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The Importance of a Unified Customer View

3/1/2023
Ben Nelson, Head of Solution Consulting, Amperity
Ben Nelson, Head of Solution Consulting, Amperity

Please speak to critical considerations and benefits of implementing a customer data platform for restaurants?

A customer data platform should empower you to understand your customers by providing you with a unified customer view.  The unified customer view is the key to understanding your customers  and has a significant benefit to a restaurant’s overall business and each interaction you have with your customers.  

A trusted unified customer view that can be used across your organization is the foundation that drives all customer-centric strategies, it also happens to be extremely challenging to attain. Most restaurants are dealing with data that is hard to compile and scattered across systems that is hard to compile. A unified customer view should assemble all of that data into a useable format for all the teams across the organization. Too often brands rely on a partial view - digital data only or a rule-based approach to matching up customer records.

The ability to deliver on this should be the primary consideration when thinking through the selection, implementation and the  plan to realize value/benefit from any customer data platform investment.  

How can customer data enhance a restaurant’s loyalty program?

The impact of customer data spans the full range of loyalty program initiatives - from the overall program itself, to how a brand maximizes the benefit of the program for each customer.

When it comes to the loyalty program itself - all aspects of the program are enhanced and informed by having access to the right customer data.  This includes the initial program design, the activation of the program, the optimization of the program, and the measurement of the impact of the program (e.g. are loyalty customers higher value than non-loyalty?  How much more valuable?).

Having a unified view will enable you to understand your loyalty customers and inform strategies on the best way to interact with each.  Two common examples are: 

  • Use individual’s purchase patterns to understand when they are showing risk of churn and take action (improved loyalty retention)
  • Use individual’s purchase patterns to understand discount propensity and make smarter discounting decisions increasing rev/order for discount insensitive customers

Additionally, understanding all your customers will enable you to search for and target non-loyalty customers who are not signed up - growing the size and reach of the program.

How can personalization at scale enhance revenue and ROI?

Personalization at scale is a wide ranging term, but when done well, it has a direct impact on revenue and ROI.  When a restaurant truly understands their customers, they can use that understanding to engage at the right times, and engage in the right manner.  Some examples of Doing so effectively are 

  • Increase customer lifetime value by suggesting new day parts or meal occasions
  • Increase customer satisfaction by targeting appropriate menu items and outlet locations
  • Optimize spend by appropriately targeting offers and suppressing customers who would be unlikely to purchase
  • Increase customer retention with appropriately timed communications that will resonate

While that is not an all inclusive list, the important point is that effective personalization empowers a brand to retain more satisfied, valuable customers while optimizing their spend to do so.  Not only does this directly enhance revenue and ROI, it also directly impacts related initiatives such as customer acquisition.

Please speak to the benefits of other customer data use cases, such as identity resolution, conversion optimization, and paid media activation.

Use cases across analytics, marketing, advertising, merchandising, customer service, finance, strategy all benefit from a unified customer view.  

Identity resolution is the foundation that drives the trust and accuracy in your unified customer view.  This is especially important for restaurants where many interactions are light on personal identifiers and data is coming from various point of sale systems. Without strong identity resolution, use cases are greatly limited (brands can be running the right strategies, but on the wrong data). 

With that foundation in place, there are benefits in revenue (increased sales and cost savings) and time (time to value, accelerated data management, accelerated time to activation).  Some examples include:

  • Paid Media: Increased Match Rates compared to using the legacy DMP to Onboarder,, Improved Look a Like effectiveness based on more accurate view of high value customer audiences, Improved ROAS driven by more accurate Suppression and reduction in onboarding fees, and overall reduction in time to activate audiences to advertisers
  • Marketing Conversion: Increased Customer Lifetime Value, more effective Lifecycle Marketing, Higher engagement (email, sms, etc)
  • Customer Service: Improved recognition, improved CSAT
  • BI/Decisioning: More accurate segmentation, accelerated and improved modeling strategies.