Definition

customer account record

A customer account record is the basic unit of information about a customer that resides in a CRM, or customer relationship management system.

A customer account record holds critical data about a customer, including the standard data, such as name, order data, billing information, interaction information, and credit information. Today, companies are able to augment this customer record information with new forms of data, such as social media handles, comments from forums or blog post data, profile information from social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

A customer account record can also augment a company's consumer knowledge with third-party information, such as industry information-- as well as information about a customer’s role as a decision maker within the organization-- to flesh out the customer’s wider buying influence. Often some of this new data is unstructured data (or not easily categorized in a traditional column-based database format), so companies may have to find new ways to include this unstructured information in traditional customer account data.

Combining data from multiple communication channels, particularly these new avenues of communication such as social media or a live chat window have proved challenging for companies. This combined view of customer data from all sources, sometimes referred to as the 360-degree view of the customer, is sometimes more aspirational than reality.

This was last updated in January 2016

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