Blog: do you know who your customer is?

Data quality mainly revolves around three questions: who is my customer, where does my customer live and how do I reach my customer? In a series of three short blogs we will focus on a question that, based on the customer data held in your database, you should be able to answer. In this first part, the central question is "who is my customer?".

As a company, you want to be able to communicate relevantly with customers and ensure an optimal customer experience. This means ensuring that customers receive a letter with the right salutation and name, that they receive an offer by e-mail that suits them and that they do not receive social media ads for products or services they have already bought from you. You build the foundation of relevant communication by optimising the quality of your customer data to the fullest. And creating a good 360-degree customer view on that basis. A tool to test the quality of your customer data is the ACCU principle.

  • Accurate - is your customer data not out of date?
  • Complete - is all relevant customer data present?
  • Correct - is the data in your database correct?
  • Unique - does each customer occur only once?

Beginning at the name

The importance of optimal customer data in customer communication is evident. However, it is well known that it is difficult to recognise a customer. Customer data is often spread across multiple departments and each department has its own challenges. For example, financial administration wants to make sure it has the right information about a customer to prevent fraud, while customer service would like to have fast access to the complete customer history in order to provide the best possible service.

It is obvious that the combination of first name and surname (or initials) are the most important data for identifying a customer. Yet our data quality benchmark shows that in 2.1% of cases, something is wrong with the surname or it is simply missing. That may seem low. But if you have a database of 500,000 customers, it means that 10,500 customers don't see their surname in any form of customer communication or detect an error in it.

360-degree customer view

To make sure you are communicating with the right person, you need more data than initials and a surname. For example, gender, a date of birth and an address. Our benchmark analysis shows that the date of birth of only 65 percent of customers is present in an average customer database. Another option is to include the address (which we will look at in more detail in a later article), but address information is not always known or up-to-date either.

When you have a customer's name, gender and date of birth, that is the start of your 360-degree customer view. You can use this to ensure that customers who were previously duplicated in the database are now merged. This will give you a more complete picture, and an RFM analysis will give a more accurate indication of which customers are most valuable.

Want to know more about data quality? We are happy to tell you more about it.