Use Customer Data Management Software to Enhance Customer Experiences
Gaining a holistic view of a customer, including their behavior, preferences, and transactions, is the Mount Everest of user data analysis. It's so difficult that only 14% of organizations feel they’ve attained a true 360-degree view of their customers. 
Customer data management software streamlines the process of collecting and analyzing customer data, giving you a central digital hub that provides complete visibility into the different types of customers you’re marketing to and building solutions for.
To find the right software that can help you climb this mountain, however, you need to know what customer data management software is and prepare your company to use it.
What is customer data management software?
Customer data management (CDM) software refers to tools used to collect, consolidate, and analyze customer data. These solutions give you a well-rounded and accurate perspective on your customers by gathering and analyzing data from various sources, such as websites, social media platforms, support systems, and marketing automation platforms.
Technologies that provide this kind of analysis include:
Data fabrics, which manage and integrate data using data pipelines and services. You can integrate a data fabric into a larger customer data platform.
Logical data warehouses (LDW), a term referencing effective data management architecture and design. LDWs combine some of the most useful features of traditional data repositories with modern approaches to data management and access.
Master data management (MDM) systems, in which business and IT leaders join forces to ensure uniformity, accuracy, appropriate stewardship, consistency, and accountability for data assets.
Data hubs, which combine data and analytics governance standards to ensure the way data is shared and integrated conforms to internal business and regulatory requirements.
Data lakes, which are copies of data assets that analysts can use to refine their data management and analysis techniques.
CDM software takeaway:
Altogether, these tools provide both the structure and technology you need to turn customer data into actionable insights.
What are the benefits of using customer data management software?
There are many advantages of customer data management software, but the most compelling include the ability to collect, manage, and analyze relevant data, consolidate it, and use it to optimize customer experiences.
Better collect, manage, and analyze relevant customer data
If your customer data is all over the place, even the hardest-working data analyst may struggle to find and manage it. Customers interact with your product and marketing efforts across a vast range of touchpoints: websites, social media, customer review sites, and more.
Customer data management software centralizes all this data, manages it, and facilitates easier analyzation.
Consolidate data to achieve an analytical, 360-degree view of customers
Your website analytical tools may tell you which products customers purchase the most and which are the most popular in different locations, but they don't tell you which products customers are requesting demos for or how your brand is doing on social media.
Customer data management solutions consolidate all of this data and more into a central solution, making it far easier to produce an effective customer experience—regardless of the types of clients you're aiming to please.
Optimize customer experiences
You can't create winning customer experiences if you don't know what they want. And it's easy to take a limited data set and jump to the wrong conclusion. Customer data management software fixes this problem by giving you a comprehensive view of customer data from a variety of sources. You can use this information to:
Make changes to your offering that meet customer needs
Adjust future products by feeding your R&D team insights gleaned from your customer data management system
Better train customer support reps using data about customer experiences
What are the key features of customer-specific data management processes and technologies?
The most pivotal features of customer-specific data management technologies combine to ensure your data is high-quality, well-integrated, and actionable. They include:
Data capture: This involves gathering pertinent data from disparate sources and bringing it together under a single umbrella.
Data quality: Data management processes ensure data accuracy, completeness, consistency, validity, and integrity, making it usable by both individuals and analytical systems.
Data integration: Siloed information is of little use. A customer data management system integrates information across multiple systems and tools, ensuring every team member can use the same reliable information.
Profile unification: Your data management system makes it easier to create unified, comprehensive customer profiles, providing a single source of truth for relevant team members.
Segmentation: Segmentation is as important as unification, especially when you need to focus on different target markets. Because a customer data management solution can segment your customers into groups, you’re in a better position to design campaigns tailored to specific demographics or buyers.
Analysis: Analytical tools make it easier to build action plans using your data.
Prepare your business for using customer data management software
The process of selecting and implementing customer data management technology doesn't have to be complicated, especially if you have a roadmap.
Use business outcomes to determine data management requirements
By basing your data management requirements on business outcomes, you use the principle of backward design to your advantage. You also imbue your software usage with a sense of purpose and direction—as opposed to simply buying something with a bunch of bells and whistles.
For example, suppose you’re a retailer selling beauty products. Your goal is to use customer purchasing data to advertise the products in different campaigns, and you also want to regionalize your marketing to capitalize on local trends.
In that case, you’d want a customer data management solution that could:
Pull purchase data directly from ecommerce and in-person portals.
Sort the incoming data according to region.
Provide analytical insights to other departments and decision-makers, such as the research and development team, sales staff, or the marketing team.
Facilitate collaboration between stakeholders
You’ll need to gather input from various decision-makers before making a final decision regarding how you're going to implement your data management solution. Some parties you should sit down with include:
Data and analytics leaders
Customer experience (CX) stakeholders
Sales and service representatives
With all of these voices in the conversation, you get representation from the most important perspectives.
Align technology decisions with your strategies
Ensuring your tech decisions align with data, analytics, and application integration strategies is key, because you don't want your data management solution to seem like a round peg in a square hole. In other words, it needs to check all the necessary boxes, even if that means you have to invest extra time in sourcing the best solution.
For instance, some companies need their customer data to sync with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Regardless of how feature-packed a product you're considering is, if it doesn’t play well with your ERP, it'll just add an extra step for your hard-working staff.
Explore top tools to build your customer data management ecosystem
By focusing on the features of your customer data management solution and how you'll use the insights it produces, you can narrow your list of software options.
Next, you'll want to start checking out some of the leading tools for managing and analyzing customer data or chat with one of our advisors for personalized, free assistance with your tool selection.