The real value of customer data lies in how comprehensive it is which, in turn, depends on rigorous best practice and good housekeeping. Matt Bowd, general manager at Aptumo Pty Ltd said “Information collected during customer engagements is the heart of any business’ data management strategy. It should be relevant to what the business does for its customers, and it should enable them to do that efficiently. How that information is configured and stored is equally important.”
While every business understands that ongoing data management and control is essential, practice can, sometimes, fall short of intention. Matt continued “Unfortunately, the quality of the data that we collect can become diluted as customer expectations change and the technology we use evolves. While it may be possible to justify using a clunky work-around process to make up for missing or inaccurate data day-to-day, this can have costly implications when it comes to a significant business event like implementing new billing or CRM software.”
Whatever prompts it, a well-planned data cleanse project can help to improve customer satisfaction and business efficiencies. Matt continued “A software implementation is a good opportunity to rationalise your customer data. Quality and configuration issues can be addressed, and duplicate information can be purged. It’s never too early to start planning a data cleanse, but either pre or during data mapping is best.”
Matt believes in the importance of collaboration between vendor and client “A team that understands both the source of the data and the target application guarantees great results. There are some very usable data cleanse tools on the market, but they should be complimented by an end-to-end understanding of the project. Kicking-off with some robust data analysis, applying strong comparison tools, and then implementing suitable data fixes provides a deeper insight into the data - why it’s there, what it can be used for, and how it can be used to best effect.”
Finally, “It’s almost impossible to overstate the value of accurate and well organised customer data when it comes to delivering exceptional service. It’s the backbone of every conversation and, as digitization becomes ever more important, it’s the foundation for automating key processes successfully. Just knowing your customer isn’t enough; knowing how to use the data you have is key to building a strong, lasting relationship that the customer values as much as you do.”
Aptumo is billing software created specifically for water utilities by Echo Managed Services, the leading customer service provider to the UK’s water sector. If you’d like more information about Aptumo, or to discuss why being ahead of the game with data management is so important, contact Matt Bowd.