Centralize the customer information

Each bakery has implemented a loyalty-card scheme and customers have as many cards as shops that they go to...

Customer information isn't shared and customers are not recognized from one shop to another.

It is not only possible to create a common Customer Model for all shops, but also to centralize customer information in a shared database. This provides a consolidated view of the customers and how to best serve them.

The Baker creates an Organizational unit responsible for managing the customer information on behalf of all the shops. This Organizational unit promotes a single customer loyalty card.

  1. Why do we need to gather customer Information together?

    Thanks to the potential of digital, customer relations are greatly changing: from a classic approach based on segmentation by customer group to a personalized approach, made possible by new digital means which are:

    • connectivity of all sorts of mobiles linked to the Cloud which manages Information accessible anytime.
    • big data to understand the customer context and offer the right product at the right time
    • social networks which offer a lot of Information
    • exchange volumes and bandwidth which are continuously increasing
    • education and equipment of consumers

    The amount of Information available on a Customer is increasingly considerably: by intelligently analyzing this Information, we can manage to better understand Customer behavior, reactions, expectations and therefore propose Offers to them that are more likely to satisfy them. The Customer can receive less solicitation messages and more targeted messages. 
    We go
    • From a mass approach to a highly-personalized approach
    • From an asynchronous mode (communication to customers happens after segment analysis) to a synchronous mode (we can inform customers via their smartphone, that they may be interested in certain opportunities in a nearby shop or in the shop where they actually are)
    • From a mode where the multi-channel existed but in a compartmentalized way, to a cross-channel mode where customers can go dynamically from one channel to another, for the same Distribution Process. For example: signal on the smartphone, indication in the aisle, information picked up at the checkout.
    • From a "pull" mode, where the Enterprise communicates to the end customer (or prescriber), particularly using advertising, to attract him/her towards the product, to a "push" mode, where the enterprise pushes the product towards the consumer.
    Classic Approach mass communication
    asynchronous Multi-channel, but compartmentalized channels pull
    Digital Approach
    highly personalized
    Real time
    Cross-channel push

    Huge use of customer information for purposes other than proposing targeted Offers.
    It also enables us to manage

    • A Customer account which groups together all the financial exchanges between an Enterprise and its Customer, linking credits which may go beyond the financing of a single Offer.
    • Customer risk: is he or she a good payer or a defaulter?
    • Profitability per customer: by taking an overall look at the Customer, we can find out his/her overall profitability and, in so doing, are able to reduce the cost on one Offer because we can make up for it on another, we can know whether to offer complementary insurance because he/she is careful...

    Customer Information is useful not only in the Operations, as we have just described, but also in the Transformation: to rapidly renew products, we have to understand Customer behavior and expectations.

  2. How do we centralize Customer Information?

    1. Define the customer Information Model

      To manage risk, profitability by customer or to know how to propose the right offer, we have to gather together the customer information spread out across the different Organizational units of the Enterprise.

      The first action is, as always, to define the Customer Information Model
      • Give a definition to the concept of Customer
        • Dissociate the Decision maker, the Subscriber, the Payer, the Beneficiary, the Product User...
        • Define whether the same person can play several of these roles
        • Define whether the Customer can be a natural person or a legal entity
        • Define whether the Subscriber role can be held be several persons (for example, a joint bank account)
      • Identify different information groups concerning the customer: legal information, family information, professional information, all forms of address, heritage, equipped with products, behavior...
      • Define the relations between these Objects: a customer may have several addresses
      • Define the information stored in each Object
      • Define how to identify a customer: user-name format, who manages it, how do you deduplicate?
      • Define the Types of each piece of information: how should an address, a name, a social and occupational category be represented...?

      It is the rigor of this Information Model that will facilitate all the actions described above. We are not always capable of ensuring that all Customer Information respects this Model as the origin of the bits of Information can be extremely diverse.
      Fortunately, today's search engines are able to work with imperfect and badly formatted data.

    2. Model the Customer management Processes

      Once the Information has been Modeled, we can Model the Actions that are based on this data:

      • get to know the opinions Customers have on the brands, the Image, the Product and Service Offers of the Enterprise or its competitors
      • deduce the Customer expectations from their behavior
      • define the right Offer at the right time by using the geolocation possibilities
      • select customer panels to continuously test our offers: apply "lean startup" principles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_Startup) which recommend quickly testing our new offers by Customer panels to refine the Model before it is finalized.
    3. Protect Customer Information

      The large amount of Information available raises the problem of confidentiality and of the protection of private life.
      Legislation is more or less restrictive or permissive depending on the country.
      We have to respect certain principles:

      • The Customer Information used must be accessible by the Customer who may forbid its use.
      • Should an incident occur, the Customer and the data protection authorities must be immediately informed.
      • We have to clearly define who is authorized to query which elements of customer data
      • We also have to define a strategy of updating data: decide who is able to create or modify it. Should we inform a Customer manager for updates to sensitive Information?
    4. Store Customer Information

      The trend is to store the Information in the Cloud so that it remains accessible to all kinds of terminals, mobile or not.
      But differences in legislation mean that we are not indifferent to where the information is stored (see the recent trials and tribulations of the NSA): Europe provides more protection than the USA.
      The other trend is to gather together Information and not to distribute it. If the database is distributed, what criteria should be used to divide it up: by region? by customer type? Should we plan to have a duplication and replication system, which is relatively complex?

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The story of George the Baker is made available under the terms of the
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