As typos and spelling mistakes make up to 58% of data inaccuracy issues, here we look at how much even a small mistake can cost your business…

According to Experian, when it comes to data inaccuracy, much of it is down to human error, in particular, spelling mistakes. The reason for this lies in an over-reliance on manual data entry and the lack of internal processes to check accuracy, either at the point of capture or via back-office data cleansing. Here we look at the cost of spelling mistakes and how to overcome it…

The cost of spelling mistakes

Data lies at the heart of your business, impacting everything from email deliverability to customer service and ultimately revenue generation. If your data is inaccurate, this has a direct impact on your ability to meet your customer’s expectations and can lead to dissatisfied customers and decisions based on misinformation.

Be it a database or a CRM system, it is essential to maintain data quality. Even a trivial mistake, one single character, space or punctuation mark in the wrong place can have an enormous impact on a business. Nevertheless, many organisations are failing to maintain data quality and are at a risk of incurring significant costs. For instance, this can be the cost to carry out mass data cleansing programmes. Other, indirect costs can be even more damaging and include loss of credibility and customers as well as compromised decision making.

Email typos are one the most common issues and having invalid email addresses in your database can have disastrous effects. Apart from not getting through to the right person, you run the risk of getting blacklisted by unintentionally spamming people. Each year, UK businesses waste £220 million sending mail to the wrong people. This is money you could be investing in business growth.

Furthermore, if your employees rely on paper-based invoices and sales orders, yet spend hours manually entering them into different systems, the likelihood of there being errors is very high. According to market research firm IDC, and as reported on Forbes, companies lose 20-30% in revenue every year due to such inefficiencies.

To sum up, here is the potential cost of database inaccuracies and spelling mistakes:

Poor data quality, including mistakes in email and home addresses as well as phone numbers, often affects your ability to reach customers and meet their needs. If you can’t reach your customers, you won’t be able achieve your revenue goals.

Operational efficiency
Poor quality data results in wasted time and resources. A typo could potentially lead to wasted money on mailing costs. Such errors force an organisation to recheck details either manually or invest in data cleansing solutions before making decisions or launching a campaign. However, this is often too late…

Under Direct Marketing Association guidelines, you have to maintain and protect your customer database. For example, it is illegal to contact customers registered with the Telephone Preference Service. If there is a typo in your phone number you can reach those who are potentially on the TPS and this will lead to unnecessary fines and levies.

How to overcome database inaccuracies

It may seem improbable that a spelling mistake could lead to spectacular financial losses. This is often caused by budgetary shortages. To save money, many businesses still rely on manual entry instead of investing in integrated data cleansing systems to run their operations. However, by investing in an integrated system to run your business processes, your staff won’t have to spend hour’s cross-posting information or re-keying data manually. What’s more, with all business information in one place, you’ll be able to make decisions with confidence, knowing the information is reliable. Your campaigns will be sent to the right people giving you the true reflection on your ROI.

There are many solutions to help you cleanse the data you already have. Integrated address cleaning services can be embedded directly into your existing CRM to clean your database addresses. This can be outsourced as well for a one-off or regular cleansing whenever you want. For example, WaterAid implemented an address cleansing software solution to help maintain its database of 450,000 contacts and to maximize its fundraising. As a result, WaterAid raises an additional £12,000 appeal income each year because of more accurate data on their contacts.

Maintaining data quality will help you meet your operational objectives, at the same time cutting unnecessary costs. If not addressed, this can have enormous impact on business performance so make sure your business keeps on top of those nasty mistakes.

Read more: Brands and the Use of Eccentric Misspelling