A comprehensive Single Customer View (SCV) can enable hugely increased personalisation and improved customer engagement, both things which are incredibly important in today’s landscape. Research from Infosys shows that 59% of consumers who experience personalisation say that it significantly influenced what they purchased.

As such, a SCV should be at the heart of everything a business does. It needs to be a consistent, real time and holistic representation of all data an organisation has on its customers. To all intents and purposes it is the customer.

With a proper SCV, businesses can create more relevant, personalised and interactive experiences, predict customer’s likely next moves and requirements and customise interactions based on the time, location and context of each engagement.

Practical steps to success

However, creating a SCV is no easy feat. With this in mind, how can organisations create and then ensure they benefit from a SCV? While there is no silver bullet, the following practical steps can act as a key guide.

  1. Know your data, know your customer

Data quality is the absolute foundation for any SCV. No attempt at personalisation, no matter how innovative the technology involved – whether that is a new CRM system, AI or chatbots – will be effective if it is not fed with accurate, up to date data.

Due to the insane amount of data available, businesses need to carefully weigh up the time and effort involved with capturing, cleaning and storing data, with the value it adds. Instead of capturing data for the sake of it, organisations should score it according to its value, the risks involved in collecting it and how collecting it improves things for the customer.

  1. Don’t try and build a perfect world

Creating a SCV can seem daunting, but businesses should not make the mistake of trying to create a ‘perfect world’ where all systems are ready, all data is modeled, all key stakeholders are completely onboard and every eventuality is considered before starting.

Instead, focus on finding the right technology. If nimble, agile and flexible technology is used, then it can evolve and adapt as the organisation’s needs change – as well as keep up with rapidly evolving customer data.

Using the right technology and approach, business can deliver a SCV and use it to create value incredibly quickly. 

  1. Carefully consider your technology options 

There are a wide variety of technology options available when it comes to creating a SCV. Selecting technology is not an easy process and with so many voices and so many features to choose from, organisations need to get it right to avoid costly mistakes. The right technology isn’t about just selecting the best scoring technology in the quadrant or wave but what fits your organisation and keeps the costs and change reasonable and within the realms of your ability and organisation’s maturity.

Many organisations will never get away from storing customer information in multiple data silos and should therefore “embrace the silo”. If a fully persisted set of data is not required, but more simply, a federated view for analytics or use in downstream processes or applications, then create a virtual SCV by federating data from multiple sources on the fly.

Bringing in expertise to carry out a maturity assessment before commencing on selecting technology can be hugely valuable.

  1. SCV is a means to an end, not the endgame

Those organisations who simply treat having a SCV as a tick box exercise will not benefit from the value it can bring. A SCV is an enabler, and businesses need to have a clear plan around what it will enable them to do and then ensure they act on this plan to develop and deliver new propositions, products and services.

Organisations should not be afraid to bring in outside help to achieve this as any change can be challenging and is, of course, about so much more than just technology. For businesses to derive real value from having a SCV, there needs to be investment in people and processes to enable change.

It is not easy, but those organisations that make the commitment to effectively harness data to create a SCV, will ultimately add real value to their business.

Dan Telling

Dan Telling


Dan Telling is Managing director at specialist consultancy MyBench