In a big data age many marketers have access to huge amounts of data from customers from an expanding number of touchpoints. This is great news for marketers who have the opportunity to analyse the data to deliver standout personalised customer communications.
However, all the effort into collecting, maintaining and analysing the data to deliver personalised communications could be lost unless marketers have accurate customer contact data – name, address, telephone and email – that enables them to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively deliver customer communications and products.
The issue is that without regular intervention customer data degrades at two per cent each month and 25% over the course of a year, which could potentially mean marketers are wasting a quarter of their marketing budget every year. Additionally, in an age when customers are increasingly providing their data via their mobile devices, mistyping contact details on a small screen has become a problem. In fact, approximately 20% of addresses entered online contain errors such as spelling mistakes, wrong house numbers, and inaccurate postcodes.
To obtain clean customer data it’s important to:
Put simple data cleansing procedures in place
Data that is simply incorrect, such as customer name, address, email or telephone number, can be easily fixed. To ensure customer data is clean, marketers need to put some simple procedures in place. Straightforward and cost-effective, these practices involve cleansing and standardising held customer data to deliver data quality both in batch and as new data is collected in real time to create a seamless customer onboarding experience.
Use address autocomplete at customer touchpoints
An address autocomplete tool is important. These automatically reveal the correct version of the address as the customer completes an online contact form, reducing the number of keystrokes required by up to 70%, accelerating the checkout process and improving the customer experience.
Doing this will help marketers to avoid expensive mis-deliveries of products resulting in poor customer experience, as well as keep important, sales-driven customer communications targeted and on track. In fact, taking such an approach is particularly critical considering it costs five times more to acquire a new a customer than retain an existing one.
Deduplicate customer data
Deduplicate customer data in your database is an issue. If customers receive two mailings in their name with one spelled incorrectly this not only wastes marketing resources, it demonstrates to your customer a lack of understanding as to their identity and needs. Marketers must merge and purge the most difficult records with an advanced fuzzy matching tool to save money with targeted customer communications, learn more about their customers and enhance the customer experience.
Undertake data verification
It’s also important to take customer checks and verification to another level, not only for data accuracy, but for protection against fraud. With the escalation in data breaches, which has led to an increased number of criminals posing as legitimate consumers, it’s vital to verify a customer’s entire record. This means matching a particular name to an accurate physical address, email address and phone number. This must involve cross checks of captured data against trusted reference data, such as electoral roll, credit agency and utility company, at the touchpoint in real time. It’s this approach that will ensure businesses know their customers are who they say they are and help cut down on fraud. The data verification process can also help enrich and clean data.
Follow these four steps and you will maximise your entire marketing budget and reduce wastage due to inaccurate data. This will ensure your customer data can be used with great effectiveness in marketing and CRM campaigns in the big data age.