What happens when you put a wrong address on a letter? If you are lucky enough, you can expect it to be delivered to the right location in 220 years, as it happened in France according to DailyMail. Apart from lucky cases where the postman knows the area well, about 500 000 letters in UK go missing every week. According to PCAPredict the Royal Mail destroys on average 25 million letters, packets and parcels every year. The side effects of the wrong addressing phenomenon will not only affect the time of the delivery, increase the costs but also diminish the customer satisfaction in many companies. Correct contact details are vital part of a consistent B2C or B2B system.

incorrect address

Addresses are not the only contact details causing problems. Nearly 7,5 billion people living currently on Earth have unbelievably diverse and complicated names originating from 6.5k spoken languages. Misspelled names drive each new economic migrant crazy upon trying to set up new service accounts in the country he just moved to. Many pieces of contact details (maybe with exception of the first name) change very often. It’s hard to keep track of these changes, whether you are a bank, e-commerce business, utility company or just a normal citizen. Incorrect personal data will be a dead end path for data quality and customer service aspects of every company.

Delivery loss = customer loss

Inaccurate location identification drives people up the walls. Some of them desperately create initiatives like Cris Sheldrick did. What3words helps identifying each 3mx3m squares on earth for communication and safety purposes.

In UK alone companies lose £146 million every year due to incorrect postal address. The issue of misplaced letters and packages is not the largest problem, however. It’s the sales and opportunity loss, as well as damage of the brand image, that can diminish revenue significantly.

In 2013 the story  about the engineer who took a year long battle in court with Royal Mail popped up in the news. The case was over a £300 worth parcel delivered to a wrong destination. Unfortunate the man lost the case due to his mistake in addressing of the letter … in one single letter. The consequence was not only the loss of £300 but also the complaint of the customer and yearlong frustration.

Imagine the same on a larger scale, how much hassle it unleashes to fix the mistakes caused by inaccurate databases holding wrong or outdated addresses. Data decays at a very high rate. Consumer data deteriorates with the speed of 13% per year and business data by 37% . E-commerce will especially be affected. While letter volume decreases, the parcel amount will raise with the increasing popularity of online shopping.

incorrect address
Postal delivery which had one wrong character. Source: http://swns.com/

Online e-statements, despite becoming a standard, have support of only 53% of B2C SMEs customers. Abound 28% of all types of mail are advertising material and catalogues. 47% of British retailers use mail as their marketing channel and one third of the consumers prefer to get those on paper.

About 25% of all types of mail are sent by Financial and Governmental Institutions. 34% of their customers admit that prefer to receive financial statements on paper, by post, expressing concerns about security of online banking. It seems we can’t escape from sending physical mail, a least not for a while. The need for solutions dealing with wrong addressing will increase along with consumer database size.

Marketing opportunity loss

The key point of marketing is the right audience targeting.  Considering the vast amount of money customers are spending on various services, it is worth gaining insights about the right audience to offer them the products they really need.

The targeting aspect is worth a deeper analysis, especially considering the huge customer database. Offering products that are not suitable for particular segments significantly harms revenue. It not only brings a loss of time and resource, but also opportunity loss.

By keeping the right and accurate location of the customer, you can track where he has moved. Apart from sending the correspondence to this new, accurate location, you can gain insights to his positioning for better offer adjustment or refinement of his contract. It can further be a source of information about the needs and motivations of the customer.

Email address, so often misspelled, is very often the main medium of communication in the digital era. Having wrong email address can hugely interrupt urgent communication. As a result the customer will miss the chance to sign or update a contract on time or take the offer received from you. It makes any marketing effort a complete waste of time.

We need precision in delivery, whether it’s going to be a brochure advertising new assortment or email suggesting renewal of a lease. Missing the delivery is equal to missing the opportunity to acquire a long term customer.

Customer service – no money for miscall

Service providers are forced to use multiple communication channels simultaneously. It is due to high probability of one of the channels being outdated or incorrect. Missing the mail in financial, health or government sector may not only be frustrating but even disastrous. How many of us had to pay 200% of a fine that we were not aware of? Or attended an appointment the wrong day?

Many customers spend hundreds or thousands of dollars per month for services and products. Solving their issues are a key goal of many companies. To become successful, you need to know your customer well and be prepared to serve them before they even need it. Quick and direct response is only possible when the correct and up-to-date data is in place when needed. Otherwise, the customer will spread the word. You can expect to lose at least 20 of the potential customers per each unsatisfied case. Building long term meaningful relationships with customers can cover any damage caused by failure of the service.

The competition on the market never sleeps. When it comes to customers, their data will be crucial. It will not only be useful for targeting the marketing campaigns but also provide quick and accurate help.

Conclusion

It is surprising how many businesses store their contact data locally, rarely updating. No matter whether the contacts data comprises small list of emails or huge database of suppliers, sub-contractors, team members and customers. Keeping fluid data is the key for maintaining optimised system avoiding additional opportunity and damage costs.

Sales suffer from leads being cut by constant changes in the database that are not captured by old-fashioned, static systems. With the size of the data, the problem increases. Solutions like ours help build a strong structure preventing connection loss happening in the future. With Intouch you gain constant updates of all changes in you contacts database. You can also synchronise it nicely with your system. No more incomplete data and no more loss of opportunity. Gaining the connection can be very easy, too. With our sign-up button, all data that you require will be propagated to your database. What is more it will keep updating whenever the customer or any business in your connections change their contact details. Handy, isn’t it? Try for free at Intouch.com.