The world of digital marketing has become so vast and varied that serving customers with lifetime value seems to be a faraway call. But then, both customer acquisition and customer retention depend on upon this. And this is where Single Customer View integrated CRMs come to play. Single Customer View is not a new term now. Rather, the term is one among the top ten digital marketing trends of 2016. Some of you are already aware of this and then again, some of you are not. When I sit down to write on a topic, I presume that I am speaking to every type of reader out there, existing and new. Therefore, in an attempt to make my conversation consistent throughout, let’s begin with the introduction part…so that anyone who has not yet been acquainted with the term SCV can quickly get a grasp of the meaning. Single Customer View – The Need for Multi-screen Engagement Single Customer View, according to Google Search Engine Results is the accumulation of multiple data sets from different places and converting them into unified database information to help marketers build a holistic customer approach in their business interaction. In short, it simplifies all those tedious data that are often difficult to deal with. Digital interaction has become very context-driven and this has led to the segmentation of two kinds of customer behavior – Sequential usage and Simultaneous usage. Source To give you a more analyzed explanation – the digital world has now become a nation of multi-screeners. This means customers have more freedom to interact with their brands the way they want to. They may buy a product from one of your recently targeted newsletter campaigns, but then if anything goes wrong and they need to bellow a complaint then the fastest and the expressive way that many are observed to do it is via their personal social media account. And they won’t care whether you are using your Twitter Account or Facebook Account for the purpose of promotional broadcasting only. When they do it, they expect an immediate customer service to help ease their problem. So if your customer relationship management is not yet multi-optimized, then chances are that this one single complaint can spell massive disaster with everyone becoming aware of your brand’s negative aspect. But the thing is that multi-channel customer service has made things more complicated than before. And the first kind of complication is streaming and sieving of multiple relevant data – a function where traditional Customer Relationship Management fails to impress. The reason behind this could be that a company has different teams deployed to handle different marketing channels. Each of these teams could be following different agendas and priorities – something that is entirely different from that of their customers. The kind of CRM models that these people follow are likely to stream out data that are altogether different in nature. The result: A highly atomic clash and an inconsistent marketing strategy across all channels. Single Customer View helps to identify only the relevant data about customers from multiple duplicate records, unclean and missing data. It makes your database analytics more meaningful and systematic, leading to smart and consistent business application. Source More than that, Single Customer View CRMs are an amalgamation of the functions of both e-commerce CRMs and Social CRMs. E-Commerce CRM is different from a Social CRM – an Understanding CRMs today are more like one of those advanced analytics dashboards that promise better engagement and higher returns. Only that they are more powerful in terms of target engagement and delivering customer lifetime service. An e-commerce CRM is designed to be a company-defined process. A social CRM, on the other hand, is a customer-defined process. You may have a look at this well-differentiated table below later to have a better understanding – Source If you are already aware of it, then let’s keep on with the conversation. How Single Customer View combines the two CRMs together to give a better Customer Lifetime Value? This is only possible because Single Customer View CRMs have the ability to track customer behavior and their communication across different channels. A CRM can be built in many ways depending on what business goal is. It can be B2C centric or B2B centric. Here is a sample picture that will give you a general overview of both. Source However, to speak in a generalized sense, a typical Single Customer View CRM is built on three pillars – The Business, The Customer, and the Process. Undertaking and implementing a new business development strategy calls for careful consideration and organization first. This is what falls under the Business Pillar. However, if you want to understand how a Single Customer View CRM works, then let’s focus on the Customer Pillar – which is the heart of every business paradigm. The two factors that govern the SCV Customer Pillar are – Understanding of the target audience Creating your business brand story How to make a customer convert actually depends on the nature of a brand’s customer base, their current activities, style of communication and also understanding how the target audience will appear on an SCV model. Depending on this, the brand story framework begins. Some of the challenges that a company can face during the brand story framework built-up are – Consistency Channel Synchronization Understanding of the picture Creating a brand story for long term engagement is something that many brands struggle with. However, well-conceived brand stories are the key to lasting advocacy and adoption across multiple channels. How the SCV Customer Engagement Operates Across Multiple Channels Customer activities are prone to change. An SCV customer story is optimized to seamlessly engage customers no matter from whichever channel they decide to surf online information from. Here is a scenario neatly explained – Source Synchronized Brand Engagement, Conversion, and Retention of a Retail Customer Customers enter a store and thanks to beacon integrated technologies is prompted to check-in via their mobile phones. This will lead to new trigger alerts of all product details, in-store locations and items of interest that customers might have looked up the internet previously. While browsing the different products in the store, customers can use their mobile device to find more information about certain products. Whether it is finding out product usage suggestions or making a comparison, the reasons for check up a product online can be varied. Next, having found out what he or she might be looking for, customers can then proceed to direct product purchase, save it to the wish bucket or even ask friends on the social network for opinions. At the same time, the sales department of the store can receive instant notifications for checking out their customer activities and the type of products they are choosing. They can gather information related to their buying patterns, on-site products of interest, previous engagement and even whether they have been approached by the sales representatives previously. Both the customer and the on-site store representative can give feedback, thus helping the sales department team to build a proper customer picture and the customer service skills. At the same time, they might also receive push notification alerts (triggered by a particular brand) showing the opinions and reviews of their friends from the social channel that customers had earlier asked for. If they are satisfied, customers can proceed to make the purchase via the mobile app itself. The product will be waiting for them at the sales counter. The sales department can after some days, send an email to the customers in order to check how they are finding the service and thanking them for triggering multiple online engagements. As a reward, the brand can send customers promotional social coupons or vouchers for their next store visit – another indirect marketing tactic integrated into the end. Exciting indeed! Now that you know how an SCV model can work to make your customer-brand interaction more engaging across multiple channels, let’s try understanding the process that works for this consistent approach. As explained already, unified customer engagement requires strategic business adoption (under the Business Pillar). Starting with the adoption approach will help marketing executives to sync their customer interaction with data showing the different type of online engagement. This, however, will require constant nurturing and adoption until the business is able to become adaptable according to the changing needs. This is where the Process Pillar comes into play. The SCV process pillar is designed to cover three challenges. They are – Activation Reporting Evaluation Daily addressing of these three challenges can lead to optimum success. #1. Activation This allows a seamless integration of all channels (present and future) – the solid foundation that brands need for multi-customer approach today. Some of the functions that the activation feature facilitates are – Automatic customer engagement across every marketing channel (existing and upcoming) Surfacing of relevant information from multiple channels like mobile apps, social newsfeed or search engine queries to both customers and store assistants. Delivering customized and specific shopping experiences both offline and online. As the brand recognition expands, new channels will open up to get automatically integrated to the CRM, which can then be evaluated in order to decide new promotional launches. #2. Reporting Monitoring and reporting are essential factors that govern the way a brand needs to react to specific customer desires and demands. Therefore, a Single Customer View model is optimized keeping the focus on – The Brevity – How a report can be reviewed at a glance The Time-frame – The reporting periods should not be longer than a week The Trends -Any latest update or change in targeted customer behavior Product Usage Gap – A calculative rating of the customer interest against the product availability Revenue Engagement Returns – The investment made depending on the activities across different channels Multi-Channel Testing – To analyze how customers are engaging across multiple channels All these reports need to be internally communicated across the entire sales department team of a particular brand in order to ensure a unified customer experience throughout. #3. Evaluation With evaluation, your brand will be able to implement improved customer engagement. With the SCV model, marketers can evaluate the engagement process based on the purchases that customers make online. It even identifies the nature of conversion, which can be both direct or via recommendation. With weekly cycle reporting, brands can quickly identify the places where improvement is possible and fix their strategy according to it. Improvements based on pertinent information allow brands to keep their marketing and conversion consistent throughout. Conclusion Single Customer View CRMs give brands an insightful guide to their marketing strategy using personalized data that are relevant only. Images: ” Author’s Own “ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.