Businesses consist of separate departments – finance, sales, marketing, account management, and so on. In most instances, each of these departments accumulate valuable information about customers. Yet these teams rarely share the data they collect.
While this is not a deliberate act of selfishness, a failure to make data available to everyone in the company who needs it is holding you back in a number of ways. Not least marketing’s ability to communicate with customers. In fact, a report by BlueVenn found that 82% of businesses are not yet bringing multiple data sources together in a single view of the customer – meaning that the knowledge they have on their customers is not being fully utilized.
A lack of data sharing limits your potential
As different departments make use of various technologies and systems, it’s not uncommon for the customer data within them to reside in siloes. Departments cannot readily refer to the information, leading to missed opportunities for business development and improving the customer experience.
For example, say your customer service team receives a complaint from a customer who feels they have been let down by your organization. Shortly after this, your marketing department (who are unaware of this complaint) contacts that customer with a promotion. This perceived ignorance could further damage your relationship with them – and it could prove to be the final straw for that customer to stop using your service.
Say you’re a clothing retailer measuring the lifetime value of your customers based on their online transactional history. If they buy a lot of expensive items, you’ll want to single them out for special treatment, right? What if in reality they’ve returned two-thirds of those purchases in-store because they were the wrong color, wrong size or changed their mind? Any analysis you perform is going to be inaccurate without the whole picture.
Alternatively, say you’re an automotive dealer. Your finance department knows a customer is soon to repay their finance on the car your business sold them three years ago. However, does your marketing department know that this means they might be looking to trade it in for a new vehicle and now is the right time to advertise your latest offers? Did the parts department record let marketing know when customers’ annual inspections or services are due?
By centralizing and unifying all your customer data, from all your sources, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) reduces the likelihood of oversights such as this, and reveals new opportunities for better marketing communications.
Different systems, different data
In order for data to be unified effectively, it must be prepared and organized in a legible manner. Yet this can be a substantial challenge in itself, with over 40% of marketers having 21 or more sources of data.
When customer data is held across multiple siloes, it is stored in various formats that suit its purpose for that department. Product SKU codes, internal naming, different address and naming structures – there are many ways different databases might be referring to the same thing or person. A Customer Data Platform, however, takes all of this data from the different sources and brings it together where it is cleansed, standardized and unified into one, easy-to-read Single Customer View (SCV).
Speak the same language with a Customer Data Platform
While a Customer Data Platform is primarily a marketer-driven project, this unified data is valuable to many different areas of the business. Indeed, a CDP can create multiple SCVs that bring together the most useful datasets for their requirements. Importantly, the whole organization is contributing to these views, and all are working with information that is reliable and up-to-date.
As a result, your customer service team can immediately access a disgruntled customer’s individual profile generated by the Single Customer View and ensure that the marketing team does not contact them with promotional material. Your LTV analysis is more accurate. Your marketing team is sending timelier, relevant communications.
Use a Customer Data Platform to improve your department’s data sharing
Breaking down data silos and sharing business intelligence is key to improving customer engagement, building more consistent customer experiences, attaining high satisfaction scores and, ultimately, boosting your bottom line.
All customer information, from the moment they first engage with your organization to when they make a purchase, is valuable – and it should be fully utilized with a Customer Data Platform. This will ensure that important data is shared between internal teams to give every department a working, up-to-date knowledge of each customer.