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Single Customer View (SCV) - dull or shiny?

As a seasoned CDO, it seems sometimes that people are too busy chasing shiny new ideas to address the things that are important, hard to do, and that on the surface appear be a little dull. One of those is the Single Customer View (SCV).  A SCV is one of the most critical data components in any organisations data strategy. All of the best customer focussed organisations have one. In this blog I’ll take a look at why a SCV is so important.

 In simple terms a SCV is the “one version of the truth about your customer”. It will contain a unique customer ID, contact details, business activity, risk and regulatory information. There is a decision to me made as to how rich your SCV should be? The richer, and by that, I mean the more data it contains, the harder it is to create and maintain but the more value you can get.  For example, if you can cross sell to customer across products, channels, services and brands then you can uplift revenue as much as 20%. Can you afford not to do that?

 A SCV may be surfaced as a virtual record for every customer but by the time you dive into the detail it takes on a life of its own. Let me explain. Very few companies have one product, brand or channel and fewer still capture all customer data using the same customer ID in every system, brand and channel. New systems developments, acquisitions and project malaise all conspire to destroy the uniqueness along the way. What you end up with is many customer IDs all for one real customer. The problem with having many customer ID’s is it’s hard to join the data sets to enable you to work out the real value of a customer to your business. Joining them afterwards is tough and requires complex customer stitching. Which, for the love of new shiny things, can be enhanced with the use of AI!

 Throw GDPR into the mix and you’ll find it problematic to manage customer consent properly and put your firm at risk of fines and reputational damage without a SCV. 

When you build your SCV you are literally putting the companies crown jewels, in the form of all your customer data, in one place. If the data is stolen or misused, you are at risk of a massive fine, once again courtesy of the GDPR.

 Hopefully, you get the message by now that you should have a SCV? I’ll leave you to decide if it’s shiny or dull. Perhaps you’ll let me know your thoughts?

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