This article originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2013 issue of CUSTOMER magazine.
Customer contact databases are both one of the biggest boons and one the biggest headaches for customer service and marketing managers at organizations around the world.
These databases are invaluable tools for capturing, making available and storing data for call center, order entry, shipping and logistics, and other key business applications. But ensuring that data within these often-massive data repositories is accurate, in a usable format and does not exist in duplicate is no small feat.
However, a company called Loqate, Inc. now offers businesses of all sizes solutions that make customer address management fast and easy – and that can take customer resource management to the next level with location-based options.
“Dealing with customer addresses is no longer a problem,” Geoff Roach, vice president of marketing with Loqate. “There is an easy, affordable way to fix it.”
Loqate provides the master data management and data quality technology that’s under the hood of database administrator-focused solutions from such major database companies as IBM, Pitney Bowes, Oracle (News - Alert) and SAS. Now Loqate is bringing its address data quality solutions direct to businesses like yours.
The Loqate solution looks at groups of characters that could be addresses, and makes sure they are correct, verifies they are actual addresses, and formats them as needed, explains Roach. It can be used for addresses in any country in the world, supports 10 languages, and even allows data to be transliterated between different languages.
Verify is the name of Loqate’s batch cleansing solution. Robust parsing enables unrestrictive address cleansing and the software automatically puts components into the correct address field, making applications that process location data more accurate and of higher value.
When two large companies merged a few years ago, the newly combined company ran data from both entities through Loqate Verify and discovered it had two million more duplicate customers than it thought.
“The payback on that kind of information is immense,” Roach added.
Register is Loqate’s offering for real-time entry and verification of address data for a fast, accurate and user-friendly data entry experience in call center, CRM and e-commerce environments. Users of this solution receive instant results when data is entered into the form, providing an intuitive experience for the user and ensuring only accurate data is entered into the database. The result is guaranteed clean data entry, a positive customer experience, and reduced support costs due to greater efficiency in support interactions.
Roach points out that the Register feature that populates the user’s screen with an address once it recognizes that address can be especially useful in contact center applications, in which agents are not working in their native languages and thus may not be as familiar with city names and address conventions.
An especially noteworthy part of the Loqate solution is Geocode, used to apply location detail to clean addresses or other data in the system. Geocode provides high-granularity generation of a latitude/longitude coordinate for any address worldwide, leveraging the most comprehensive multi-source reference data for GIS, location-based services, and any application where knowing the physical location is important. It works with any city or postal code, offering delivery point/rooftop-level coverage for more than 100 countries.
One example of how a company might use Geocode is to get a list of every home within 50 miles of a given address to enable more targeted marketing.
“It’s much more accurate than trying to do it by zip code,” explained Roach.
Of course, this is just one possible application for Geocode. Almost all data has locations, and accurate locations can power a wealth of business processes, including those related to customer relationship management, data quality, delivery of materials, goods or services, fraud detection, insurance risk assessment, data analytics, and store and territory planning.
Along with Register, Verify and Geocode, Loqate customers benefit from the capabilities of the Loqate Global Knowledge (News - Alert) Repository. The GKR contains reference data relating to postal addresses and other geographic points of interest for more than 240 countries and territories around the world. The GKR is used in conjunction with the other Loqate solutions, and, the company says, is the only reference database of its type with complete global coverage.
Data is developed by Loqate and sourced directly from entities around the world and is licensed for use within the Loqate solutions.
For more information on how your company can benefit from Loqate solutions, visit www.loqate.com.
Edited by Braden Becker