3 Easy Steps to Enhance Your Customer Profile Using Data Enrichment

Last Published: Sep 08, 2021 |
Donal Dunne
Donal Dunne

Associate Director, Product Marketing

What is data enrichment?

Data enrichment is the process of integrating external and internal information with existing data to increase data accuracy and value. Combining trusted and authoritative information with existing data enables better business decisions and customer experiences. For example, by combining geocodes and address data with other business data, insurance companies can better assess if a prospect lives in a high-risk area or a marketing department could analyze where customers or prospects live to determine the most effective advertising strategy.

Why optimize data enrichment?

In a commoditized market, with fierce competition, downward price pressure, and infinite choice, only one thing sets you apart from the competition: Customer Experience. A PwC report noted that companies who deliver a great customer experience can attain a 16% price premium for goods and services while increasing customer loyalty. However, the report also noted that 32% of customers will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience (REF 1). That is why businesses are relentlessly focused on improving the customer experience.

They're making online and offline service and support consistent. Investing in training and getting cross-company buy-in and aligning people, processes, and technology. Yet many companies overlook a key asset – data and more precisely customer contact data.

Inaccurate and incomplete customer contact data degrades the quality of everything you do throughout your organization. Special offers struggle to convert because they fail to resonate with your audiences. Emails bounce, deliveries are returned, and it causes duplicate communications, inconsistent service, and lack of personalization – which means disappointed, angry, and frustrated customers.

And that’s a costly problem. As mentioned earlier,  one-third of customers will walk away because of a poor customer experience and it is five times more expensive (REF 2) to attract new customers versus retaining an existing customer. As you can see, the costs quickly add up!

Getting it right is a challenge for everybody. But they need to—because if they don’t, they’re missing out on a big opportunity.

This is the opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition in a crowded marketplace with savvy customers who have endless choices and wavering loyalties. The opportunity to harness the power of segmentation and personalization, deliver targeted offers, customize communication, and tailor service.

Data enrichment: Go from good to great customer experiences

Enriched contact data makes all this possible. It turns a good customer experience into a great one.

Cleansed and enriched data means great customer experiences. Because it lets you do five critical customer engagement activities:

  1. Segment your customers
  2. Personalize the customer journey
  3. Analyze customer behaviors
  4. Better recognize customers wherever they interact with you
  5. Respond to customer needs faster

With data enrichment, you can move from customer transactions to customer interactions. Foster better relationships with existing customers and build new relationships with prospects.

3 steps to enrich your customer profiles

Here are the steps to transform customer contact data into rich profiles that drive better outcomes:

  1. Data cleansing
  2. Contact data verification
  3. Data governance

Let’s go into these in a bit more detail.

Data enrichment step #1: Data cleansing

In nearly every organization, customer information is incomplete, incorrect, and inconsistent across business applications. However, ensuring that data is cleansed and high-quality is a challenge – partly because they may not be fully aware of their own data quality levels. Without this information, they cannot know the full business impact of poor or unknown data quality – or how to begin addressing it.

To fix these issues caused by bad data, you need to implement the right tools and processes to understand the scale of the problem and fix it. Using data profiling  and defining metrics to measure data quality, you’ll gain a better understanding of the problem. Typical metrics include completeness, conformity, consistency, accuracy, integrity, and duplication.

Once you understand the problem, the next step is to define and implement the cleansing, deduplicating and standardization rules that ensure data is fit for purpose. An important point here is this is not a one-time process. That’s because business data is always changing: New data sources come online and need to be reconciled with existing data. Also, business needs change, requiring managing other data not previously considered – or defining new rules. The ability to be agile and reuse existing data assets and rules is critical to staying on top of ongoing change.

Now that the data is cleansed and standardized, the next step is to verify the data.

Data enrichment step #2: Contact data verification

Contact data goes wrong in two ways:

  • Firstly, it’s entered incorrectly – by the sales reps, helpdesk agents, event staff, or the customers themselves (by accident or intentionally).
  • Secondly, it goes out of date – when customers move, get a new email address, leave their job, or change phone numbers.

That’s pretty much it. Bad contact data is either wrong when it enters your systems or it becomes wrong when something changes in your customers’ lives.

Fixing these problems  is relatively simple with contact data verification solutions:

  • For emails, this means checking directly with the domain (e.g., Gmail) that the email is accurate and then ensuring it’s safe to send to, so you don’t end up on an email blacklist.
  • For postal addresses, it means checking the address and format with a service that has every postal certification available in the world.
  • For phone numbers, it means making sure the number is accurate and reliable, so when your business places a call, you reach your intended customer. It also means establishing if the number is for a cell phone or a landline.

Now that we have cleansed and verified contact data, we are ready to fill in any gaps in the data – that’s where data enrichment kicks in. However, as noted earlier, data cleansing and verification is not a once-and-done process!

Data enrichment step #3: Data governance

Companies retain customer information in many places, such as a customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation application, an email service provider, in spreadsheets, and in other applications. Once you begin to use your customer data, your job is not yet complete. To ensure consistent and continuous data quality into the future, your data should be governed, so it is regularly cleansed and verified.

On average, 30% of contact data changes yearly, so it’s essential to verify and cleanse your data on a regular schedule. The only way to ensure that accurate, consistent, and verified data is delivered into the future is through ongoing monitoring. Monitoring data involves the deployment of controls to ensure that the data continues to conform to the data quality business rules and is fit for purpose.

By approaching customer contact data enrichment strategically, organizations can deliver a differentiated and more rewarding customer experience built on a foundation of trusted customer data.

Get started with data enrichment today

Download our eBook - The Business Case for Contact Data Verification, where we discuss in more detail how clean, accurate, dependable customer contact data pays dividends for customer experience.


1)     PWC Report https://www.pwc.com/us/en/advisory-services/publications/consumer-intelligence-series/pwc-consumer-intelligence-series-customer-experience.pdf

2)     Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2018/09/12/dont-spend-5-times-more-attracting-new-customers-nurture-the-existing-ones/?sh=6bb448385a8e


First Published: May 26, 2021