With printing and postage costs on the rise, and the intangible value of satisfied customers always paramount, CCPRC sought a way to ensure the use of clean, verified address data in all customer communications.
CCPRC turned to QAS Pro, a front-end address verification tool, to ensure only good, clean data is input into its Class application, a product from The Active Network, Inc.
QAS address verification lets CCPRC ensure clean data and provide an excellent level of customer service - raising customer satisfaction and encouraging repeat park visitors - while also using staff time and budget more efficiently.
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) improves the quality of life in Charleston County by offering a diverse system of park facilities, programs, and services. The CCPRC comprises of eight major physical locations with day parks, beach parks, water parks, special use facilities, and campgrounds and employs approximately 70 staff members. The commission is annually funded through $6 million in taxpayer revenues and generates about $9 million from fees.
The CCPRC maintains a database of 65,000 live accounts and the accuracy of every account mailing address is crucial. The commission regularly sends a wide variety of time sensitive program documents to its visitors including tickets, passes, and contracts that require return signatures. Bad address data translated into a significant amount of delayed or undelivered customer communication and the agency grew concerned that unhappy park customers would lead to fewer repeat visitors.
The agency's general mailings - including a monthly distribution of 1,500 pass renewal notices and a quarterly distribution of 25,000 recreation guides, marketing postcards, promotional brochures and program evaluations - were also generating loads of returned mail. In addition to an immeasurable lost opportunity cost, the budget wasted on postage and printing for these initiatives was not a wise expenditure of tax payer money.
"Inaccurate address data was adversely affecting our operations and compromising CCPR's level of customer service," said Pam Ragland, Administrative Manager at the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.
The CCPRC also sought a tool that would ease the address capture process for its staff members while guaranteeing that quality data was input into the agency's Class application. The agency wanted staff to effectively manage high volumes of visitor inquiries - whether through email, phone or face-to-face interactions - and capture complete and accurate address information at all times. The CCPRC needed a gatekeeper for all of its address entry points.
CCPRC turned to QAS' real-time, front-end address verification tool to ensure good, clean data is entered into its Class application and to reduce postage fees and improve customer service. QAS Pro instantly validates address information against the latest official postal data file before it is committed to the agency's database.
"Before QAS address verification, CCPRC staffers had to manually research bad addresses one-by-one, either by phone or through an Internet look-up service," continued Ragland. "Once a year, we would scrub our data on the back-end through our mailing fulfillment house which was not enough to ensure clean data in a timely and efficient manner."
"We had a very simple implementation with QAS," said Catherine Farah, of CCPRC's IT Operations department. "QAS' services matched our needs without being too complicated and the implementation and configuration were very easy without requiring any additional hardware."
"The data updates we receive always arrive on time and are easy and quick to apply requiring little to no maintenance," continued Farah. "The technical support team, although rarely needed, is professional and thorough."
CCPRC staff supervisors quickly realized the benefits of the software and now easily train new employees on QAS as part of Class new-user instruction.
QAS Pro has enabled CCPRC to guarantee that everything sent to their customers - contracts, tickets, passes, confirmations, evaluations, etc.- gets to them in a timely fashion and is not returned due to bad addresses. By entering correct information on the front-end, CCPRC does not waste time, money, or energy calling customers or manually researching addresses on the Internet.
"As a public agency, CCPRC strives to be good stewards of its tax payers' money," continued Ragland. "With QAS address verification, we are able to use our budget wisely, cut postal expenses, and provide an excellent level of customer service and satisfaction which encourages repeat visitors."