Poor Data Quality Brings Missed Opportunities
It’s frustrating for any business to receive the daily mail containing a bunch of customer communications with the words ‘Return to sender’, or ‘Not at this address’ written on the envelope.
It’s the same when you send out a marketing email and within seconds you receive all the ‘bounced’ emails for addresses that are no longer valid. Or, you’re trying to ring a customer but the number is old and you can’t connect.
Data Quality Issues Cost You Money
This is, unfortunately, a regular daily occurrence for businesses in every country, all over the world. Poor data quality is a major concern and frustration for many business owners, with a recent survey showing more than 60 percent consider this a “top priority”.
This is backed up by research done by data services company Experian, which looked at seven leading nations worldwide and found some concerning statistics that companies should address if they wish to remain competitive.
Australia is The Worst Offender
The worst offender is Australia, with an average 25 percent of customer contact data believed to be inaccurate in some way. The USA and Singapore followed on 24 percent, New Zealand on 23 percent and the UK and France on 22 percent.
The Netherlands scored best in the research, at 18 percent data inaccuracy.
Businesses Do Not Know How Much Data Is Bad
Across the seven nations studied, 92 percent of organisations suspect some of their customer and prospect data might be inaccurate, with more than half of organisations in New Zealand and The Netherlands admitting they do not know how much data is incorrect.
Data Is The Lifeblood of Every Business
In its analysis of the research findings, Experian said that data is the “life blood” of a business, as it plays a crucial role in key decision-making and is used to maximise revenues, manage customer relationships and make business growth projections and investment decisions.
Accurate Customer Data is a Major Asset
Neil Davey, from marketing website MyCustomer, says “well-integrated and accurate customer data is one of the best assets a company has to personalise communication, engage with customers, drive conversion rates, boost loyalty and trust, and ultimately maximise sales.”
4 categories of inaccurate data
He quotes Natalie Khomyk, Marketing Manager at Data2CRM, who lists four categories of ‘dirty data’:
- Incorrect records. This is information that is false. For instance, the age of a client can’t be 150 years old.
- Inaccurate data. This is real yet incorrect information. Often, this is a mistake with the likes of postal codes or
- Inconsistent information. This is redundant data, such as duplicated customer records. It happens when you
have no single data entry rules and different departments store the same customer under different names.
- Incomplete records. These are empty fields of data entry. This occurs when data is misinterpreted or doesn’t
enter into the system.
Tips to improve data accuracy
According to data research company Marketing Charts, human error is the leading challenge for maintaining high
levels of contact data accuracy. So what can be done to improve data quality in your business?
- Create a standardised template for capturing important customer information.
- Ensure registration forms are completed accurately and completely, even if you need to coax your customer.
- Avoid duplication of data to prevent confusion and mistakes.
- Update your customer database regularly, including checking vital information like address, mobile number and
email each time your customer visits.
- Use technology to streamline and improve your data quality, with minimal manual handling and staff downtime.
For any business to function at its best, data accuracy needs to be taken seriously and if the effort is put in the
rewards will follow in customer engagement and loyalty.