Not too far into the past, businesses managed their data by replacing contact details in their Index Card System or updating their Filofax. However, in today’s “big data” environment we now need to be ever more resourceful and pro-active in how we manage it.
Customer data rarely stays accurate for long. Houses are built, people move and sadly (but inevitably), we all die. All these things have an impact.
In addition to maintaining our data accuracy we now need to consider Data Legislation and our customer’s privacy. We need to handle our data securely with honesty and respect. Once we are able to do this we start to reap the rewards of accurate data with saved money on marketing campaigns and customers seeing us as a valued and professional company to deal with.
When collecting data it is worth considering:-
The average UK name and address record is 48 keystrokes long, but can involve up to nine separate lines of information. Therefore, consider using address verification software such as Address Lookup from Hopewiser on your website forms. It is easy to download, with 10 free clicks to get you going in minutes. This will improve the accuracy of the address and increase the speed of registration meaning your customers are more likely not to abandon the form. When asking for key identifying information up front, ask for your customer’s postcode in live conversations.
Use computer software such as Address Lookup from Hopewiser to then return your customer’s correct postal address. You can integrate this free software into your own system, then just buy bundles of Lookup clicks on a pay as you go basis. This will reduce the duration of calls and show you are a professional company. On-going Data Maintenance
In 2017 it is estimated that more than 370,000 people moved home in the UK and there were 533,253 deaths registered in England and Wales.
To ensure your data is giving you a good return, it is essential that you regularly cleanse your databases against reliable sources. Knowing that Mr D Jones of 34 Acacia Road, Worthing has passed away is not enough. If the father is David and the son is Dan, you need more information to find out which record should be removed from your database to avoid problems. The same is true for house moves. Royal Mail only holds details of those who have paid for a redirection service. So it is vital you check movers against a number of other files.
Use online Data Cleansing software which allows users to upload spread sheets and databases securely. These systems can deal with data that has missing rows or columns and can sort the data using in-built formulas. They report on how many records contain deceased records, movers, telephone and mailing preference services and will check for duplicates. These powerful solutions are very simple to use as the system automates much of the data cleansing process, offering sample reports before continuing with the full data cleanse.
Address Cleanse from Hopewiser is an online data cleansing system which instantly cleanses and suppresses your files. You can pay as you go with prices starting from £35. You will receive a free analysis of a sample of your data before you choose to pay.
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