Know your customers! Your people are your most valuable asset! Your company is only as good as your products! While there is wisdom in these business truisms, they are easier said than done when it comes to your most valuable assets–your customers, employees, products, and more.
In Meditationes Sacrae and Human Philosophy in 1597, Sir Francis Bacon wrote that “Knowledge is Power.” To empower your engagement with your customers, employees, and products, start by seeking greater knowledge.
Why Knowledge is Powerful for Customer Engagement:
Knowledge is definitely power when engaging, delighting, and creating intimate relationships with customers. But gaining this knowledge requires an all-encompassing 360-degree view of your customer data.
For example, as a service provider, you have a wide variety of data—cable, broadband, and mobile usage, billing, operations support, and service history data. But unless this data is properly accessed and aligned, it won’t help you delight or better serve your customers. And doing it wrong might actually annoy them, for example, pitching your customers something they already own or that bears no relevance to them.
Capturing your customer data, gift-wrapping it with business insight, and presenting it back to them as a relevant offer informed by their unique situation is much more effective than your guesses about their interests. Knowing your customers helps ensure that every point of engagement is a path to their delight, loyalty, pocketbooks, and a boon to your bottom line.
Why Knowledge is Powerful for Innovation:
Now apply this to a 360-degree view of employees, where your goal is to maximize your people’s innovation and productivity. With an overarching view of their skills, experiences, interests, and aspirations, you can optimize your talent pool.
For example, if you are a pharmaceutical firm working on a new drug, a 360-degree view of your R&D programs might uncover bottlenecks, as well as staff member capabilities you can use to keep them on track. That’s a productivity win, a time to market win, and a business win.
Why Knowledge is Powerful for Process Optimization: Now, consider how a similar 360-degree view of your products can help you optimize your supply chain. With a complete picture of all your supply sources and demand destinations, you have all the data you need to build the right product and deliver it to the right people, at the right time.
With this up-to-the-minute supply chain snapshot, you will never build more than what you can sell, and you can quickly divert products wherever needed if things change. Real-time and correct information lets you lean out the supply chain to increase turns, reduce carrying costs, and eliminate waste.
Why Knowing is Difficult
But gathering and garnering this kind of knowledge is not easy when your customer data is distributed, diverse, unaligned, and siloed across multiple systems. For example, is customer X in your billing system the same customer X across your call center, operations support, and marketing systems?
Where MDM fits:
Your data will remain stuck in silos if it is not rationalized. This is where Master Data Management (MDM) comes in. MDM is the catalyst for you to rationalize your diverse customer IDs, product IDs, employee IDs, and more together, thereby creating the linkages you need to know what is truly common and what is not.
As a result, your most important shared data—your customers, employees, suppliers, assets, locations, materials, products, legal entities, financial accounts, reference data—is consistent and accurate, no matter when it was captured and where it currently resides.
Where Data Virtualization fits:
Leveraging your MDM foundation, you can use data virtualization (DV) to integrate related non-master data required to complete your 360-degree views. With DV, you can create a complete history of customer engagement with as much detail as you require. And because it is virtual, you can leave the data where it already resides, and yet still query it and deliver it whenever a 360-degree view is needed.
Armed with the complete picture, you can personalize customer service, make the smartest next best offer, and engage the way your customers prefer. It helps your iPad-using repairman know they have the right parts when making a service call. It empowers your marketers to efficiently offer services they know, not just hope, your customer will want. It empowers your call center reps to focus on how to help, because they already know about the customer’ past experiences and current situation.
With DV, you also eliminate the need for your applications developers to learn how to access the data their business applications consume. Instead, your call center developers can focus 100% on optimizing call center rep productivity. Ecommerce developers can focus on your shopping experience. Point of sales developers can focus on ease of use. All build on your easy to understand and use, DV-enabled 360-degree data views.Knowledge is definitely power when engaging, delighting, and creating intimate relationships with customers. But gaining this knowledge requires an all-encompassing 360-degree view of your customer data. Click To Tweet
Know What’s Important to your Business
Knowledge becomes power when you can use your data to help your business. And combining master data management and data virtualization can accelerate your education.
Up your knowledge by exploring these resources and learn how to gain a competitive advantage with a comprehensive, modern data management strategy.