Tag Archives: Address Validation
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! Experiencing Great (and Not So Great) Data-Driven Marketing in Day-to-Day Life
I spend my professional life helping marketers get the most out of their data. So it really hits me when I experience real life case studies in my day-to-day personal life. When I do run across these great (and not so great) experiences, it broadens my perspective and helps me figure out new ways that I can help our customers use clean, safe, and connected data to revolutionize their marketing efforts.
I feel compelled to blog about these great customer experiences in hopes that other marketers can learn from these encounters like I did. So this is the first installment of an ongoing series of blog posts about where I’ve experienced great (and not so great) data-driven marketing experiences.
I love my insurance company for many reasons, but the last experience I had with them was truly exceptional. I had been on their website getting an insurance quote for a new home. I still had a few questions, so I initiated an online chat. The online representative there quickly and efficiently answered my question and I left the experience with a thorough understanding of the potential policy. About a week later, seemingly unrelated, I put in a claim through a local vendor for a chipped windshield repair. Then two weeks later, I called back and the phone system recognized my mobile number and through the automated system asked me if I was calling about the homeowner’s policy quote I had received a few weeks ago. I pressed 1 for yes, and here’s where the impressive part begins…
A representative quickly answered the phone. He was able to view all of the information I had put into the online quote tool. He then referenced the question I had asked the representative in the online chat, and asked if I had any further questions about it. Within minutes I had my new policy set up, but it didn’t stop there. He asked if the windshield chip I had the previous week had been repaired to my satisfaction. Then he noticed that although I do have a credit card through them, I haven’t used it in some time, and offered me a 0% balance transfer offer for 36 months with no transfer fee on that card. Heck, we just bought a new house and I know there will be plenty of expenses, so sign me up! Finally, he noticed that because I was about to move to a new zip code, my car insurance rates would be going down slightly and offered to send me to the automobile insurance team to make the change to my policy.
The system clearly tied all of my recent and past activities from various channels together, analyzed them, and leveraged some sort of recommendation engine to guide the customer support representative to provide truly customized service. You can be assured I love my insurance company even more, and I will be dusting off a stagnant account that I hadn’t used in years. A+.
Oh how I wish my bank would embrace Total Customer Relationship. My husband, my children, and I have far too many accounts at our bank. Each child has a savings account, we have a joint checking account, we have a savings account, he has a personal savings account, I have a personal savings account, and then there’s the cash reserve line, the credit card and a few CD’s. We recently sold a home and the now-paid-off mortgage was through them. Plus we’ve been customers for almost 20 years. So sufficed to say, we have been loyal customers.
Well the other day, I had to go get a cashier’s check for a school activity for one of my children. I know, it’s pretty strange that they needed a cashier’s check, but I digress. I went to pull half out of my son’s minor savings account and half out of my individual checking account. Neither of those accounts have much money in there, nor have they been opened for very long. Call me spoiled, but I’m used to getting these types of service fees waived for my long tenure and deep relationship with our bank. But because the accounts I had pulled the money from didn’t have that kind of history, they weren’t willing to waive the fees. I was in a hurry because I was running late from shopping at a shoe store (see “The Ugly” below) so I didn’t have the time or energy to fight it, so I paid the darn $5 fee, but I was irritated. Clearly they couldn’t easily see the total customer relationship I have with their institution. The aren’t leveraging their data to tell a complete story, and missed an opportunity to show a loyal customer a great experience.
And The Ugly
A few days ago, I was at a shoe store picking up some new soccer cleats for one of my children. I had gotten an email offer for 30% off, so I pulled up the email and prepared to use it at the cash register. For whatever reason, the email didn’t had a blank where a code was supposed to be, and the woman at the register, despite her best efforts couldn’t use it. So, trying to be helpful, she looked at my loyalty account and, low and behold, I had $40 worth of rewards points that I didn’t even know existed. But I had to first download an app to try to issue a coupon using those points. I downloaded the app, put in my loyalty number, and no points were available.
Turns out, I had two accounts, but they weren’t linked despite having the same phone number and names. One had an address that was misspelled in the system, so it apparently wouldn’t merge with the other account – oh data quality and address validation how I missed you at that moment! She corrected the address, and informed me that it would now merge the two accounts and to try to log in again. Of course, I knew that there was no way this was a real time, or near real time process, but she was insistent. So I tried again, nothing.
The woman couldn’t have been nicer, but poor data quality processes and long batch windows had her hands tied. I was advised to call the customer support line, but of course it was a Sunday afternoon and nobody was there to pick up. So 45 minutes later, I left the store, irritated and very late, and without the shoes I was going to purchase out of principle. In the future, I’ll be going down the street and shopping at another shoe store – it’s my own personal strike against antiquated, inaccurate, incomplete, and painfully slow data processes which result in bad customer experiences!
In The End…
In the greater scheme of things, these varying degrees of customer experience “misses” aren’t exactly a crisis. It’s not curing cancer or solving world hunger, but to consumers, having a great customer experience is really important. Wouldn’t you rather have your customers raving about a great experience, than grumbling about a bad one, or losing a customer due to an ugly one?
We marketers can make the difference! We own that end-to-end omni channel experience. We need to make sure that our data is clean, safe, and connected so we can provide our customers what they expect and frankly deserve from us.
Informatica’s Total Customer Relationship Solution empowers organizations with confidence, knowing that they have access to the kind of great customer data that allows them to surpass customer acquisition and retention goals by providing consistent, integrated, and seamless customer experiences across channels. The end result? Great experiences that customers are inspired to share with their family and friends at dinner parties and on blog posts like this one.
Want to learn more? Check out these webinars to see how Informatica and our customers and partners are revolutionizing the customer experience.
Reliable shipping is something customers take for granted, and never more so than during the holidays.
Peak season is here, and delivery companies have plans in place to successfully deliver every last package:
- The USPS added delivery on Sunday and Christmas Day this year, after last year’s double-digit rise in package volumes during peak season.
- In December alone, the United Parcel Service (UPS) forecasts it will deliver 585 million packages, an increase of 11% over last year.
- UPS is also investing $175 million for its peak season preparedness plan, and will add 95,000 season workers (which is nearly 10 times the number of Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, employees in 2013).
- According to the National Retail Federation, 44% of consumers will do their shopping on the web, which translates to a lot of deliveries.
For retailers, that means a lot of addresses in your company’s database. This will lead to a copious amount of deliveries.
The big rise in deliveries this year got me thinking: What would the holidays be like if there were no such thing as a postal address?
It’s safe to say, the holidays would be a lot less cheery. With our current reliance on mapping applications, it would be tough to get from home to the new toy store and back. Sadly, a lot of holiday greeting cards would get stamped “return to sender.” And without mapping applications or GPS, it would take a little more effort to get to grandmother’s house this year.
I think the only person who would be successfully delivering any gifts this year would be Santa (since he has his own rooftop-to-rooftop accuracy built in with his magical sleigh.)
Of course, one of the biggest places impacted would be the retail industry. The peak season at the end of the year is the time for retail businesses to make or break their reputations.
With the increased volume of deliverability, what mistakes might occur if all address data suddenly disappeared?
In a season without address data quality, your reputation and company could suffer in a number of ways:
- Faulty addresses mean a weak customer database
- Erroneous shipping means you’ll paying for delivery, returns, and re-delivery
- Loss of customers and hurt reputations during peak sales time
A truly data-centric company treats address data as the foundation for customer information, and this would be more challenging to do without quality address verification.
In a peak season without address verification, I imagine companies would have to turn to alternative means to estimate locations and distances such as the geocoding process from Google Maps, which would leave them at a few disadvantages as delivery trucks navigate the icy roads during wintertime.
Informatica’s Address Validation offers these benefits that Google Maps’ geocoding does not, including:
- Address validation and corrections
- Availability as an on-premise solution for customer security and privacy
- User-friendly experience as a leader in lookup and cleansing for 20+ years
- Exact geocoding for properties (not estimates or approximations)
- Partnership with the Universal Postal Union and all five existing global postal certifications
Approximate locations and uncertified data won’t cut it when customers expect on-time delivery, every time. Along with these benefits that make it invaluable for customer shipping and other postal mail uses, Informatica’s Address Validation sets the standard in 240 countries and territories.
Luckily, we do not live in a world without address quality. It is possible to ensure every last package and parcel makes it to its destination on time, while making it to grandmother’s house on time, sending greeting cards to our whole list, and bringing home lovingly selected gifts from the store to wrap and tuck under the tree.
How do you measure how your company is rating with its customer address quality? You can get started with this ebook from Informatica, “Three Ways to Measure Address Quality.”
Informatica Cloud Winter 2013 has arrived. This is the fourteenth release of the company’s award-winning family of cloud integration applications and integration platform as a service (iPaaS), which has now expanded to include Informatica Cloud Master Data Management (MDM). In this post I’ll provide an overview of the new cloud integration and cloud data quality capabilities. Be sure to register for a 30 day trial and/or attend the release webinar on Thursday to see Informatica Cloud in action.
In my last post, I shared a minor epiphany I experienced working on a project to merge data sets from two different oil companies in which I fully recognized the difference between an address and a location. Borrowing from an assortment of definitions, a location describes a point or an area within a dimensional space. A location is frequently mapped to two dimensions on the surface of the earth, usually latitude and longitude, but may encompass three dimensions (including altitude). On the other hand, an address is a text string that is formatted according to a definition provided by a postal authority representing a location directing parcel or package delivery. (more…)
I read an article the other day called the “The 9 Dirty Little Secrets of CRM”. As a user of CRM systems for many years including salesforce.com (which I rate highly), I agree with many of the statements around the secrets of successful CRM. Firstly it’s all about the data! If high quality data is entered and data quality processes are in place to maintain the data, then user adoption will grow and the CRM implementation will be perceived to be a success.
The first step is a data quality audit/assessment which identifies data quality issues associated with the key data fields which drive your processes. Let’s assume a data quality audit results in a score of 65% – this means that your CRM processes will be only 65% effective due to the quality of the data. So if the CRM application is to support “attracting and retaining” customers and “increasing revenues via cross-selling”, management need to be very aware of the impact low quality data has on the effectiveness of the CRM processes. The data quality metrics are based on defining data quality dimensions including completeness, conformity, consistency, duplicates and accuracy, and applying these dimensions to the data fields. So for example a customer or prospect record includes the name, address, email and telephone number fields. Each field can be audited using several dimensions. The results are aggregated, resulting in the overall score e.g. in this case 65% – which is for many unacceptable. (more…)
This week, we announced the acquisition of AddressDoctor, the market leader of global address validation with coverage for over 200 countries and territories. This is another example of how we are continually working to deliver the most advanced data quality products to our customers. Address Doctor provides an address validation engine which is already fully integrated into Informatica Data Quality. This acquisition is simply another step towards market leadership for Informatica in the enterprise data quality market. Rob Karel from Forrester referred to our vision of pervasive data quality – supporting all roles, all applications, all data domains and all stages of the data integration lifecycle in his blog.
Let’s focus on “all data domains” and how the AddressDoctor acquisition supports this key criteria for successful enterprise data quality. (more…)