In today’s customer-centric environment, businesses must be able to predict customer needs and offer personalized service. Your ability to do this is determined by the quality of customer data held. Poor data quality can keep even the best marketing campaigns from succeeding. According to a study, sales teams lose approximately $32,000 per sales rep and 550 hours just because of bad data.
Poor quality data can take many forms. Your database may have duplicate or incomplete records. Data may have expired and your customer’s contact details may no longer be valid. This distorts your view of the customer and skews your analytics which in turn, affects the customer’s experience with your brand.
The good news is that as technology evolves, new solutions emerge that can help improve data quality. A customer data platform (CDP) can drive data quality optimization and make your marketing efforts more effective.
What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)
A CDP can be described as a packaged software that creates a unified customer database that can be accessed by multiple systems. It brings the known and unknown together to bridge the gap between customer relationship management systems and data management platforms. It can take inputs from various sources, capture complete details and clean and complete records. CDPs help enhance data quality and make it easier for businesses to comply with data-handling regulations.
5 Ways a Customer Data Platform can Optimize Data Quality
A CDP connects data from all applications used for transactional and analytical purposes to ensure your database is accurate, timely and complete. Some of the ways it optimizes data quality are:
1. Combine data from multiple sources
Businesses gather data from different streams. Some are first-party while others are second or third-party data. A CDP can ingest data from multiple channels and merge it to create a single database. This can be accessed by all departments and hence ensures that all decisions are based on the same data.
2. Standardize data formats
Let’s say your business retails internationally. This means your transactions will be in varied currencies. Merely comparing numbers, in this case, will not give you true analytics. A CDP can collect all of this data, standardize it to your chosen currency for a clearer picture. CDPs can extract and transform data in real-time as well as batch uploads to standardize formats. Similarly, CDPs can standardize entries for customer addresses and other contact details.
3. Cleanse records
Data from the accounts team may have a customer’s order and payment details but not include his email and phone number. This may be available with the marketing team. When the data is processed by a CDP, it is cleansed of inaccuracies and enhanced with details from other data streams. The results can be seen almost instantly when customers no longer complain about being addressed by the wrong name, etc.
4. Remove duplicates
Duplicate records can be expensive. According to a research firm unaddressed duplicate records can cost the business about $100! In the example mentioned above, your database maintains two records of the same customer just because different departments perform different functions for the customer.
A CDP merges customer information from all departments and applications by using identity resolution and matching rules. Thus, it removes duplicate records and creates a cleaner database. As a result situations such as ones involving customers unsubscribing from email lists because they receive duplicate emails will be minimized.
5. Complete customer view
Instead of having partial customer records in every department, a CDP creates a Golden Records or a single, comprehensive customer view for all your channels and applications. This ensures that everyone uses the same customer view and customer service is consistent across channels. The experience your customer has on the website and the app on his phone will now be connected.
When you use a CDP to optimize data quality, you can get a true picture of your customer base. This can help segment the audience accurately and create clusters based on geographic, demographic and transactional data.
In turn, this empowers your marketing and sales teams to target the right customers with personalized service and increase their conversion rate. Not only does this improve your profit margin, but it also builds on customer loyalty. Simply improving your data quality can increase revenue by up to 70%!
Choosing the Ideal CDP for your business
Not all CDPs have the same capabilities and data quality improvement is not a common native feature. As CDPs evolve, they bring with them more evolved functionalities like continuous analytics and governance. When you’re comparing options, ensure that your chosen solution can handle structured and unstructured data from multiple sources, format it correctly, enrich it and make it accessible for marketing analysis to deliver an improved customer experience.