Marty Mosely, in her expert opinion in Peppers & Rogers writes about the importance of organizing customer information.
Master Data Management (MDM) software or systems enable organizations to strategically leverage and share those critical data assets. Deployed properly, MDM can provide organizations with complete, accurate, and real-time views of data spread across multiple systems or databases, even outside the firewall. This allows businesses to unlock the value of their data assets for competitive advantages or operational improvements.
Exactly how are businesses using MDM? Here are some quick, real-world examples of how organizations in the hospitality, retail, and technology industries are using MDM solutions to manage their most important data while adding to the company bottom line.
Increasing customer recognition and loyalty
Although an international hotel chain was using multiple systems to track guests, the company was only able to follow those enrolled in its loyalty program-about 10 percent of its customer base. This meant the company was potentially under-servicing 70 percent of frequent guests who did not have a loyalty program number. With mountains of complicated data from multiple systems, representing 5,000 global properties across eight brands, getting a handle on the data was a daunting task.
The company chose an MDM system that aggregated complex customer data without disrupting source systems, and seamlessly integrated with its loyalty program system. Once the MDM system was deployed, it was no longer a problem to identify frequent guests, even if they registered under different identities (variations on names and addresses without a consistent identifier), did not use their loyalty program number, or stayed at a number of the company's brands for a variety of reasons. By accurately matching guest information according to demographic and historical information, the company is now able to recognize guests across all brands in its portfolio in real time at the point of service.
Improving customer experience and top-line growth
Plagued by redundant records and an inability to properly recognize customers at any touchpoint, a massive retailer with a huge online presence and hundreds of brick and mortar stores knew it was essential to get a grip on customer data to help the company interact with customers in a more meaningful way. With its new MDM system in place, the retailer has created an accurate, real-time view of its approximately 40 million customer records from three disparate data sources. It can now recognize individual and household relationships, and has identified more than 11 million redundant records.
The retailer can now provide a complete view of transaction and customer history at the point of interaction, fulfill online orders at physical stores, better reconcile customer preferences, eliminate duplicate and inconsistent marketing campaigns, and remove the need to repeatedly ask customer loyalty program members for their personal information.
Understanding customer relationships and improving revenue and service
One of the world's largest technology companies was losing significant revenue due to incomplete software licensing information and territory assignment issues. The company needed to access composite views of all individual and organization data about customers, partners, and suppliers along with advanced B2B hierarchy management. The company used an MDM system to create a single view of customer and hierarchical data to help the organization address its licensing problems and operational inefficiencies, define the true and total value of every customer, identify the most valuable customers within an organization, and even know when a customer purchased through multiple channels.
The results were enormous. By properly managing organizational-level data, the company has found $139 million in new licensing revenue and recouped $47 million in operational cost savings. The MDM solution also helped improve field productivity since sales reps now can access synchronized data from across the entire organization (CRM, software licensing, and financial accounting applications) and gain a better picture of existing relationships and potential for cross- and upsell opportunities.
At the end of the day, what you sell or service doesn't matter. It is imperative to better understand your customers while improving the bottom line. With an MDM solution in place, it turns out that these two goals do not have to be mutually exclusive. Knowing your customers is the key.
My take: I certainly think organizing customer information is the first step towards building consistent customer experience. This is the basic platform around which the rest of the customer marketing initiatives like segmentation, understanding customer value & profitability, analytics need to be built. Hence, getting this right is an important first step.