Businesses today talk about CRM, Customer experience etc. but I think there is a need for companies to get down to basics and get their house in order in terms of how they store & update customer information – more precisely, the quality of the information they hold. Louise Druce writes:
Businesses are built on data but it can be a rocky foundation if you don’t look after it. Even something as simple as getting a customer’s name wrong could have massive implications further down the line, such as affecting billing, product tracking and all-important customer loyalty.
Sorting dirty data
Ownership was traditionaly something left to the IT department. But in recent years firms have come to realise that IT staff don’t necessarily understand the elements that make good data ‘fit for purpose’, according to Colin Rickard, managing director EMEA, at data quality specialist DataFlux.
“If you are working on a customer data project, an IT manager is not in the position to understand how a marketing data record should be organised or the values it must contain,” he points out. “It is important for the business user to be involved in the process.”
"It’s not just about technology. It’s about having a strong culture for data quality in place,” adds Wrazen. “In some ways, that’s the hardest part because no one wants to own it. It’s quite a complex process to build into an organisation and infrastructure – it’s cross-platform, cross-technology and cross-business discipline as well.”
I can’t agree with this more. Somebody in the organization has to get into the act of plumbing it right. Else, it will always lead to poor information decisions about an organization’s customers.