Single View of the Customer

This is sometimes called Customer Single View (CSV).

Banks must be able to understand who their customers are as well as their value and potential to them. They must also have the ability to reconcile customer data from several product systems and channels (often on different platforms) with their own database and with a very different view of the same customer.

A CRM system combines and associates relevant data that the bank holds, and some third-party data into a ‘customer profile’ that is used by the bank to help provide a superior customer experience, no matter what channel the customer uses. Because of the display restrictions of different channels the full profile won’t be displayed, but the underlying data is used in delivery of the service.

The full profile, or part of it, is used for analytical purposes and provides a consistent view and definition.

Central to the single customer view is ‘customer number’ that acts as a unique identifier in the bank’s customer data management platform and the product, channel, or other systems that are linked to it.

The Customer Profile

Banks are increasingly challenged by new Fintechs that are natively customer-centric. Traditional banks, with their wider range of products and services, a greater number of channels on which to interact and problems with their legacy technology platforms are at a disadvantage against natively customer-centric fintechs.

Having and using a single view of their customer is fundamental to reaping the benefits of being customer-centric, and perhaps just surviving sometimes.

Most Banks Face a Challenge

Most banks find it difficult to establish a reliable single view of their customer. This can have repercussions for their ability to deliver their desired level of customer experience, trust, loyalty and ultimately grow their revenue. Fintechs rarely have a problem in establishing and using a single customer view, which places them at a competitive advantage.

The top three reasons for banks not being able to create a single view of their customer are:

  • Poor data quality – there is a huge amount of data to be collated and organised. This can be a daunting and costly exercise because of the amount of manual input required to cleanse source data;
  • Siloed product and channel teams – are often an unintentional barrier to creating a single view that ironically works against them selling more products or delivering the best customer experience;
  • Inability to link different technologies – sometimes the bank’s core technology is so old and siloed that it can’t be integrated.

Why is it Important

Apart from the fact that customers will want a personalised and relevant relationship with their bank, it is fundamental for a bank that wants to be customer-centric. Being unable to establish and use an accurate single view of the customer is a feature of a product-centric or channel-centric bank.

However, it is increasingly a regulatory requirement to have consistent, accurate data, particularly where anti-money laundering or data protection regulations are breached. Failure to do so can cause hefty fines from regulators and bad publicity that can affect a bank’s ability to grow.


Marketing Capability

  • Deliver personalised, relevant communications;
  • Understand customer needs, wants, life cycle and contact preferences;
  • Understanding the customer’s financial situation;
  • Calculate customer value to understand who the bank’s most valuable customers are;
  • Help make insight-driven decisions.

Customer Benefit

  • Useful information about the things they are interested in, not mass undifferentiated marketing;
  • More likely to get offered the right product at the right time;
  • Greater value from the relationship that builds satisfaction, trust, and loyalty.

Business Benefit

  • Higher sales and increased customer loyalty;
  • More targeted product development;
  • Prioritisation and more effective tailored communications – not wasted money;
  • Staff see a customer’s history and the most relevant NBA (Next Best Offer) rapidly responding that enhances brand perception and relationship;
  • Valuable customer insight to build better propositions, products, and services that customers and prospects want to buy and use.