Abbey's data integrity project saves £400,000

Customer relationship management: CRM has come of age - businesses are continuing to invest even in hard times

Customer relationship management: CRM has come of age - businesses are continuing to invest even in hard times

Abbey National bank has saved £400,000 in direct marketing costs since improving the data quality on its customer information system.

The bank recently measured the savings when evaluating a data integrity project implemented during 2001.

Using Innovative Systems' Data Linking Solution, Abbey National was able to measure and reduce duplication in its customer database where appropriate.

For years the bank has been working to focus more on its customers than its product set. This required a lot of work organising customer data, said Caren Black, head of information quality at Abbey National.

"We realise that information is the most important part," she said. "If there is not the accuracy or structure in data then you cannot deliver customer value management. For example, you do not want a colleague at a branch to try to sell a product the customer already uses."

Black said that in this way data accuracy is essential in developing customers' confidence in using financial products on the Internet.

"We estimate that working with Innovative to improve data accuracy has saved £400,000 in direct marketing. Since enhancing our use of the Data Linking Solution direct marketing cycle times have decreased and customer complaints dropped," Black said.

It had also resulted in better customer advocacy and improved cross-selling of products, she said.

Although the money had been saved by reducing duplication, some data should remain duplicated and be kept secure for online transactions, Black said.

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