Single customer view for REAL customer interaction

Having worked in the data and information quality industry for quite some years now, I’ve noticed that our industry feels that there is an urgent need for new acronyms every couple of years. Here’s a small selection: CRM, ERP, BI, SaaS, CDI, MDM, FTR….. Are you still with me? If so, you have probably been in this business for a substantial amount of time as well. As these acronyms mysteriously or automagically gain and loose popularity, I am now convinced that they all, more or less, serve the same purpose: They intend to be the “theoretical foundation” for solution selling.

Organizations spend a lot of time on optimizing their production chain, their invoicing processes and the quality of their customer database(s). For this, all kinds of tools and systems are being used (and the corresponding acronyms become popular…;-) . Some of these tools and systems are really intelligent, but many times the actual purpose of the deployment of these means is lost in the process. We need to really interact with our customers to help them benefit from the solutions we offer! Of course, we will have to make all the necessary information for customer interaction (social media data, invoicing data, transaction history data, etc.) available for everyone involved at all times.

Eventually, we all want to personalize our customer interaction. Make it a human interaction. Build a relationship…… Well, I could go on explaining my views on this subject, but as it happens we have made this one-minute-movie that explains it much better. Check it out. It’s worth it!

Marketing? – Let your ingredients interact!


Throughout the years Human Inference has carried out and supported research with regard to the importance, the impact and the perception of customer data quality in business environments. This reasearch shows that the phenomenon customer data quality is subject to a perception shift. In general, one could argue that, in the early years, data quality used to be perceived as “something that is being carried out by the IT-department”, whereas nowadays more and more companies and organizations are recognizing the importance of customer data and information quality. Issues and initiatives such as the value of a single customer view, data integration, fraud prevention, customer relationship management, operational risk management, compliance and anti-terrorism have become boardroom themes. Continue reading ‘Marketing? – Let your ingredients interact!’

Managing online customer interaction


In my previous post on the First Time Right-principle I explained that the starting point of customer lifetime value lies in making sure that the input of data is correct, valid, complete and standardized. This guiding principle is used in traditional data quality management, but it most definitely applies to “new” ways of dealing with customer data. New channels, online contact forms, self service portals, different customer behaviour – the changing environment adds new challlenges to the art of intelligent data management.

In traditional customer contact processes there is an interaction between people and people and/or systems. In online customer contact processes, the initial interaction is between the customer and the system. This calls for a data quality strategy in which the data will be captured and processed the First Time Right! Whether it is to prevent pollution in your existing database, to raise the customer’s confidence in your company or to guide your customer to the right product; the design of the online interaction process has a substantial impact on the quality of the customer data.

How do you “guide” your (potential) customer to enter the right data in a self-service portal or in a web contatct form (Graham Rhind and Winfried van Holland have been discussing this topic in Data Value talk as well …)? How do you make sure you that you check online loan applications correctly? How do you identify the returning customer? All these and many more questions add an extra dimension and another degree of complexity to the management of online customer interaction.

If you are interested to share discussions on this topic or learn more, you are invited to join our (Dutch) seminar on May 12th at the Human Inference headquarters in Arnhem. See for yourself how the intelligent management of your online , multi-channel customer interaction will have increasingly positive effect on the total data quality in your organization.

New white paper: First Time Right – Turning your customer data into customer lifetime value

As promised in my previous post “First Time Right – The customer perspective“, I’m sending out this post to inform you about our new white paper. This paper describes the background, definition and business impact of the application of the First Time Right-principle in any organization. The First Time Right-principle is the basis of your upstream and downstream data management. Making sure that the input of data is correct, valid, complete and standardized, is the starting point of customer lifetime value. The application of the principle will take care of the quality of your data at the source, and will consequently have an increasingly positive effect on the total data quality in your organization.

The paper discusses business examples, the customer contact process, the reciprocity between people, process and technology, and the underlying concept of intelligent interpretation of customer data. In short, there are many ways to turn your data into customer lifetime value. The quickest, most efficient and most valuable is the implementation of the First Time Right-principle.

Please click here and dowwnload our white paper.

First Time Right – The customer perspective

One of the first things I will start working on this year is a paper on First Time Right. Naturally, my colleagues and I had discussed the content of such a paper before, but during my Christmas holiday I figured out what the line of thought for the paper should be. Next to the definition and the importance of the priciple and the approach in data quality solutions, I think that First Time Right is definitely about the business value and the advantages for the customers.

Let me give you a short preview:

Customer data plays a crucial role in the value chain of any business infrastructure. Whether purchasing, production, distribution, marketing, sales or service is concerned, the availability and the quality of your customer data is of great importance to these processes. A few examples? Continue reading ‘First Time Right – The customer perspective’

Know your customer to trust your data


The success of many business processes is linked directly to the quality of customer data. This is not only an obvious fact, but a recurring conclusion of many field studies: Incorrect, incomplete and inaccurate data will have a direct impact on your business succes rate. The symptomatology of this increase is established in inefficient marketing and sales processes, customer dissatisfaction, difficult cross- and upsell, unreliable analyses and many other disturbances in the day-to-day business of almost every organization dealing with customer, supplier and/or partner data.

In essence, it all comes down to knowing your data, in order to be able to trust your data. If you trust your data, you are definitely doing something right. So, how do you establish that trust? For this, you first have to answer a short, yet rather complex question: What is what in my database(s)? In other words: You have to identify and interpret the data you are working with .

A robust customer data identification solution intelligently interprets the details of both natural and legal persons. That process has to take account of the significance of words in a specific context, usage of company names, abbreviations, synonyms, acronyms, spelling mistakes, notation methods, standards and phonetic similarity of words. All in all, this is not a simple task; it more or less mimics the capabilities that humans show when interpreting data … Continue reading ‘Know your customer to trust your data’