If you’ve been to a seminar of any kind in the last ten years, then no doubt you’ve heard, and probably even used the term ’360-degree customer view,’ but despite the term’s prevalence, the idea behind it is still routinely misunderstood and misapplied, leading to a loss of customer confidence and a missed opportunity for business to grow and evolve. So what exactly is the 360 degree view, and is it still relevant?
Most simply put, the 360 degree customer view involves seeing your customer as a fully rounded individual, and organising your service so that it is inclusive of the widest possible set of needs and expectations. In practice, this means attending to every step of the customer experience, from brand identity, advertising and sales to data collection, expert advice, social media presence and support systems.
In a properly implemented 360 degree operation, each aspect of the business is both customer-focused and designed to act in support of the other elements, so that – for example – customer service call records can help identify and eliminate common problems so that one customer’s experience can directly benefit that of future customers, and help to streamline operations.
One aspect of the 360 approach that is consistently neglected is responsiveness. In our era of permanent technological revolution, the only certainty is uncertainty, which means any business has to be able to respond to seismic shifts in the marketplace, and to let consumers know that they are doing so.
It’s never been harder to predict where the next change will be, and how it will affect your day to day operations. With this in mind, one of the most important aspects of the 360-degree view is flexibility, and the ability to give your customers what they want, when they want, on the platform they want.