In the competitive market of B2B sales, you want to take advantage of every available opportunity to stand out. Creating a 360-degree view of your customer provides you with a look at the customer from all angles, shedding light on their experience at each touchpoint across all products, systems, devices, and interaction channels within your company. The more you know about your customers, the better you can to provide an optimal customer experience for them. As we’ve talked about before on this blog, a good customer journey experience (CJX) is today’s currency.
Here, we’ll discuss why 360-degree customer views are important and what information you should look for when you take a complete picture for customer success.
A 360-degree view provides you with a start-to-finish picture of the customer journey. By closely monitoring and analyzing the customer experience, you gain insight into the customer’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This enables B2B companies to apply the learned insights and improve the product and the experience, providing customers with the best customer success across all channels. Who wouldn’t want that? Yet according to Gartner, less than 10% of companies have a 360-degree view of their customers and only half of those companies are able to use the information to grow the business.
One reason why companies struggle to achieve a 360-degree view of customers is the data management involved. It can be challenging to collect and analyze the right customer data to deliver the right service at the appropriate time. It’s important to have customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage all this prized customer information. CRMs enable B2B companies to record and share meaningful data about a customer though the CRM is only as valuable as the information in it. Therefore, it’s imperative that the CRM not only exists, but adoption across all company teams, as well as optimization of the data, is necessary for success. For companies that don’t have CRM experts in-house, outsourcing administration is an affordable and efficient option to avoid missing out on the growth potential.
CRM system org health management empowers expert managed service providers (MSPs) to handle large amounts of customer data, providing your team with the support they need and enabling them to focus on additional company strategic business initiatives that drive success and revenue growth.
A second reason why more companies don’t have a 360-degree view of their customers is a lack of understanding about the type of information companies should collect. Without a proper process in place, it becomes information overload. A 360-degree view of the customer includes hard and soft data. Hard data includes concrete facts associated with a customer’s experience – purchase history, engagement with company or product marketing materials (such as email newsletters or participation in a webinar), and customer service interactions like chats or the completion of a satisfaction survey. Soft data centers on a customer’s emotions or sentiments throughout their journey. This combination of customer sociodemographic, psychographic, and behavioral insights aids in the identification of future influences that will prevent customer churn and maximize your opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. The meaningful data obliges companies to provide each customer with a personalized experience that strengthens customer loyalty.
The benefits of a 360-degree view of the customer far outweigh the challenges. Companies that embrace this approach gain customer intelligence, save on costs, increase the ability to create customized experiences, improve collaboration across internal departments, and boost customer loyalty.
- Customer Behavior: Leverage the data collected to better understand how your customers interact with your products. By accounting for each customer’s past, present, and future activity, you have a greater understanding of the customer. This enables the company to predict customer behavior with great precision and provide a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints in their journey.
- Budget Savings: Companies save money using a 360-degree view of the customer because they can be more strategic with sales and marketing efforts. No longer are you broadly sending out communications or offers with the hope that it’s what the customer needs at that moment. Companies utilize the 360-degree approach to target customers with great specificity in terms of the channels used, the messaging, and call to action allowing you to invest in tactics that close sales. Goodbye extraneous spending!
- Personalized Experiences: In addition to streamlining resources, a 360-degree view of the customer allows you to eliminate barriers, resolve challenges, and enhance preferences that improve the customer’s experience. Serving customers with relevant information builds trust which is the foundation for a solid relationship. The more your customers trust you, the higher the likelihood they’ll continue to do business with your company.
- Integrated Operations: A 360-degree view of the customer facilitates collaboration across your internal departments, from customer service and support to marketing and sales. A 2018 study from Forrester Research notes that 42 percent of B2B companies were unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to a lack of easily accessible and complete customer information. This same study indicated that nearly half of all customers will abandon a transaction due to a lack of prompt support. By integrating these operational teams and sharing critical customer insight, you eliminate siloed decision-making that often results in a fragmented customer experience.
- Loyalty: How companies service and support customers is essential to retaining and advancing them throughout their journey. Using learnings from the 360-degree view, you can better serve customers with what they need and want. Recent research shows that customer experience is now a bigger market differentiator than price and product. It’s a winning strategy for everyone!
A 360-degree view of the customer captures customer data so that you can improve a customer’s lifetime value. This in turn boosts your bottom line, reduces churn, increases upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and strengthens customer satisfaction. Know what information to look for in a 360-degree view and how to use it to improve the customer journey experience.