No matter what industry you're in, all customers want to feel like they are the most important customer in your business.

For that feeling to resonate through your customer base, you must not only know as much about each of your customers as possible but also actively use that information to complement your business activity. Remember: Winning a customer costs 5-10 times as much as keeping a customer!

Duplication of customer data, however, can make your customers feel like part of a herd. 

Why Duplication of Data Happens

In general, businesses are holding customer data in various places for different purposes. Even if you're using a single system, the day-to-day data processing within many businesses usually consists of order entry and sales capture for new customer records, which are entered by different people at different stages.

If that is the case within your business, with every new record, there's a risk that incorrect data could be added. For example, contact records could be added with different spellings (leaving multiple records for the same person) or the same company could be added multiple times with different trading names or acronyms.

Though many systems do include some element of duplication on entry, they also demand user action for the majority of processes. That can cause problems as people can be lazy and choose to add a new contact rather than associate it with an existing record, or data may be introduced to the system in a bulk upload, bypassing any protocols that may be in place. All those things could inevitably be presenting you with a blurred reality about your customers.

You're probably thinking that this is just an accepted issue with data entry and that it's not affecting the way you do business. Well, you're wrong.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Simon Oliver

Simon Oliver is managing director of Uncommon Knowledge.

LinkedIn: Simon Oliver

Twitter: @Data_Wizardy