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Bessere Daten

Today, data is generated via the #CustomerJourney, and mostly digitally. In the case of customer data, experience shows that this is via web forms. The strategy here has always been to collect as much data as possible about the customer, but this leads to data problems for many of our clients, as certain data will be used little or not at all in the future. The following points should help to avoid mistakes and to collect certain data fields with priority:

1. Web forms (registrations/data collection)

Anyone who uses web forms must ensure that the data that is collected is actually needed. GDPR/DSGVO prescribe minimalism and lead to concentrating on the essential data in communication with customers. At the moment, these are email addresses (beware of the trend towards second addresses) and mobile numbers. As well as the necessary OPT-Ins. Make it easy for customers to fill out the forms and check the entries directly against the customer database.

2. E-mail addresses

Can be checked on the one hand for convention (an "@" must contain a domain and a dot as well as checkable annexes, e.g. .de, .com, .org or .swiss), and on the other hand for deliverability with an e-mail address checker, which sends the data to the respective mail servers without sending an e-mail. E-mail addresses are indispensable for ordering and confirming a purchase in the eShop (transaction e-mails), and are also used for communication and customer control if OPT-In is present.

3. Postal addresses /(georeferencing)

For the postal addresses, one must consider 3 address types; order address, delivery address, invoice address. In B2C, these should be checked at the time of a delivery/order. The costs for such a check should not be underestimated. In B2B, this can be more difficult because reference directories do not know all branch operations. It is worth considering when and for what purpose exactly do I need the address. Some of our clients only use addresses marked as deliverable by the post office. This leads to some of the existing customers being excluded from communication.

4. Duplicates (advanced recognition not only e-mail)

Duplicates occur in every address database, but also in the article master. You can protect yourself and check them regularly. This is always recommended when creating a new address or a new article. Many duplicate types can be recognised immediately, but this is more difficult with a duplicate that has been moved, unless I find similarities in other data fields, such as birthday, e-mail and/or mobile number. Whether one uses software with phonetics, fuzzy or FACT algorithms - or a combination of these - for the discovery depends on the purpose. Pure matching systems are not sufficient. At best, these filter out duplicate identities. Easy to use for users is the possibility of merging customers, e.g. in a CRM, based on the duplicates found by the software tools mentioned above.

5. Credit rating

The creditworthiness of a person can be formed with simple tools, e.g. from the residential situation (clearly identifiable address), regular orders and payments and the like.

External creditworthiness providers go deeper

(Bisnode/CRIF/Schufa/Intrum etc.) Of course, one can access their reference lists, which simplifies the process of checking, but here one must also reckon with the fact that the reference information cannot offer sufficient data on the respective buyer.

Credit rating providers also work with lists that are quickly adjusted on a daily basis. The information they receive could therefore be incorrect.

Since there are large price differences in the reference models of credit rating providers, it is worth taking a closer look at them.

If the household as a whole has a negative entry/notation for a purchase, do not hold the other persons responsible, but offer other payment methods if in doubt.

6. Telephone number/fixed network or IP phone

The landline number of a household is only visible in the electronic telephone book in 30 % of cases. It may make sense with older customers, but otherwise it is less and less worthwhile to store this number, except for service purposes, delivery. In B2B it is different because the telephone book entries of the companies remain, but in many cases are now better looked after by Google and other providers.

7. Purchase / Delivery

This is a good opportunity to ask the customer for more data and, if necessary, to move him or her into cross-selling or upselling. Asking for the mobile number in addition to the e-mail costs nothing, but brings a lot in the process with the customer, e.g. during delivery. In e-commerce, the buying process only ends with delivery. You are responsible for communicating with the customer until successful delivery. Do not leave this to the carrier.

8. Relocation notification/change of address

A relocation notification is first and foremost an opportunity for an additional sale, because households are prepared to invest large sums of money here. Addresses of people who have moved must be archived with the time of the change (old/new). A simple change in the database is not enough. Otherwise you will lose customer information and run the risk of creating a second data record from other systems and thus duplicating it (double move). Companies that obtain external data from an address broker for the acquisition of new customers should keep the archive data (old addresses in a negative list/blacklist).

9. Bounce(s) /undelivered emails

Bounces are undelivered e-mails, e.g. from newsletters, which could not be technically delivered to the recipient/customer. Soft bounces are responses that the recipient is currently absent, hard bounces if the e-mail comes back with an error message.

Hardbounces occur when the receiving e-mail server is not available on the Internet. This happens, for example, during maintenance work on the network infrastructure. It has proven useful to regularly check bounce addresses for deliverability. There are software checkers that can check the deliverability without having to send an e-mail. Attention Hardbounces should not be used repeatedly in e-mail newsletters. This damages the reputation and leads to poorer delivery figures. Hardbounces are also unpleasant, as the customer still wants communication. Consider how you can reach these customers via another channel (e.g. SMS/mobile) to get their new e-mail address.

10. Mobile number

The new data gold leads you directly or mostly indirectly to the new mobile of your customers. You reach the customer, whether for questions about the order or delivery. You can also use messenger apps such as WhatsApp or Google Messages for this. Mobile numbers need a uniform format in the database for the third-party systems, whether canonical (Microsoft) or international formats such as from Google can be used. It is important here that all persons involved in customer contact know how to record these numbers (rule), but this also applies to the other recording rules.

Collection rules for data

Data rules in the company on how the data is to be recorded help to keep the quality high. Employees who know how important an email address, UID or mobile number is for the company will pay attention to this.

Support employees with formatting tools in applications or the storage of reference data to support the creation of data.

Data quality and software tools

There is no all-embracing solution, but the systems on the market today cover a large part of the requirements for data quality software. Cloud or server services that can be accessed via common interface programmes and can be easily integrated into a company's data processes have proven themselves. Many of the services can also be obtained as a service, which keeps the initial investment low.


Our recommendation would be to start with the goal of collecting and maintaining the essential data fields of the customers and to work profitably with them. With every address and customer communication, the turnover increases and with it the possibility to reactivate old data, if it makes sense. If you want to be sure, get help in the form of know-how, services or software tools.

TP/122020 ml


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