On Day 1 of Dreamforce, the BIG announcement coming from Moscone center, centered around a new offering called Customer 360 Truth. This builds on last year’s announcement around Salesforce’s Customer 360 vision to connect multiple customer silos around Sales, Service, Marketing, Commerce and much more. With the proliferation of digital channels and multiple customer facing applications, customer data has grown manifold. However, firms often face a challenge in piecing together this information for meaningful 360 view of customer. For instance, a customer shopping with online retailer can have cross-channel interactions, that get stored in multiple sales, call center and bespoke apps, all with a different way to identify a customer and with incomplete information about the customer in each system. The requirement of Customer 360 or Single View of the customer has been on top of the list for Customer Service Executives, Marketing Managers and Sales Teams. The ability to build together a Customer 360 view has been a holy grail for many organizations.
Salesforce’s Customer 360 Truth offering takes aim at solving these problems and make it easier to identify and build a unified customer view. Customer 360 Truth consolidates data across Salesforce apps and external systems with the same ease and delivers this consolidated data on demand to the consuming apps. All of this, while addressing privacy, data security and compliance requirements. The Customer 360 Truth offering includes the following services:
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- Customer 360 Data Manager: Customer 360 Data Manager consolidates the Salesforce and external systems data through a single unified Salesforce ID for each customer. This leads to a golden copy of the customer with connected information readily available through the Salesforce ID.
- Salesforce Identity for Customers: The same customer gets multiple identities during their lifecycle with an organization due to unconnected apps, websites and login mechanisms. This creates a complicated mesh of usernames, login IDs and emails in the systems that authenticate the customers. With Salesforce Identity for Customers a single authentication login is created that acts as the gateway to all the organizations apps.
- Customer 360 Audiences: Customer 360 audiences connects the customer’s journey with the organization and creates a unified profile. Customer 360 audiences tracks the customer’s interactions across different touchpoints and delivers AI powered insights around the same.
- Privacy and Data Governance: Helps organizations classify the data they have in their systems, label them and ensure that data is compliant with the regulations like GDPR and HIPAA.
If we look under the hood, the Customer 360 Truth offering is powered by Cloud Information Model (CIM). If you are wondering what CIM is all about then in a nutshell it is an Open Source data model standardized by Amazon Web Services, Salesforce and Genesys along with the Linux Foundation. All components of Customer 360 Truth (except Customer 360 Audiences) are GA.
So, what does that mean for organizations? Well different things for different people. For Sales & Marketing executives, Customer 360 Truth makes it easier to identify and engage with customers in a much more personalized way. The Customer 360 audiences moves beyond traditional customer data platforms and builds a unified view across known data such as emails & first party IDs and unknown data such as website visits and device IDs. For designers and developers, having a Common Information Model allows them to build apps that can operate seamlessly with other apps as they follow a common model. The CIM is enabled by MuleSoft’s open source modelling technology making it easy for applications to adopt the same.
What does it take to turn on Customer 360 Truth?
While the implementation sounds relatively straight forward, we all know how much time and resources organizations have devoted to failed data management projects. Thus, one of the critical consideration before implementation is having a solid strategy for data governance and stewardship. Post defining the data strategy, getting started with Customer 360 Truth for your organizations seems straightforward with key functionalities pre-built by Salesforce. . For instance, Salesforce Identity comes pre-configured as part of Salesforce 360 Truth offering along with metadata for handling privacy and compliance. Some configurations might be required as part of Customer 360 Data Manager to identify and integrate core systems. On the integration front, integration API’s come pre-built for a variety of use cases to reduce integration effort as well. However, for custom use cases, APIs will need to be built out using Mulesoft and will require integration skillsets.
While multiple attempts have been made by organizations and technology companies in the past to provide a unified single view of the customer, the Customer 360 Truth offering from Salesforce positions itself uniquely, as it focuses on reducing the friction that customers undergo in accessing their data spread across various systems. Of course, this would still require organizations to look at their data creation and management strategies and integrations holistically. Aethereus works with clients in defining this and ensuring that Customer 360 initiative is a success. In sum, this is a great offering from Salesforce to address Customer 360 related challenges. Organizations can leverage this offering as a launchpad for all their customer facing initiatives and demonstrate ROI on their customer facing investments.