By Irene Cherkassky
Being able to share customer data throughout your organization is essential to your ability to meet customer needs in an effective and cost-efficient manner. For example, letting everyone know if a customer responded to an offer via direct mail, went to the Web or declined the offer entirely enables a more unified strategy of how best to follow up with that customer—whether that means having the appropriate company rep thank the customer for its business or knowing not to discuss the same offering with a customer again.
However, most companies still are finding it a challenge to provide a full, 360-degree view of their customers to all the people who need it. According to the 2005 Target Marketing Priorities Analysis report released by CSO Insights and underwritten by Harte-Hanks Inc., only about a third of the organizations surveyed rated their performance as "good" or better in regard to making all customer touch-point data available to relevant personnel within the company. And nearly four in 10 respondents rated their organization as "poor" or "very poor" at sharing data internally. So while some companies are making great progress in pulling all the essential data into one accessible source, many still are striving to gain effective touch-point data management.