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Payment processing can also impact customer data quality

Richard Jones Archive

For numerous businesses with a customer-centric way of thinking, one of the key goals in 2014 is to focus on data quality. The objective is to collect more information about every relevant consumer out there, ensure that info is accurate and use it to enhance every step of the customer experience, from initial point of contact to final sale.

That being the case, companies are looking eagerly for new and improved ways of collecting this high-quality data. In the past, they relied heavily on direct communications with people through letters and phone calls; they now have more options available. The proliferation of mobile and social tools has made this process far easier.

According to FirstBiz, a new approach has proven highly effective - payment processing solutions can double as tools for gathering rich volumes of data. When people pay for products of all kinds, they typically provide all kinds of information about themselves, including their contact information and critical financial data. Gautam Kulkarni, retail practice lead at Nihilent, notes that handling payments is already an area where companies should strive to improve - the opportunity to find valuable data is just additional icing on the cake.

"Accept multi-tender, multi-currency, redeem coupons and customer loyalty cards online," Kulkarni advised. "Accept more than one currency in a single transaction. Link verified customers to transactions for efficiency and security. Make payments process more agile and seamless is the key to slicker and quicker online commerce."

All of these developments should improve the customer experience overnight. Also, perhaps just as importantly, they should make it easier for companies to gather data that's comprehensive, accurate and up to date. The importance of this can't be overstated, as good clean data is the gateway to a more profitable business in the years ahead.