Gutted. I could cope with the loss of Toys R Us and House of Fraser, but now my favourite pub might shut down.
The landlord is always friendly. He knows the names of my wife and children and often asks after them. He knows roughly where I live and how long a walk I’d have home with a standard deviation per pint consumed. He lets me put my bill on a ‘tab’ and not worry if I have to pay another day, if I pop in and have no cash.
The barmaid knows my name, what I like to drink, what glass I like it in and what newspaper I would read. When I’m served she often gives me a cheeky little top up, whilst chatting to me about my favourite football team. If they have new beers in stock, she‘d let me sample a few before deciding.
She knows, vaguely, what I do for a job (I guess she still thinks I’m Red #1)
I felt very comfortable, trusted, valued and relaxed there. I go back time after time, and I’ve told my mates about it too.
Wouldn’t it be great if all shopping was like that? That personalised experience. That they really took the time to know their customer. And of course it would be great if you could get beer in all shops!
In the 1950’s most shops were like this (without the beer), so focusing on Personalisation and Customer Experience is nothing new! But digital transformation, disruption, competition, changing lifestyles, e-commerce, next day delivery and so forth are new. Customers can go anywhere they want, anywhere in the world. Your products remain unique for about a day. Costs are rising, margins are so tight that you can’t undercut competitors, so what else have you got to offer?
That’s right; exceptional Customer Experience, personalised communication and pre-emptive service.
But it’s much, much, much harder to know your customer now, right?
My pub has about 30 regulars. I hadn’t changed job for 5 years or moved house for 15 years.
It’s a little trickier to be personal when you have hundreds of thousands or even millions of customers.
My pub had one front door, so they could see me coming. Customers now have multiple different entry points to your business.
Unlike my landlord, you’re going to need to write down the names of all your customers, and their contact details and what they have bought. Make sure all your staff in all your stores do that correctly and accurately, use the same format, in the same colour pen, on the same form. And whatever you do, don’t write the same customers name down twice.
OK I’ve made my point.
So, what’s the answer then? Well, Master Data Management won’t get you there. Not this decade anyway. And besides the time it will take, have you got access to Jeff Bezos’ bank account? Even if you answer yes to this, I’m sorry Jeff, traditional MDM still won’t suffice.
You need Customer Intelligence – a Single Customer View – quickly. “Isn’t that the same thing?”
Well I guess you could say that, and of course many have. In my view there is a difference.
Let’s take a closer look at what happened in my pub, and what you will need to build a dynamic, rich, relevant Single Customer View that can keep pace with your customer…
Well, you need to truly know who the customer is, as a person, and the life they lead rather than simply a system of record.
In essence the landlord had 4 key things that he used to make me love his pub (besides great products!)
1 My Master Data – my name, address, marital status, household members, tab number and some basic preferences and past purchases. This was merely the foundation, but often it’s as far as many organisations can go.
My landlord could also converse with me appropriately and personally because he didn’t just have customer data, he had ALL data related to a customer. He understood…
2 My Context – job type, lifestyle, demographic, interests, residential area, approximate income, age and propensity to pay a debt …
3 My Location – how far I’d travelled, what was near me, when I was near his pub, what other pubs were near my home and on the route, my risk of flooding, what station I use, the drive time to the pub
4 My Network – who I play hockey with, who else in the pub supports my team, who else lives near me, who drinks the same beer as me, what new beers other people like me also tried, who I recommended the pub to. And that not only kept me happy, but it helped him find and keep more good customers like me.
And on top of that they made buying easy and he rewarded my loyalty with something I wanted.
The only thing he couldn’t do, was do that at scale.
If you want to get rich, dynamic, contextual customer profiles and you want to intelligently connect people, places and things you need to get personal and you need agile tools and data.
1 Mastering Data – Pitney Bowes have all the tools to rapidly clean and consolidate data from many places and bring together a Single Customer View. Not just customer data but ALL data related to a customer. Often this will be a virtual, federated approach to mastering to avoid a huge ETL project.
2 The Contextual Data – Pitney Bowes has a huge portfolio of pre-prepared, cleansed 3rd party, business, demographic, consumer and geo-demographic data, globally standardised and joined by a common key to quickly layer on customer knowledge.
3 The Location Intelligence – Pitney Bowes has location intelligent, geo-spatial systems to place customers, points of interest, boundaries and street data on maps to visualise where your customer is and the world around them.
4 The Network. Pitney Bowes store all that data in an agile, inherently multi domain graph database that intelligently understands the relationships between people, places and things, finds value in those relationships and can be added to with great speed and ease.
Whether you are considering implementing a single customer view, or you want to drive more value from an existing customer data platform, with rich contextual data and location intelligence, come and find me.
For now at least, I’ll be at the bar.
Written by Matt Cawsey
To find out more about the power of Single Customer View and how to harness your data for increased personalisation and optimal CX, download the full report here.
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