Customer supplied information, whether at point of entry or transferred across from legacy systems can be riddled with errors and inaccuracies. What is the cost to your bottom line for using this information for downstream processes and decision-making?

In the "age of the customer", it is crucial to get data right to ensure smoother interactions between customers and staff and improve company processes, or more importantly, ensure maximum customer value to your business. A detailed customer data analysis may show, for example, that customers with valid phone numbers in addition to home addresses are more valuable in terms of annual customer spend than those with just addresses. Here are five examples of attributes that can benefit from validation:

1. Addresses - is your organisation receiving a growing pile of incoming mail bearing the stamp "return to sender"? All customer communications conducted by addressed mail is important, such as bills, notifications, newsletters, special offers, marketing material and the like. Any returned mail increases costs and decreases your productivity. Ensure the right address is captured at the point of entry by subjecting the various components of the data to validation.
For example:

  • Is there a "Smith St" in Bondi Junction, NSW, Australia?
  • Does the postcode 4013 actually exist in New Zealand?
  • Is there a Chapal Lane in East London, UK? The UK data set contains a "Chapel Lane" in East London, the intention was probably to use that. etc.

2. Email address - how often do you send an email out into the ether and when you follow up with the recipient, they claim they never got it? Whether it be that their user name was spelt incorrectly, the domain name was wrong or the mailbox simply didn't exist, there are a whole host of reasons why the email might not have reached its destined inbox.
Verify at the point of entry or run a batch process on your email list to confirm you have valid email addresses.

3. Phone numbers - capturing an invalid phone number at the point of registration, sale or at any other touchpoint in the customer journey is not going to help the sales or operations team reach the customer.
Immediately ensure that the phone number format conforms to the numbering plan rules, coding of district, sector and service type of Australian phone numbers. Validation can also be run in batch mode across your contact database.

4. Business Number - find out if the Australian (ABN) or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) provided by the customer is a valid, registered business with the Australian Business Register or the New Zealand Companies Office Register. Users can be alerted of a typing error and possibility of fraudulent information being supplied can be avoided.
Decide what to do with incorrect ABN/NZBN information supplied at the point of entry to drive the workflow of the current activity or, validate a dataset in batch mode to identify erroneous ABN/NZBN numbers.

5. BSB - depending on the application, the Bank-State-Branch number can initiate sensitive payment processes, which demands high accuracy to minimise any potential financial implications for both parties.
Get alerts when BSB numbers are entered incorrectly, or in batch-mode, assess errors in your data.

Article written by Darren Wu.
Darren is a sales manager at Intech Solutions with over 15 years working with data, data systems and solving business issues.

Learn more about how Intech's IQ Office parsing and address validation software can help your business save time, money and improve efficiencies within your processes.