Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A single view

I've been speaking with a few clients recently about managing customer data and have found myself saying those wonderful words "what we need is a single view of the customer".

By this I mean that companies must try to identify the customer once and not try to create different records of them just because they chose to use several different channels of communication or purchase.

This is widely acceped as a goal of CRM, to save on more expensive aquisitional costs of re-marketing to try to repeatedly obtain the same

customer and use retentional techniques to keep them happy and purchasing instead. Simple eh?Well, yes its easy enough to state, but hard to implement as:

1. Customers are not able to be tracked across all channels all the time (and still then we can't and shouldn't track them down when they are carrying out 'anonymous' or secure tasks)

2. They use different methods for interaction acording to the channel they use.

However, is this view-point not being a little arrogant? Shouldn't the customer be able to communicate with companies in the different ways they want and when they want to?

Surely what's required is not so much for companies to have a single view of their customer, but for customers to have a single view of a company?
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