How to Build a Single Customer View to Improve Your CX

Pawandeep Kaur, Content Marketing Manager
How to Build a Single Customer View to Improve Your CX');

Marketers understand just how important it is to deliver a personalized and relevant customer experience. Our 2022 State of Digital Marketing survey revealed that 50% of eCommerce businesses are offering a personalized experience – that’s 33% more than in 2020. But how can you do this accurately to target consumers with the right content, on the right channel, at the right time, if you’re working with siloed customer data? A single customer view is essential. 

Lacking a comprehensive approach to collecting and consolidating data can have you falling at the first hurdle of a positive customer experience. This causes low customer engagement, fewer sales, and low customer loyalty. 

Having a single customer view (SCV) is essential for getting a single source of truth about your customer and their journey. By combining your offline and online customer data, it enables personalized marketing that’s consistent across all relevant channels that your customers interact with. 

But you need to understand what the criteria is for a truly unified SCV and how to build it correctly to power your marketing. 

What is a single view of a customer?

A single customer view (SCV) is a valuable marketing tool that combines and structures all the data a company has about an individual in one place. It’s also referred to as a 360-degree customer view or a unified customer profile. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are usually used by marketers to create these (we’ll cover how a little later). 

What is the problem?

If you don’t prioritize understanding your customers, they’re unlikely to prioritize you. Marketers should aim for an omnichannel, customer-centric approach to personalize communications. To achieve this, you need to really know your customers first – and some marketers think they’re achieving this. But are you capturing and combining all your data and structuring it in the digestible way?

Relying on easy-to-reach online data isn’t enough: is it key to identify your data points online and offline and unify them into one place. 

There are two key mistakes that cause ineffective profiles:

  1. You’re not capturing enough data to build an effective single customer view (SCV). 
  2. You’re failing to combine your online and offline data because you’re unsure of what is and isn’t available to you. It’s often siloed in separate databases, which is a common problem for legacy systems. Having the incorrect or limited tools in your MarTech stack can have a big effect here as it impacts just how you can use your data. 

Whichever your situation, the result is the same – you produce fragmented SCVs based on incomplete data consolidation. 

If you feel like you’re probably not getting all the analytics you need right now, don’t worry! Once you use the below methods to create a comprehensive single customer view, you can start to deliver hyper-personalized communications, create data-backed objectives, and drive revenue. 

How do you build a Single Customer View?

1. Map out the customer journey and understand what data you have

To build a single customer view that works, the best approach is to identify what analytics you need from every part of the end-to-end customer journey. Think about: 

  • Familiarizing yourself with the data you currently have available and how it is used.
  • Identifying which channels your customers engage with
  • Covering all the bases: that includes in-store data capturing, website interactions, CRM data, transactional data, first-party tracking, and more.  

Once you’ve completed these steps, map out the customer journey and pinpoint the stages where your data collection exists in your MarTech. Next, determine where the gaps are. These are overlooked opportunities for collecting and storing data. 

Click here to download a free template for mapping the customer journey.

2. Look at how you collect customer data in-store

Consumer expectations are at an all time high. In fact, they expect your store workers to have information about their online purchases. Customers don’t have to sign in to enter your store, but there are many ways to gather customer data to contribute to a single customer view (SCV). Why should you collect data in-store when you have online opportunities?

  • Customer Identification: Discovering whether an individual is a new customer, regular in-store shopper, or just-dropping-in long-term online customer is helpful when creating SCVs. It matches them to their unique customer identifier (UCI) to build and enrich their profiles. 
  • Encourage Customer Loyalty: Record customer data, such as contact details and basic information. This provides your marketers with the access and insights to transform new in-store customers into long-term, loyal customers. 
  • More Data Equals More Personalization: Knowing the in-store actions of your default-online shoppers helps marketers because it provides a wealth of rich inisights to increase personalization. 

Taking these steps helps you to streamline marketing and offer relevant content in-store and across your digital channels. Sending personalized communications based on their activity can help you improve conversions, upselling, and customer retention. 

Asking for an email address or personal details during the checkout process can match in-store customers to their online profiles. Alternatively, offering a QR code to scan on a loyalty app at points of sale seamlessly connects in-store customer data with online data.

3. Look at how you capture and collect customer data online

Many businesses overlook helpful data-collection tactics. If you’re not directly interacting with your target audience to collect zero-party data, you’re missing out! 

Asking for customers’ perspectives gives you valuable data, helps you to develop strategies and CX, and improves your single customer views. Try the following methods:

  • Surveys: Ask consumers how they feel about your brand and products using surveys. Not only does it help you gather more data, but it can also feed you some helpful information about where to take your brand in the future. 
  • Pop-ups: Website pop-ups stand out and engage consumers. Use them to offer promotions so you can collect basic customer data and keep in touch. 
  • Gamification: Introducing game elements to your CX keeps things fun for your customers while providing you with extra customer data.  

Zero-party data gives you unique insights other businesses may not have. Plus: interacting with your consumers strengthens loyalty. 

However, it’s not only about direct interactions. First-party data is also key here. It’s the data you gather firsthand by observing consumers’ actions across your platforms with methods like tracking. Consequently, it’s a reliable, inexpensive, high-quality data source. Remember: always prioritize GDPR and data privacy to prevent reputation damage and fines by checking your marketing platforms are compliant. 

4. Unify your data points with a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

While there are a range of data management tools that exist like Data Management Platforms (DMP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, these work with different types of data and have different use cases. CDPs centralize and consolidate data from every touchpoint, create customer profiles for a single customer view, and help convert your data into visualized insights. 

Depending on the type of CDP, it can centralize your data, activate this data for execution, and analyze your analytics for insight-led marketing. The types of data a CDP works with are: :

  • In-store behavior, such as transactional and browsing data
  • Data from all devices, including mobiles and tablets
  • All online & offline channels
  • Zero-party data
  • Geographical data
  • CRM data
  • First-party tracking data
  • Transactional data 

A CDP combines everything on a single platform so you can easily navigate and understand who you’re targeting. Depending on the vendor you choose, it can help you do this in real-time by using Data Streams to stay on top of ever-changing customer behavior. 

Read how Flaconi switched to real-time marketing using data streams. 

5. Segment, build, and enrich unified customer profiles

CDPs do more than just consolidate your data. That single customer view (SCV) you’re after? A CDP can provide that using data segmentation to structure and create unified customer profiles so you can accurately target groups of customers. Having a fully comprehensive 360-degree-view done right enables your omnichannel marketing to provide customers with fully customized communications where they’ll have the most impact.


Diagram of Mapp’s unified customer profile

Mapp Cloud is a CDP that makes getting to know your customers easy. It creates a unified customer profile with data from every stage of the end-to-end customer journey coupled with zero-party and first-party data. 

Enriched with a complex AI algorithm, Mapp Cloud offers you enhanced analytics. Working in real-time, it predicts future behavior and guides your next steps so you can meet your goals.

Get relevant in how, what, when, why, and who you communicate with

Marketers want to know the exact channel and time to deliver a specific message to a group of consumers to drive a result. How do you provide a relevant customer experience?

  • Fill in the blanks about your customers’ in-store behaviors to drive a cohesive, omnichannel CX and maximize your brand’s impact on every channel. The right approach results in more conversions, better customer loyalty, and added revenue. 
  • Add in-store product browsing and purchases to your database. Once you know every product a customer is interested in, you’ll have the insight to offer relevant promotions, such as discounts and back-in-stock notifications.

A single customer view gives you the know-how to deliver effective omnichannel marketing.

The final word on using your customer data strategically

Maximizing customer data collection is crucial for effective marketing that boosts revenue. But you also need the right tools to combine data and develop a single customer view. 

The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone! Instead, consider choosing a CDP that provides you with the insights your marketers require, activates your data to execute your campaigns, and analyzes performance. 

Mapp Cloud optimizes data collection, segmentation, and organization to generate unmissable insights. In addition, its unified customer profiles make data actionable and visible so you can provide high-quality in-store and digital experiences. And use its powerful AI to find out when customers are likely to churn or convert. 

Discover how Mapp Cloud helped Vivienne Westwood combined their online and offline data to identify 1 out of 3 of its website visitors and tailor personalization for a 38% click-through rate. 

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