Posted by: Clay Nelson, Relationship Unlimited Founder
In this era of fake news we could all do with a Single Source Of Truth.
While that might be harder to achieve in the media space, fortunately with solutions like Customer 360 from Salesforce, it’s a lot more achievable for businesses and organisations looking for a unified customer profile across all touchpoints.
CRM Nirvana: A Single Source Of Truth
Cloud computing has enabled businesses with a plethora of easy to use, easy to access apps that have improved productivity and essentially “democratised” software that was once the preserve of only the largest and most cash-rich companies. While that’s undoubtedly a net good in my opinion, for every action, there is a reaction (or unintended outcome) and in this case, that is the enormous amount of data and data silos that these cloud-based apps create.
When you consider that nearly 70 percent of customers say that they expect connected experiences (where their preferences are known across all the touchpoints they encounter with your business) then it’s clear that a Single Source Of Truth is essential for every modern organisation.
But of course organisational and technological complexity can all work together to confound these expectations.
In the real world, legacy infrastructure, siloed data and the new breed of cloud apps usually leads to fragmentation and unstable, inconsistent “integrations” between systems. This usually results in companies holding multiple email addresses, usernames and sales histories for the very same customer across all these various systems.
This creates a challenging environment for accessing and reconciling customer data in order to deliver the connected experiences today’s customers demand. In addition, this situation makes managing a customer’s consent and contact preferences even harder, particularly when newer, stricter data regulations are introduced.
Ironically of course, CRM was originally intended to create a Single Source Of Truth for customer or sales data way back before the cloud was even “a thing”. Which is why Salesforce have really had to almost “re-invent” this concept of a Single Source Of Truth with their Customer 360 product suite.
Today, Salesforce Customer 360 aims to aggregate customer data across sales, marketing, commerce, service as well as other systems to create a complete “moment in time snapshot” of the customer with a single, universal Salesforce ID.
Having this single source of truth—one, trusted place that brings together all the customer data needed to deliver exceptional customer experience, eliminate silos and put everyone on the same page has never been more important. Today, even with the massive increase in customer data created by the cloud – Salesforce is delivering it.
Customer 360 achieves this through 4 core services:
- Customer 360 Identity – Frictionless sign-up & login – Delivering a single login across all of a company’s digital properties + secure, seamless self-service registration.
- Customer 360 Data Manager – Creates a single customer profile across all digital properties – quickly connect, match & reconcile all your customer data so you can surface their data from any system.
- Customer 360 Audiences – Create a personalised journey for every customer – unify & activate your audience data to build relevant customer experiences from one central interface.
- Customer 360 Privacy Center – Ensure your customer data is always safe and compliant – single click management based on changes in regulation, or allow customers to control their own data with self service.
Salesforce Customer 360 is powered by the Cloud Information Model (CIM), an open source data model. CIM standardises data interoperability across cloud applications, providing multiple file formats making it easy to connect varying applications such as digital marketing platforms, point-of-sale, contact centres and CRM systems.
Developers no longer need to spend extended periods of time creating custom code, instead, by easily integrating data in the cloud using CIM, developers can build new products that deliver truly connected and personalised customer experiences.
The benefits of deploying a Single Source Of Truth with Salesforce Customer 360 include:
- Eliminating duplicate entries and data version control issues
- Providing decision-makers with the right data at the right time
- Substantially reduce the time spent validating records and data types
- Iteratively improve data intelligence capabilities for faster decision making
- Greatly improve communication and productivity.
An example of Customer 360 in action…
Let’s consider an example where a customer calls your Customer Service team because they have a product issue. With Customer 360, there is no need for Customer Service to ask the customer for their purchase details, that’s because Customer Service can easily look up the information that Sales entered when the customer made their purchase. Meaning of course, that Customer Service can then respond super-fast to customer needs.
Really, the best way to think of Customer 360 (as the name may suggest!) is to think of it as a circle of information about the customer, with the customer always at the centre.
So, if you like the idea of putting your customers at the centre of everything you do (and competitively differentiating your business through creating exceptional customer experiences) then get in touch with us here at Relationship Unlimited today learn more about creating a Single Source Of Truth with Customer 360.