In 2013, operations at a British children’s hospital were suspended after concerns were raised about the hospital’s high mortality rates. The data showed a death rate that was at twice the national average. Just two weeks later, an investigation revealed that the data was flawed and the suspension on the Leeds Teaching Hospital was lifted. But, the damage was already done.
According to the report, “Incomplete information was instrumental in causing the suspension of surgery and great consternation both at the hospital and in the community it serves … inaccurate data are worse than useless and can be positively damaging.”
Leeds isn’t the only organisation that has struggled to manage the deluge of data. According to a recent data quality research report, 99 percent of organisations understand the importance of clean data, but 86 percent of companies admit that their data might be inaccurate in some way.
Accurate and consistent customer data is essential to business success. As the number of customer engagement channels has risen, analysing that data has become increasingly challenging. Yet, if managed effectively, customer data can help organizations improve customer retention, streamline operations and increase the value of each customer.
Here’s how inaccurate data can negatively impact your business:
1. Losing Customers
Businesses have a small window of opportunity to obtain and retain their customers. Once they betray their trust, those customers are usually gone for good. Whether it’s something as simple as a poorly-targeted email, or a more serious lapse like that seen at the Leeds Teaching Hospital, bad data can have a lasting, negative impact on the brand and customer experience.
2. Damaged Reputation
Customer loyalty and your company’s reputation go hand-in-hand. If you are consistently under-delivering or your customer communications are off-target, it’s likely that you’ll lose your customer’s trust. And just like that, your company reputation is in jeopardy. For example, something as simple as a misspelled name or the wrong mailing address can frustrate customers or even prevent you from getting in touch in the first place.
3. Decreased Revenue
When it comes down to it, poor data quality can have a heavy impact on an organization’s wallet. That same research shows that 75 percent of businesses are wasting 14 percent of revenue due to poor data quality. That’s approximately £198 million of wasted revenue across UK businesses.
Companies may think that not spending money on the right data quality tools will help them save money, but doing so can ultimately cost them in the long run. If the data turns bad, they’ll have to spend significantly to clean up that data and repair the damage it’s left in its wake.
The Damage of Bad Data
Without the right data management and tools, bad data can be extremely damaging to your organisation’s bottom line, resulting in customer churn, a damaged reputation or revenue loss. Customer information management solutions can help businesses capitalise on the data at hand and integrate that intelligence into their business operations, thus providing a more accurate view of their customers.
For more information on how to better manage your customer information, please click here.