Customer Data Management, Part 3: Best Practices to Link Data
In this brief three-part series, we share easy steps you can take to create a quality customer data management process that can provide comprehensive visibility into and across your business prospects and customers. You’ll discover how to convert data clutter and chaos into customer clarity to help better understand and pinpoint opportunities and risks so you can securely, efficiently and effectively grow your business.
So far, we have covered some best practices for improving and expanding upon your customer data management, and ways to gain actionable insights from your data. The third step, which we discuss here, involves linking data together to help you visualize the full customer relationship.
Linking, or integrating, customer data enables a holistic view of a customer that crosses enterprises, distribution channels and business lines. It combines the data from multiple sources that can provide maximum insight into customer characteristics and behavior.
Here are a few best practices to help you get the most out of your business customer data integration.
Link data from multiple sources
The amount of data now available makes it impractical for companies to store all the data they need on their own systems. Therefore, a good customer data management solution will draw data from a number of different internal and external sources. Linking data from different sources, rather than just pulling information into your own database and storing it there, also allows you to have more current data.
Link data within your client’s organization
The more relevant data you have on a client’s organization, the better off you will be. Linking together data on all the business units in an organization, as well as on specific individuals and positions, can do two things: It can help you keep your sales cycle on track, even if a decisionmaker is promoted, transferred or leaves the company, letting you seamlessly continue the process with the decisionmaker’s replacement; and it can also provide the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell within the organization. By knowing what other areas or functions are doing that may be similar or complementary to what your client is doing, you may uncover other sales opportunities within the same organization.
Link data from multiple sources within your own organization
Make sure that all areas or functions within your organization, including sales, marketing, accounts receivable and production, have access to the same data – a single source of truth. Often, there is no need for one function to access data relevant to another, but occasionally a situation will arise that makes it necessary for sales to be privy to information used by accounts receivable, for example. When that time comes, having the data already linked and available will increase efficiency and speed up problem resolution.
Customer data management can help your organization acquire new customers, increase wallet share among existing customers and prevent customer churn. Following the best practices outlined in this three-part series can help you see the impact on your bottom line.
Image source: Flickr
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