Webinar ‘Addresses’ a Problem
In its recent webinar, How Casual Male Keeps Customers Coming Back, international name and address software provider QAS, an Experian company, provided insight on how the multichannel merchant has profited from front-end address verification software and how the collection of incorrect address data can cause significant problems. Geoff McGehee, director of database marketing for the Casual Male Retail Group, reeled off several things his company has learned from acquiring customer addresses accurately and efficiently at the point of sale. Here are some of his observations.
1. Customer experience comes first. Customers want to receive the information they’ve signed up to receive, whether it be a catalog, loyalty program information or product shipments, among others, McGehee said. Accurate data is needed to meet this expectation.
2. A better view of your customer. “We didn’t have a full picture of our customers because of the existence of duplicate records,” McGehee noted. “What looked like three bad customers may have been one good customer.” By getting the correct address on the front end, you can better identify and merge duplicate records, he pointed out. This helps eliminate wasteful mailings and save postal costs.
3. Expand your reach. Accurate addresses enable you to reach more customers with your offer, McGehee said. This not only helped stimulate Casual Male’s catalog sales, it also had a ripple effect on retail and Web sales. By staying on the top of its customers’ minds, Casual Male achieved strong response from all channels.
4. Prepare for challenges. While its front-end address verification system — QAS Pro, Version 6 — has worked, getting it to work was a challenge, McGehee said. Three factors companies need to account for when implementing the system, he said, include the following:
* the varying levels of skill of the employees entering the address information;
* customer demand for fast checkouts; and
* customers’ concern for how their data will be used.
These areas need to be shored up before launching the address verification system, McGehee cautioned.
5. Another opportunity for interaction. By collecting this information at the point of sale, companies gain another opportunity for interaction with customers. This allows you to get the correct information as it’s being entered, preventing inaccuracies from the point when the data enters your system, McGehee said. This is especially helpful with high-problem areas such as missing apartment numbers and directional information for a street, which can render an address useless to a marketer.
With the correct address information in your system on the front end of the order process, your customer’s experience and satisfaction will improve. You’ve significantly increased the chances your package will arrive on time and helped reduce lost, delayed or undeliverable orders due to avoidable causes (e.g., a missing apartment number), he said. And this will only increase your employees’ available time to process more customer orders.