Single customer view

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A Single Customer View is an aggregated, consistent and holistic representation of the data known by an organisation about its customers.[1][2] The advantage to an organisation of attaining this unified view comes from the ability it gives to analyse past behaviour in order to better target and personalise future customer interactions.[3][4] A single customer view is also considered especially relevant where organisations engage with customers through multiple channels, since customers expect those interactions to reflect a consistent understanding of their history and preferences.[5][6] However, some commentators have challenged the idea that a single view of customers across an entire organisation is either natural or meaningful, proposing that the priority should instead be consistency between the multiple views that arise in different contexts.[7]

Where representations of a customer are held in more than one system, achieving a single customer view can be difficult: firstly because customer identity must be traceable between the records held in those systems, and secondly because anomalies or discrepancies in the customer data must be resolved.[8][9] As such, the acquisition by an organisation of a single customer view is one potential outcome of successful Master data management. Since December 2010, maintaining a single customer view has become mandatory for UK banks and other deposit takers due to new rules introduced by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.[10][11]