Leading mail-order company, Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts, prides itself on high quality products that provide excellent value for money, and exceptional customer service. They spent some time investigating the market, and eventually chose address capture software from Experian Data Quality.
Everyone would agree that an accurate database is the lifeblood of any catalogue and mail order company. Leading mail-order company, Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts, prides itself on high quality products that provide excellent value for money, and exceptional customer service. With up to 2,000 calls a day it is important to capture addresses quickly and accurately, and provide a prompt and efficient service. Correct addressing ensures that goods are delivered to the right place quickly and safely.
To manage the exceptional demand they experience for their products, they realised they needed to be able to process customers' addresses rapidly and accurately. They spent some time investigating the market, and eventually chose address capture software from Experian Data Quality to make sure UK name and address data can be quickly entered in a consistent and useable format. "Sometimes a call takes longer if a customer doesn't know their postcode", says Cora McDonnell, IT Manager, "but we still get it right using address capture. In the long run, it saves us time. And nothing is more important than first impressions."
By simply entering a postcode the tool will return a picklist of addresses to street level, which allows the operator to select and return a full address, saving up to 80% on keystrokes. This reduces the amount of time it takes to process each call, and increases the productivity of each operator. The address data is validated against the Royal Mail's Postcode Address File which contains all 26 million UK addresses and 1.7 million postcodes. In addition, the tool is able to validate the address against the Electoral Register by offering a picklist of individuals against that address as an extra checking procedure, important when contact with customers is phone-based.
Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts have a call-centre employing 14 people to take customer calls, and they use names data to verify the name and address of callers who ring in to place orders. They find it particularly helpful for verifying coupons, where people's handwriting can sometimes be difficult to read, and it is part of their process for dealing with credit card fraud. Most important however, is customer perception. Cora McDonnell cites an American survey that "60% of people would be put off dealing with a company by a misspelled name or inaccurate address. It gives the impression that the company itself is incompetent, that they won't be able to fulfil the order properly - the last thing you need in the mail order industry!"
Maintaining The Database
Address cleaning is used to clean legacy data and ensure that the customer database is consistently maintained, as customers are mailed with new catalogues eight times a year. Addres cleaning also cleans existing data, adding postcodes if they are missing and reformatting ones that have changed. Any addresses it cannot match are left aside for manual processing, and the user retains control of what goes into the cleaned database. Consistently formatted data that has been validated is crucial to their business, as it allows for detailed customer analysis, along with ensuring the customer base is effectively reached every time there is a mailing. Prior to this they were using raw data from the Royal Mail, which was time-consuming because it could not perform multi-searches, and was less user-friendly than the Experian Data Quality software. "Validation of the data we receive is paramount. A lot of the time we have operators from overseas who may not know the spelling of an address, or may have difficulty with regional accents. To be able to search on just a postcode, and to verify the name against the Electoral Register means we can be sure we're capturing useable data." By using address capture software, Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts have correctly addressed their customers - and their customers are correctly dressed!