Is Your Customer Data Up To Scratch?

08 January 2020

The world of customer data is constantly evolving, becoming more encompassing and detailed by the day.

This customer intelligence is the fuel which powers businesses to reach out and form meaningful relationships with customers, provided that the data is accurate (as per GDPR article 5(d)).

Data is only as valuable as its quality. Clean and precise customer data delivers higher ROI for businesses, enabling marketing teams to better connect with the right individuals, using tailored content which sparks them to action.

So if your data has not been refreshed in a while, will it really make an impact on your business?

Customers are still individuals who naturally change throughout their life cycle with your business. They might move addresses, switch telephone numbers and change job roles a handful of times. This changes their data identity and increases the chance of data decay. Failure to regularly update and refresh your records puts you at risk of losing touch with customers.

Duplicate customer records, sending direct mail to incorrect home addresses or having a false mobile number linked to a customer’s contact information can seriously damage your marketing campaigns. At a minimum, you will have missed out on valuable customers and wasted resources.

In the worst-case scenarios, sending marketing material to customers who no longer wish to be contacted can put your business in breach of GDPR. Furthermore, sending personal details to the wrong recipient may expose your customer to identity fraud. Data hygiene is vital for businesses both from a revenue and reputational perspective.

Take stock of your data

With customer data growing at an unprecedented rate and businesses having to cope with this spread across different systems, there is no better time for a thorough data spring clean.

Tidy up customer information

In the era of omni-channel communication most businesses will have various email addresses, home addresses and telephone numbers for contacting their customers. Ensuring that you have accurate contact details is a must for effective, resource-efficient engagement. This is where regular analysis and validation of customer contact details becomes important. This allows you to remove any dead information and ensures that messages are being sent through precisely the right channels.

Deliver the right messages to the right customer

If a courier company for instance has an incorrect mobile number for a customer, they might be unable to update the recipient on important delivery changes. This could result in a missed delivery and an unhappy customer. Equally, cleaning up mailing lists is vital for accurate and secure delivery as well as saving in postage costs. A bank which sends sensitive account information to the wrong home address not only fails to reach the appropriate customer, they put the customer’s personal data in the hands of an unknown recipient.

Businesses should have a postal cleansing system in place which flags goneaways for GDPR compliance. Companies might also consider real-time validation which verifies information as customers enter this into your website.

Keep customers in the loop

A clean data profile is important for maintaining relationships with customers. Knowing where to target your customers and with what relevant materials will increase their satisfaction and long-term loyalty. Kick-start your data hygiene now and ensure that it becomes a year-round occupation in your business for higher-quality and compliant data.

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