In a competitive world with seemingly endless choices and price-wars, there’s one thing that can truly set you aside from the competition. Customer Experience. In fact, according to a Walker report, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and even product as the key differentiator. Which is why businesses should be focused on it.
Yet many businesses fall short in their customer experience due to one key issue.
It’s an issue that no one wants to talk about, and yet it’s something that everyone has to deal with. It affects all parts of a business from sales, to marketing, to product development, and beyond. It affects the bottom line. But many people either don’t think it exists, or don’t know how to deal with it.
It’s bad data.
Bad data equals bad customer experience.
Have no doubts, bad customer contact data undermines all your efforts to build a successful business. It affects every communication and every touchpoint: email marketing, direct mail, in-person interactions at events or in-store, social media channels, call centers, and mobile channels.
Never a week goes by without my receiving mail for someone who hasn’t lived at my address for at least eight years, if they ever lived there at all. Most of it is junk and goes in the recycle because, let’s face it, 1) even if they did want it it’s unlikely to ever reach them and 2) re-mailing it just drives up the cost of mail for everyone.
But those endless letters and brochures cost the companies money to print and mail. And there’s another effect of sending them to me. I’m not ever going to do business with those companies because they haven’t mastered the customer experience.
Data, data, everywhere
You see, we’re not just heading toward a data-driven future—we’ve already arrived. Customer contact data is crucial to your entire operation. It powers all your systems: CRM, ERP, finance, billing, self-service automation, support, and more. And those systems and processes can, if used correctly, also feed your business with an endless stream of invaluable customer insights.
Imagine transforming your data-driven marketing to move from customer transactions to customer interactions. Imagine using the insights you’ve gained to improve relationships with existing customers and build new relationships with prospects. Imagine being able to tell your customer what they want before they even know they want it.
You don’t need fancy reward schemes to increase customer loyalty. You just need good data.
What difference does it make?
It’s an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from the competition in a crowded marketplace with savvy customers who have endless choices and wavering loyalties. Don’t let marketers convince you that ‘building your brand’ or offering ridiculous loyalty schemes to customers are the keys to success. By the time you finish spending the thousands or millions of dollars trying to be the next Pepsi, you’ll be broke.
You don’t need to be the best-known brand, or have the lowest price. Up-to-date customer contact data allows you to leverage the power of segmentation and personalization. It allows you to deliver precisely-targeted offers, to customize communication, and offer a unique experience to each and every customer.
And people value that above brand, and to an extent, product features and price.
My data is fine
Actually, unless you’re actively and regularly checking, cleaning, and improving it, chances are that it’s not.
Customer contact data doesn’t exist in a static state. It’s constantly changing, evolving, and expiring. In fact, according to one report, B2B customer contact data decays at a rate of just over 5% per month, or 70.3% per year! (Personal note: You may want to remember that the next time you’re tempted to buy a mailing list!)
Keeping that data accurate and up-to-date requires a constant, ongoing effort and a highly-structured approach. It may seem like a big task, but it will pay you even bigger dividends.
Make it easy on yourself
Our best-in-class tools can help you to improve your data and drive better customer experience. The unrivalled speed, accuracy and low cost of DataMatch Enterprise makes matching and linking records from all your data repositories a breeze. We’ll make sure that ‘John Smith’ never again receives mail addressed to ‘Ms. J Simth’.
And the address verification built into DataMatch Enterprise will make sure the mail actually gets delivered instead of wallowing around USPS for years.