First Steps Toward Customer Data Integration
No. 7: Understand privacy and its implications in all relevant geographies. CDI technology makes it possible to quickly and accurately link related customer data, an ability not unnoticed by those who are drafting an expanding range of federal, state and global privacy regulations. For many reasons, including avoiding damaging negative publicity and maintaining your customers' trust, your business must monitor and adhere to all laws and regulations regarding privacy.
The best practices in this area go well beyond monitoring and implementing legislative imperatives. Companies can and should become strong consumer advocates. Our experience has shown that when given more control over their data, consumers become less concerned and tend to focus on the accuracy of the data (even to the point of volunteering information) rather than choosing to opt out of the database. And when the substantial benefits of having customer information are clearly explained and provided to consumers, most will see the value of the process. As customers enjoy the tangible results of the process—lower prices, more relevant offers, and improved products and services—their loyalty to the company is strengthened.
It's Your Move
At first, implementing customer data integration may seem like a daunting process. However, you should be encouraged by the vast majority of companies that have established CDI processes who now wonder how they ever did business without it. CDI is a proven commodity—time-tested, successful and measurable. With CDI in place, you will enjoy increased revenues, significant cost savings, higher efficiencies in marketing and, most important, happier customers.
SCOTT HAMBUCHEN is client services group leader for Acxiom Corp., which creates and delivers customer and information management solutions, including market-leading CDI services solutions, that help clients maximize the value of their customer relationships. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.