Why You Don’t have a Single Customer View

A Single Customer View (SCV) delivers a common view of your customer information across all lines of business.

There is an abundance of evidence of the advantages an SCV delivers, and most organisations believe achieving a single customer view is important to their business.

Yet surveys in the US and Europe estimate that only between 12% and 25% of organisations have successfully implemented an SCV, and between 25% and 30% are planning to deploy one over the following 12-18 months.

The reasons given to explain why organisations have not successfully implemented an SCV can be boiled summarised into four themes:

Strategy and Requirements
Many SCV solutions are designed to meet immediate requirements, resulting in inflexible systems that cannot meet changing circumstances.  This can increase the cost of ownership and create barriers that are expensive to overcome.

A long term strategy is needed that anticipates how the SCV will accommodate future needs.  It may mean a little more investment at the start but it pays off in the long run.

Data Quality
Customer data in different systems is linked by name, address and other details.  So the quality of customer data is crucial to the success of an SCV.

Poor data can result in linking information to the wrong customer or missing information for the right customer.

Many organisation overlook data quality or leave it to the end of an SCV project.  But given the importance of data quality to the end result it needs to be considered from the start.

Culture and Politics
Different departments can be sensitive about its customer information and don’t like sharing it with others.  And each system has its own way of doing things and may view external attention as an unwanted interference.

It is important that all divisions recognise that information is a corporate asset that is available, under appropriate conditions, to other parts of the enterprise.  Each system is responsible for the health of its information on behalf of the enterprise as a whole.

Technologies
Many organisations try and use existing systems to support an SCV.  This can result in a sub-optimum solution that is abandoned because it doesn’t deliver that the business needs.

Technologies are best selected once all functional and non-functional requirements are properly understood.  Again, this may mean a little more investment at the start but it pays off in the long run.

Scale
Customer information comes flows in through many channels in many different forms.  Multiply this by the number of systems that are linked to the SCV and the volumes of data can be quite daunting.

A data strategy is needed so that the SCV deals with consolidated data rather than individual transactions and other fragmented forms.

 

LEARN HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN SINGLE CUSTOMER VIEW

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So is there a simple way of implementing an SCV?

There is no single answer to these questions, but there are a few important steps an organisation should take to move forward in this crucial area of business infrastructure.

The Mastersoft Approach

We have developed a proven approach to implementing SCVs that will help you move through the steps in building an SCV information foundation:

Understanding the business context
Assessing the quality of you customer data
Identifying the relationships and links between customers across your systems
Developing the SCV linking rules
Implementing an SCV governance framework.

We can show you how to use these steps to develop the road map you need to successfully implement a Single Customer View in your organisation.

Sources:

1 “Why a Single Customer View is the Foundation for Marketing Success” Ashley Johnston, Online Marketing Strategies and Tactics, July 6, 2015
2 Experian, Signal, SAS and Capgemini