Consumer identity data consists of contact information that includes a first name, a last name, a phone number, group membership, and an e-mail address of a customer. Businesses may absorb identity data from a variety of touch points including consumers filling out online forms, placing inbound phone calls to their customer contact center, or transacting at a brick-and-mortar location. In fact, this data is a valuable asset of the business that enables marketing personalization and omni-channel targeting, and helps improve sales and customer service. Even a small percentage of data breakage will adversely affect the marketing and businesses. Recent research by Gartner, an American research and advisory firm, shows that the financial impact of bad data on organizations averages nearly $10 million per year.
Data breakage can occur due to the following reasons:
- The change in jobs, names, addresses, emails and phone numbers causes data to quickly become incorrect or incomplete.
- Data breakage can first occur in initial lead acquisition with incomplete data.
- Unintentional data entry errors, which can occur when employees or customers fill out forms or interact with the systems. However, partnering with experienced data entry companies could help reduce data entry errors.
- Duplicate records for the same individual, either in a single system or across multiple systems or channels can lead to breakage.
- Data degradation
- When data is mismatched across separate systems through ongoing consumer engagements.
Problems Caused by Data Breakage
The following are some of the issues caused by data breakage.
- The marketing team cannot accurately segment and target buyers with personalized and relevant offers. In fact, poor experience with the brand lowers prospective conversions and diminishes customer loyalty as well as lifetime value.
- The marketing team cannot convert or remarket to inbound leads, which in turn minimizes the initial pool of available leads and lowers return on investment (ROI).
- The support and service teams do not have a comprehensive view of the customer’s history with the company. This inbound identity failure could lead to lower service levels and efficiency, poor customer experience and failure to retain customers.
- Missing data limits the ability of the companies to maximize consumer engagement across multiple channels. Deploying personalized, multi-channel messaging to the customers is crucial for improving customer engagement. With fewer messages delivered or channels not deployed to all, the companies will have fewer conversions, lower sales figures and less revenue.
- Data from varying systems cannot be matched together; this results in creation of multiple identities for a single customer.
How to Repair Data Breakage
Here are the strategies to address consumer identity data breakage.
- Understand where data is ingested and resides – The initial step in any project involving data is to identify the places where the data of inbound consumers enters and resides in the organization. You should also identify what type of data is stored and which teams own it. Do those data repositories currently integrate with each other? Which fields act as key identifiers, such as email address, phone number or customer number? Some organizations use third-party data to verify or corroborate data accuracy, this helps streamline instances of multiple name spellings, phone numbers and email addresses and can reduce the initial data breakage.
- Data should be integrated and synchronized with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system – CRM system is used as the single source for trusted customer data. It is the master warehouse for all others. Therefore every system containing customer data should be integrated and synchronized with the CRM. This includes those used by marketing, customer support and order fulfillment.
- Unify the complete history of interactions and behaviors across all channels in a Customer Data Platform (CDP) – A customer data platform is used by marketers to collect all the available data about the customer and aggregate it into a single database, which is integrated with and easily accessible from a number of other marketing systems and platforms used by the company. For those organizations that want to combine behavioral, demographic and transactional customer data to gain insights and make predictions about future actions, a CDP is the ideal solution. In fact, bringing together the complete history of interactions and behaviors across all channels in a CDP can provide a robust, in-depth understanding of each prospect and customer.
- Continuous maintenance of the data – Consumer identity data coming from different, inconsistent systems should be normalized, standardized and linked to create a single, persistent, authoritative identity record. Consumer identity management enables the organization to add attributes such as demographic, behavioral, purchase and preference data to all customer records. In addition to that, continuous data maintenance helps reduce data breakage and ensures that data stays current, accurate and deployment ready.
Companies that recognize the ill effects that data breakage can cause, and take necessary steps to prevent it will have a significant advantage. A reliable data cleansing company can address any data quality problems, thereby providing maximum value for the enterprise.