Think you know your customers? Bet you don’t know your customers like Google knows them. But you could.

Although most companies sit on huge amounts of travel customer data, it is usually holed up in disconnected areas, isolated and under-utilized.

Travelers are demanding more personalized experiences and modern companies need to compete more for their business.

So how do companies do that? Single Customer View (SCV). With SCV businesses quickly understand the individual travel habits and preferences of every person entering the sales environment.  SCV combines visitor and customer interactions across all channels from search to sale to create an individual customer profile, updated in real-time.

So how do you make SCV work for you?

1. Unifying Customer Data – Advanced SCV solutions provide a consumer like interface, rather than an enterprise interface, to view information related to a single customer. On these profiles, employees can view past interactions across a number of channels, all displayed in an intuitive timeline interface. The most effective SCV solutions combine the following within a single travel customer profile:

  • Web browsing data – pages, clicks and purchases
  • Transaction data – determined from web browsing data
  • Email & SMS open, click-through and conversion
  • Offline PNR and transaction data
  • Social memberships and associated social data (where possible)
  • Customer support

By unifying these otherwise unconnected sets of data, SCV platforms have the ability to identify relationships between customers, linking those who travel together frequently and even incorporating data from their social graphs, such as Facebook Connect. With this information employees can quickly establish key facts with which to use and engage with passengers. For example, SCV can identify a group of friends who travel together every year and using this information to enhance their experience (e.g. providing complementary drinks or deliver targeted travel offers).

2. Customer Segmentation – Having pulled together all the relevant sets of data, companies can easily combine transactional insights with shopping behavior and social signals. Once complete, all updates are available in real-time as new data arrives. This means staff can gain immediate access to real-time customer intelligence, without the need for a degree in statistics.

Available attributes can include demographics, trip data, shopping behavior and customer-defined data. Many advanced SCV platforms, such as Boxever, uses data sourced from third party aggregators to further enhance targeting (e.g. information about household spend, etc.). All data segments can be automatically synchronized with Email Direct Marketing (EDM) platforms as well as other systems, such as Salesforce.

3. Identity Association  A good SCV platform will automatically detect and combine data to build a single customer profile. While many customers have registered profiles already, some decide not to log on, while others use multiple email addresses or access the sales environment through multiple devices, making it difficult to create a single view of each customer.

Advanced SCV platforms quickly identify duplicate profiles based on one or more identity attributes, e.g. email, name, phone number, last digits of the credit card or any combination of these or other attributes. They unify profiles based on exact matching and, where necessary, de-duplicate multiple profiles.

4. Customer Search – SCV also enables users to search and access customer data. Platforms such as Boxever have an easy to use search interface, enabling authorized users to quickly identify customers based on any piece of information stored against them.  This even includes large ‘unstructured’ pieces of information such as email communications or live chat transcripts.

Just like the customer profile, this interface is designed to reflect the usability of B2C search products, like Google, meaning little-to-no training is required to use it.

Building the business case. Taking the time to understand more about their customers’ preferences, businesses aren’t just giving themselves an advantage over the competition, they are keeping themselves in the game. In just years, brands that fail to identify regular or important customers will be gone – such is the ferocity of the modern market. If the first rule of business is that the customer is always right, the second must know who that customer is.