Phone Verification – Verifying Emails Isn’t Enough

Melissa IN Team | Phone Verification | , , , ,

Personalization is key to improving customer experience. And, in order to personalize a customer’s experience on a website or application, you need the customer to log in. Most online players allow people to create accounts by logging in through their emails or phone numbers.

When a customer logs in to a website or an app, the first thing most companies do is verify the person’s identity through email or phone verification. Verification is a necessary step to minimize the risk of fraud. At the customer’s end, signing in through an email and a phone number are identical. However, there is a difference in their efficacy. Read more “Phone Verification – Verifying Emails Isn’t Enough”

Phone Verification Boosting Customer Data Accuracy

Melissa IN Team | Phone Verification | , , , ,

The importance of having accurate, reliable customer data cannot be stressed enough. E-commerce is booming but unfortunately so is online identity fraud. In 2019, one in every fifteen people had fallen prey to identity theft!

Fraud of this type doesn’t just affect the customer, it affects businesses and the way they are perceived too. Thus, organizations must take on the responsibility of keeping fraudsters from creating accounts with them. This is where identity verification comes in. There are many ways to verify a person’s identity but one of the easiest is phone verification.

In today’s age, people consider their phones an extension of themselves and this is one device they’re sure to carry along everywhere they go. Currently, around 70% of the world’s population can be identified with a mobile phone number. Phone verification is the ideal way to keep your customer database accurate and updated. This check can be performed when onboarding a customer as well as during the checkout process.

Why Phone Verification?

A person’s identity can be verified with their email addresses too. But, think about it – how many email addresses have you had over the years? Have you shut down the ones you don’t use or are they simply lying dormant?

On the other hand – how many phone numbers have you had? Maintaining email addresses is free but keeping phone numbers active has a small cost involved and so it’s not likely that you have too many dormant phone numbers. Here are a few more reasons why phone verification is important for customer data accuracy.

Fake emails are easier to set up
Anyone can open an email account and it’s free. It’s easy to make a fake account look real. Also, as long as the password is known, anyone can operate an email address. But, if a person wants a new mobile phone number, they would need to provide documentary evidence to confirm their identity.

There’s a process of due diligence involved and hence it’s harder for fraudsters to get a new sim card. If a person loses their mobile phone, they’ll probably lodge a complaint and block the number but if they were to get locked out of an old email address, they may not pay as much attention. Thus, phone verification is more secure.

Almost always accessible
Despite the growing internet network, there are still some places with poor or limited connectivity. Two-step verification checks for email addresses may be difficult in such areas. The mobile network is much stronger and even in places where there’s limited internet connectivity, a phone call or an SMS can always get through. Thus, validating phone numbers and making sure they’re updated, is much easier.

Global in reach
With nearly 65% of the worldwide population currently owning a mobile phone, and an expected 3.8 billion smartphone owners by end of 2021, you should be fishing where the fish are! But you’ll need to make sure you work with a partner who can deliver phone verification security codes nearly anywhere in the world.

Easy to use and scale
Phone verification services are available as pre-built solutions that require no further coding, processing, testing, etc. and can be used instantly. Whether you’re validating 100 phone numbers or 10,000, the process remains the same. It’s automated and hence manual effort involved is minimized. This also minimizes the risk of human error.

Maintain friction-free communication channels
One of the key reasons to verify phone numbers is to maintain open channels of communication with the customer. Statistically speaking, the average conversion rate of an SMS campaign is 45%. Sending an individual a text message after initial contact increases conversion rates by 112.6%.

Similarly, when it comes to communication regarding order confirmation and deliveries, customers are more likely to respond to a phone call or an SMS than to an email. If the delivery agent needs to contact the customer for clarification with their address, he needs a phone number to call the individual.

Despite the growth of smartphones, there are still many who prefer to use a simple mobile sans the internet. As a business, you cannot afford to ignore this section of the population.

How Can You Verify Customer Phone Numbers?

Verifying phone numbers is easy. You don’t need to have a dedicated person calling each number to verify its authenticity. There are automated solutions to do this for you. These solutions have a global reach and are easy to scale.

The Phone Verification API pings numbers on your database and compares them to reliable third party databases such as government ID records to verify that they are active and linked to the correct individual. The verification happens in the background with minimal involvement by the business employees as well as the customer. Thus, the customer is not inconvenienced in any way and the organization gets reliable data.

Data Cleansing – What You Need to Know

Melissa UK Team | Address Quality, Clean Suite, Data Audit, Data Cleansing, E-Mail, Email Verification, Phone Verification

Today, organisations heavily rely on data for everyday business activities.
This makes data cleansing a critical requirement for anyone who has a database, so their organisation can yield better results across all operations.

Following are some core benefits of cleansing your data

1. A complete, accurate and real-time view on your database

Up to 30% of a database can go stale within a year, due to people changing address, jobs, emails, and simply updating their status. This causes data to become obsolete, which can lead to numerous problems which can spread through multiple departments and other data chains; impacting on marketing, engagement, business intelligence and overall business efforts.

By cleansing your database, you filter out any bad data in your systems to give a clearer view of prospects and customers.

2. Improved targeting for better conversion rates

As your database significantly improves so will your marketing efforts, as there’s no bounce backs from emails, or incorrect addresses to hamper communications with your prospects. Also, by matching and merging records you won’t be wasting time and money on sending out marketing material to stale and duplicate prospects.

And when you have clean reliable data you get a clearer picture of your customers, leading to better segmentation, and delivery of a single customer view.

3. Better ROI and saved costs

Consider the 1-10-100 rule, that it costs on average £1 to verify the accuracy of a record at point of entry, £10 if it needs to be cleaned and £100 if nothing is done – not including the cost of mis-deliveries of shipments, direct mail, missed opportunities and undetected fraud.

Businesses with clean, up to date and verified data on the other hand can expect to drive a standout customer journey, leading to better sales, cross and up-sell, and stronger revenue streams.

Which one would you prefer?

4. Positive brand value & reputation

A company will deliver and maintain better communications, and therefore reputation with its prospects, with clean data. It enables them to be more engaging across various channels, offer tailored promotions, speedy deliveries, and provide value across a range of systems and practices, such as at the point of sale. It also helps them to elevate customer retention efforts to meet the future customer expectations.

5. Putting together a data cleansing strategy

To achieve any of the above you must put together a data cleansing strategy. A great starting point is to analyse your data. Which departments are lacking the most clean data? Where is revenue being lost? And are there certain aspects of your database that are causing overlaying problems? It can sometimes be hard to spot issues, so take some time to do this.

Following is list of common problems a database can have:

  • Bad address data which causes mis-deliveries, logistical issues, and poor customer service
  • Fraudulent activity from not having a verified and up to date address, email and phone number, and its impact on delivering a single customer view
  • Duplicates in your database resulting in lower accuracy and wasted efforts and costs
  • Gaps in your data caused by incomplete records, like missing phone numbers, email, address and even IP
  • How standardised is your data? Punctuation & abbreviations must be in the right place i.e. in the spelling of emails or addresses, and always consider international formatting rules for postal regulations
  • Prevent a single customer view or 360-view of your customers
  • High bounce rates and blacklistings in your email campaign efforts

As the next step, we would recommend requesting a data audit from a data cleansing specialist. Ideally, it should be one that offers a complimentary service that really digs down on gaining vital insight on your data. Feedback should then be given on the ins and outs of the database, and advice on how to get the most out of it. Data quality solutions should also be recommended to implement into their current systems (see our data audit link above for more information).

Always remember that cleansing your database is not a one-off process. You should always be keeping tabs on your data, making sure it’s providing fulfilment at every point in the chain to save time and effort. It’s always best to take advantage of the SaaS services a data quality company like Melissa offers. Such a service ensures that your data is clean, verified and up to date as it enters your systems. It also automatically prevents your data from going stale each year, saving you money and giving back better ROI in the long term.