High-quality contact data is something that many organizations strive to achieve, yet it can prove elusive without the proper technology, such as address validation software, and a set of corporate policies governing how the information is used, cleansed and managed.
Laddie Suk writes for EMC blog In Focus that customer address quality has often presented a challenge for companies.
"The root cause of problems is usually systems with 'free form fields' where customer service representatives enter address without validation," he writes. "The impact on your business is huge: mailed invoices delayed, lost or returned - resulting in lower cash flow."
In addition to investing in technology, businesses need to start developing rules and programs that enable them to govern their data. Suk points to data and list cleansing as one organized method for reaching the goal of reliable, accurate information. The approach will vary depending on the issue. Do your lists and databases have certain fields of information missing? Or is the data invalid and unclean, with duplications and misspellings weighing it down?
If it's the former problem that your company faces, Suk points to customized programs and conversion software that can help you pinpoint the errors and identify resolutions. When data mistakes and inaccuracies are the problem, he advises using a hybrid strategy of manual processes and various data quality tools that can wipe out obsolete or incorrect information.