• April 1, 2004
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

BPO News & Insight: Clean and Compliant

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Earlier this year Acxiom and the dealer services group of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) unveiled their database management service to help retail automotive dealers maintain more accurate customer contact information and to assist with privacy compliance of state and federal do-not-call lists. "Retail automotive dealers have invested significant time and money into CRM strategies, but those strategies just don't work without accurate, current data that can be integrated across multiple dealer sites," according to Kevin Henahan, senior vice president of marketing, ADP Dealer Services. "Now ADP and Acxiom have joined forces to help dealers maintain comprehensive, current customer records that help continuously grow and preserve the customer relationship." The service enhances ADP's DataFresh product by making use of three data integration and data hygiene offerings from Acxiom: AbiliTec, Acxiom BestAddress, and Acxiom ChangePlus. Tests conducted on dealer management systems (DMSs) indicate a high percentage of all customer data is inaccurate, with up to 40 percent of records as duplicates and up to 80 percent of records in need of address correction or updates, according to Acxiom. The combined database management solution aims to provide dealers with clean, up-to-date customer information, and the ability to integrate customer records from multiple data sources across the enterprise. The ADP/Acxiom solution includes a set of tools designed to help dealers recognize which customers may or may not be contacted by email, fax, or phone, helping dealers to comply with recently enacted privacy laws. Once a dealership subscribes to the combined ADP/Acxiom solution, the system automatically extracts customer records and performs the data hygiene. The solution then pushes the newly enhanced data back into both the DMS and the CRM applications throughout the enterprise. Research shows that retailers are primed for this type of a solution. A recent report by IDC, "Vertical Views of BPO Demand: A Study of Five U.S. Industries," indicates retailers are one of the biggest adopters of BPO. In a survey of 105 U.S. corporate managers and executives across five verticals--financial services, manufacturing, utilities/energy, retail/wholesale, and healthcare--retailers showed the most interest in BPO, with 55 percent indicating their companies currently make use of BPO services at some level. Only 15 percent of retailers indicated they have no plans for using BPO services. Another major concern for smaller retailers is the threat of FCC fines for do-not-call violations. "Low-tech organizations look at a phone book and say, 'Go and drive some business.' There are a significant amount of businesses with that kind of low-tech sales approach to reaching out to customers. The challenge that some companies have is, they don't have the infrastructure to cross-reference their lists with the do-not-call registry," says Glenn Gaudet, partner and practice head of Reservoir Partners. If nothing is done to help small retailers cross-reference their lists against do-not-call lists, Gaudet says, the impact on small retailers "will be large."
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