Between last year’s Dreamforce, Connections this summer, and leading into this year’s Dreamforce in November, there has been a lot of talk about the Salesforce Customer 360 product offerings. We’re hearing some common questions from our customers and wanted to share with you all what we know, can talk about, and overall excitement about what is coming.

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As a Platinum Salesforce Consulting Partner with deep cross-cloud expertise, DEG was thrilled to be invited into the Pioneer Program to preview the Customer 360 Data Manager tool. And after getting our hands-on training, including a glimpse at all it has to offer, we want to share more about what’s in store for when the product goes generally available (GA).

Introducing Customer 360

First, let’s go over some terminology. Like many things at Salesforce, the branding can help communicate and organize products and features but can also be a little confusing at times. From what we’ve seen, Customer 360 and the Customer 360 platform will comprise of multiple products that are intended for specific purposes and will play off of each other.

I equate it to what Salesforce has done with the Lightning platform or Einstein, where the brand may mean something different within each cloud, but it’s all built on the same philosophy or complementary set of solutions.

Today, we know of two core products within the Customer 360 platform: Customer 360 Data Manager, used to build a unified customer profile (announced at Dreamforce 2018), and the Customer 360 Data Platform, serving as a CDP (announced at Connections 2019).

So, what is the Customer 360 Data Manager?

The Customer 360 Data Manager is a tool to create a common profile across various systems, enable access to source system data through the data federation service, and had out-of-the-box lightning components to eliminate common swivel-chair use cases that can be extended through custom lightning components.

At GA, it will be focused on core CRM, Commerce Cloud, and other external data sources. The product provides a common Salesforce data model that identifies duplicate records from within a single system, or across many systems, and builds a single profile of your customer. It assigns a Global Unified ID that is published back to the source system and can then be used as a point of reference and leveraged to connect data from any connected source system to the system that is in need of the data.

OK, that was a lot! So, how does this help our clients?

As the C360 Data Manager is introduced into the wild, there are bound to be endless combinations of use cases that are realized. Out of the gate, here are some of the insights this tool will provide:

1. Understanding your customers better—not just data

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As consumers, we don’t make it easy for brands we shop with to understand who we are. We may use a work, personal, or spam email address to shop at the same online retailer over our lifetime. Who knows? Maybe one or more of those email addresses may even change as we move from job to job or migrate our personal email from AOL to Yahoo to Gmail.

We physically move as well, changing our address to the other side of town or even across the country. And guess what? It isn’t always you shopping with the same information. Maybe it is your child using your credit card and address or a significant other using your Amazon Prime membership.

Our behaviors make it hard for companies to identify us, and as a result, generates fragmented pieces of us represented as unique records in many different systems. And even then, it has been found that 85 percent of customers are still checking out as a guest, according to Salesforce. Using the data-matching rules in C360 Data Manager, a person can now be identified using configurable matching criteria that is specific to your organization and data. With individuals identified, additional insights can be derived such as groupings of individuals into a single household.

2. Ability to see your data in a whole new way

Once your data is matched using C360 Data Manager, you can start to look at your data, identify trends, make educated guesses on what it means, and test your hypotheses on how to better leverage it. Without the box reports and visualizations, you can quickly see if your hypotheses will lead to a new value or fail fast and move onto the next idea in less time than could be done with a traditional master data management platform (MDM) or similar offering.

Using the data shown in C360 Data Manager dashboards, you can run models and look at specific data sets, such as fraudulent accounts, and identify where similar fraud may be hiding in your data. Once this picture is refined and complete, you can export the Global Unified ID that is assigned to the individuals you have found and load it back into source systems to bring your new insights to those systems and the people that work in them.

3. Making the right data available to the people that need it in your business

With the Global Unified ID, you can pull details from any connected system to provide real-time information to the people that need it most. Within your Salesforce Service Cloud console, your agents can now look at a person and pull all orders they have made that could have been hidden behind a fragmented data record or emails that would have previously been identified as a different, unique person.

Information can flow back and forth through the C360 Data Manager when used as a reference point to facilitate information sharing in faster ways than traditional solutions have allowed.

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4. Leveraging the information in all your systems

Now that one system has the enhanced data, other systems will benefit. Not everything will be connected to the C360 Data Manager at GA, but not everything has to be. Using other widely adopted tools will allow you to extend what you now know.

Through the Marketing Cloud connector, the General Unified ID can be sent from Service Cloud to Marketing Cloud, where you can now identify relationships between unique subscribers and leverage external data or synchronized data expectants to target or suppress messages in ways you would not have had before. Toolkits that are available between Commerce and Service Clouds can allow you to launch “shop on behalf of” in Commerce Cloud.

In addition, you can pull details from your order management system (OMS) and augment what you know about your customer in Service Cloud with enhanced information.

5. Allowing your data to change as your customers change

The matching and modeling of your data in C360 Data Manager will adapt over time to the changes in your customers. My son might be using my credit card, address, and account to make purchases on his phone now. But, eventually, he will get his own email and credit card and be identified as a unique person with his own buying habits.

If he is still living with me, it may stay under the same General Unified ID, which can be controlled from C360 Data Manager based on the desire of each business model. Or, his data may warrant being seen as a separate person. When he moves out, new data will be tracked and change who he is to a brand.

Any way you want to look at it, your customer data will be tracked in C360 Data Manager and available to show the full picture of a brand’s customers.

What else?

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The Customer 360 platform and Data Manager product are still very new, but we’re excited to see it in action and help our clients realize the potential it will unlock for better engagement with their customers. As we get closer to GA, we look forward to being able to share more information and demonstrate the possibilities this tool offers.

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