Going beyond 360-degree customer management

The following post is published by the Engagement Lead of Zinnov, a leading Globalization and Market Expansion Advisory firm.

Developing a 360-degree view of the customer has been a priority for some time now, which involves a holistic real-time understanding of an organization’s customers across all products, systems, devices and touch points. With the digital revolution, organizations are now better able to provide more personalization, and thereby amplify both customer acquisition and retention.

The cloud changes the landscape

Thanks to a proliferation of data and the rapid development of technology, organizations have shifted from a reactive, assisted decision-making approach to more proactive, automated decision-making.

Previously, most of the customer data tracked was internal to the organization, such as customer registration data, past purchase history, customer feedback and survey responses. Today, organizations are also tracking external and contextual data, collected from social media, mobile browsing, ad servers, customer service bots and more. Armed with such holistic customer data, they can exceed the traditional customer experience and provide a truly differentiated service offering, personalized to each customer.

The shift away from a product-based model toward a cloud-based SaaS model is changing the landscape of 360-degree customer management. Every aspect of how a user interacts with an organization’s touch points can now be monitored and logged. Such metrics provide an organization wth vital clues as to how it might improve and further personalize its services for a particular customer.

New use cases of cloud-based customer service

With real-time customer data and the tools to analyze it, organizations today are implementing interesting use cases for a truly exceptional customer experience. Take for instance Qantas, which deployed a cloud-based in-flight app to gather and present passenger information to cabin crew to improve customer recognition and customer intelligence. Qantas predicted savings of approximately USD 30 million over the next five years with almost 90% reduction in infrastructure costs.

Similarly, Carrefour implemented a cloud-based customer service scenario for a seamless customer interaction experience across its traditional and digital channels and for more fluid interactions with customers by providing agents with 360-degree customer visibility. This led to the resolution of a staggering 95% of all customer contact requests within the first three months alone. Agent productivity also increased by 20% with a consequent 4% hike in the overall customer satisfaction rate.

As the technological revolution advances, methods for gaining an understanding of the customer have become more sophisticated. Leading cloud players are already embedding advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and natural language generation into their cloud offerings. Offerings like the Google Prediction API, Amazon Machine Learning and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning provide the tools required to get deep insights into customers so that organizations can predict what the customers want, when they want it and how.

Road map for holistic customer visibility

An organization looking to start its journey toward a holistic customer view needs to begin with data management, which involves the aggregation of data—internal data owned by the organization as well as external, contextual data. The next step is data integration: creating a single view and repository of all data by integrating disparate data sources. Then an organization must maintain its quality of data by establishing rules to automatically identify and resolve incorrect, incomplete and inconsistent customer data. Data governance policies can ensure that data acquisition and usage adheres to customer privacy laws. Finally, data analytics allows the organization to draw meaningful insights and track relevant customer metrics. A cloud infrastructure runs as a backbone to support and facilitate an effective 360-degree view across the entire customer life cycle.

Roadmap for effective customer 360-degree

These steps ensure a faster and more targeted customer acquisition, reduction in customer churn, and customer value enhancement through cross-sell and up-sell.