Collecting and analyzing data on your customers’ preferences and behavior is one of the best ways to improve your products and customer service. As your business grows, you need enterprise-class customer relationship management (CRM) software that can store and manage all of your customer data.

Salesforce is a software as a service (SaaS) company that provides the Salesforce CRM software to more than 100,000 organizations worldwide. As of 2020, the market intelligence firm IDC has named Salesforce, with an 18 percent market share, the most widely used CRM provider for the seventh year in a row.

When reading about Salesforce, you might have come across the term “Customer 360”. Not only does this phrase describe a unified collection of your customer data, but it also refers to Salesforce’s CRM data management software. In this article, we’ll investigate the different uses of the "Customer 360" term as it applies to Salesforce CRM software.

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Table of Contents

What is a Customer 360 in Salesforce?

There are many names for the concept of a customer 360 — a customer 360-degree view, customer 360-degree profile, single customer view, unified customer view, “golden record,” etc. Despite the diversity of these terms, they all essentially refer to the same thing.

customer 360 is a panoramic, 360-degree view of an individual customer in Salesforce (or whatever your choice of CRM). In other words, it’s a single unified customer profile that contains all the recorded data about that customer. Also, this profile updates with new data about the customer as it arrives, and it becomes available to your sales, marketing, and customer support teams as they need it.

Related Reading: 5 Customer Data Integration Best Practices

The contents of a customer 360-degree view will differ depending on your business practices and customer base, but they may include:

  • Personally identifiable information (PII): Name, mailing address, email address, phone number, age birthdate, etc.
  • Third-party data: Demographics, occupation, behaviors, lifestyle, etc.
  • Clickstream data: Digital footprints such as website visits, email opens, use of the mobile app.
  • Geography: Maps of where and when the customer shops at your business.
  • Transactions: All purchases, both in-store and online.
  • Customer support: Interactions with customer service agents for refunds, defective items, technical help, etc.
  • Social media: Likes, shares, comments, reviews, subscriptions, etc.

Why do you need 360-degree views of your customers? Because the more data you have, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to delight your customer base and keep them coming back to your business. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, heavy users of customer analytics are 23 times more likely to excel at acquiring new customers and 19 times more likely to be highly profitable.

In particular, having a 360-degree view helps with personalizing your customer outreach and marketing efforts. An Epsilon research report found that 80 percent of customers are more likely to patronize businesses that offer personalized experiences. A solid 360-degree customer view can also help you make better forecasts and predictions, both on a business level and for individual customers (e.g. identifying opportunities for cross-selling and upselling).

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The Salesforce Customer 360 Data Manager

Having a customer 360-degree view is so important that Salesforce named its own product after the concept: Salesforce Customer 360. The Customer 360 platform unites all of Salesforce’s applications and functionality under one roof — sales, marketing, customer analytics, customer service, IT, and more — to give you a single source of truth and help you digitally transform your business.

The features of Salesforce Customer 360 include:

  • Uniting disparate customer data in a single profile in order to deliver a consistent, unified customer experience across multiple channels.
  • Managing users’ consent for processing their personal data, which is crucial for compliance with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
  • Performing advanced customer segmentation into different audiences based on factors such as demographics, transaction history, transaction patterns, and web browsing history.
  • Using artificial intelligence to identify new opportunities for customer engagement.

Perhaps the most prominent component of Salesforce Customer 360 is the Customer 360 Data Manager. According to Salesforce, the Customer 360 Data Manager helps you “build a complete view of your customers and deliver the seamless experiences they expect,” which precisely aligns with the general concept of a customer 360-degree view that we discussed above. 

Users of Customer 360 Data Manager can define matching rules that identify when multiple data records across the organization refer to the same individual customer. Upon detecting a match, the Customer 360 Data Manager merges these records into a single unified profile, which is given a global party ID (GPID). The GPID then makes it simpler to exchange this customer data between different applications and systems.

How Xplenty Can Help with Salesforce

Integrate Your Data Today!

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Integrating your CRM data is a lot easier with Salesforce Customer 360. But what about integrating this information with the rest of your enterprise data? That’s where ETL tools like Xplenty come in. Xplenty is a powerful yet user-friendly ETL and data integration platform.

With more than 100 pre-built connectors, including Salesforce, Xplenty makes it easy to unify and migrate your various data sources into a single centralized data warehouse. Ready to learn more? Get in touch with our team of data integration experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives, or to start your 14-day pilot of the Xplenty platform.