plan and set yourself a goal, outlining exactly what your 360-degree view will look like so you don’t get lost in the dataverse.

Need more finding new B2B customers and crafting an ideal digital campaign message based on a 360-degree customer view? Reach out for a conversation with Outlasted Data today.

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