360-degree customer view

The 360-degree customer view is the idea, sometimes considered unattainable, that companies can get a complete view of customers by aggregating data from the various touch points that a customer may use to contact a company to purchase products and receive service and support.

With the advent of technologies such as mobile devices, video customer support, online communities, social media platforms, and more, the various touch points with which customers may interact has proliferated, which can make the task of aggregating the data from these various interactions more difficult to achieve.

Companies now use an increasing array of tools to develop this 360-degree view, including social media listening tools to gather what customers are saying on sites like Facebook and Twitter, predictive analytics tools to determine what customers may research or purchase next, customer relationship management suites and marketing automation software. So it has become more important than ever for this software to integrate with other platforms to enable data sharing and a cohesive, up-to-date, accurate view of customers. In some cases, this may involve the use of application programming interfaces to enable applications to share data. Data quality and data cleansing practices may also be necessary to attain an accurate picture of customers, where the data is current, not duplicate or conflicting, and so forth.

The 360-degree view of customers also often requires a big data analytics strategy to marry structured data, or data that can reside in the rows and columns of a database, with unstructured data as it resides on social media platforms and so forth is becoming increasingly important. Many companies are trying to develop to combine these sources of data and to analyze them in a central location.


This was last updated in February 2015

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