The 540 Degree Customer View – Whiteboard Walkthrough

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7 min read

In this week's Whiteboard Walkthrough, Dale Kim, Director of Industry Solutions at MapR, describes the 540° Customer View.

Here is the transcript:

Hello, I’m Dale Kim of MapR Technologies, and welcome to my Whiteboard Walkthrough. In this episode, I’d like to discuss a popular new big data use case that everyone’s talking about. It’s known as the 540 degree customer view, and as you might imagine, it’s a natural evolution of the 360 degree customer view. Now, a 360 degree customer view is a great start for important business analytics, but in today’s fast-paced, fast-changing business climate, it falls a bit short. 180 degrees short, to be exact.

So what else do you need? Well, research shows that the biggest obstacle to sufficiently supporting your customers, is you. More specifically, your blatant, ego-centric, lack of self-awareness. And I mean that in the most objective way possible. The point is, how can you drive customer satisfaction and customer loyalty if a deep, introspective understanding of yourself is not part of the equation?

So let me get back to that soon. But let me first review some of the key points about a 360 degree customer view. You’ll have information like sales data, support call data, and even social media data about your customers. Individually, those data sources are very valuable, but they don’t give you the complete picture. So if you can get all of these individual views, add them all together, you’ll get that 360 degree customer view. And so, one of the challenges associated with the 360 degree customer view is that oftentimes, practically speaking, you end up in the same exact place that you started. And that’s the nature of the 360 degree customer view. Not true with the 540 degree customer view.

So, with all of the information that you have within your corporate walls, all this information can help out your customer information to get a better understanding of the entire environment so you can better serve your customers. So this extra 180 degrees that you get from your internal information is like a mirror. It’s like you’re looking at yourself to get more information. So think about the information that you do have: corporate financials, employee health records, geo-tracking of employees, as well as employee arrest records. Now of course, this is all public information so there are no concerns about confidentiality with your employees. Now if you have all this information stored together, most of you will probably recognize that there’s a lot of value to be gained, and there are clearly some benefits around how you can best serve your customers.

Now if you’re the skeptical type, you might be asking questions like, “how does knowing an employee’s cholesterol level contribute to better serving your customer?” And the simple answer to that is, “we don’t know.” That is a great question, but we need to be asking things like “what don’t we know” and “what can we learn” as a result of incorporating all this information. You can uncover different levels of correlations that you never would’ve imagined. And this is what academics refer to as the “unknown knowns,” or in other words, the things that you know, but you didn’t know that you knew. And, so when you’re searching for that proverbial needle in the haystack, you can do so without even knowing that you’re searching for that needle, or even searching in the haystack.

So you can put all this information together into your 540 degree customer view, and you get the insights that you need to be able to deliver the best support and best service to your customer. Now one of the of the side benefits of this is transparency. Imagine all the benefits you can get by having all this information open. No longer are there veils, that lead to secrecy and maybe some distrust among your employees. The conversations that you have at the water cooler about who makes what, and how much of a bonus they got, those will all be gone. This openness allows much better collaboration and ultimately much more productivity. And as you can imagine, think about all the benefits that your customers and maybe your partners will get as a result of having all this information available.

To be able to deploy such a system, you need a powerful platform that provides enterprise-grade capabilities. You need things like mission-critical business continuity, multi-tenancy, and unified security across the entire platform, built for big data. MapR provides such a platform to allow you to deploy such a system.

Now of course, if you choose a technology or platform that doesn’t have these capabilities, what you really end up with is simply a box of answers. That might sound interesting, it might sound useful, but when it comes down to it, a lot of those answers just generate more questions that are asked over and over and over again, and so you end up losing a lot of value within your system. And that results in what the industry refers to as a “cluster FAQ,” and I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.

There’s a lot of information on the web about a 540 degree customer view, so go ahead and take a look, and start your journey today. And good luck with that.

I hope you enjoyed this Whiteboard Walkthrough. If you have any comments or questions, please submit them below. And as always, if you have any topics that you’d like to hear more about, please let us know as well. Thank you for watching.

Oh, and, have a happy April 1st!

This blog post was published April 01, 2016.

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