Save Time and Money in the Interaction Center with Address Validation and Duplicate Check

  • by John Burton, Director Solution Management, SAP Interaction Center & Social CRM, SAP
  • Renee Wilhelm, SAP Solution Management, SAP Interaction Center & Social CRM, SAP
  • August 20, 2010
One of the most common — and most costly — issues facing large organizations today is keeping customer master data accurate and clean. Duplicate customer records and other dirty data produce a fragmented view of the customer and can cost organizations millions of dollars annually. Learn how to enable address validation and duplicate checks in the Interaction Center coupled with SAP BusinessObjects Data Quality Management to avoid creating duplicate and inaccurate customer master data.
Key Concept

Address validation helps SAP CRM users create accurate customer address information by providing the correct spelling and formatting of street names, city names, and postal codes. Duplicate check helps prevent the creation of duplicate customer records by notifying the SAP CRM user of a potential overlap between the new customer record and one or more existing customer records with a similar name, address, telephone number, or email address.

Master data management (MDM) continues to be a hot topic in enterprise software, particularly in CRM. According to a 2009 Gartner customer survey, an average organization loses $8.2 million annually because of poor data quality — and 22% of companies lost $20 million. Bad data can enter your SAP CRM system in a number of ways, whether it’s through poorly designed Web self-registration sites, over-stressed contact center agents looking to save time, incomplete or outdated data obtained from external marketing lists, or multiple record systems that result from corporate acquisitions and mergers.

Regardless of where the data originates, inaccurate customer data and duplicate customer records result in higher costs, lower efficiency, and increased customer annoyance. For example, sending duplicate marketing collaterals or multiple billing statements to the same customer results in higher marketing costs and wasted effort. Similarly, turning a late-paying customer over to collections can result in a major faux pas and mea culpa if it turns out that the customer is one of your most profitable customers but you had been mistakenly sending the billing notice to an outdated address.

Therefore, data quality is understandably a top issue for anyone deploying and maintaining an SAP CRM system. While you can use MDM tools to reconcile duplicate entries that exist in the system, it is both cheaper and more desirable to avoid the creation of duplicate customer records in the first place by eliminating the problem at the source.

John Burton

John Burton is a director of product management at SAP and is responsible for the SAP CRM Interaction Center (including ERMS) and social CRM topic areas. John has 13 years of experience at SAP and has been involved with SAP CRM and the Interaction Center since 1999. He is also the author of Maximizing Your SAP CRM Interaction Center, available at the SAPinsider Store. John is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and Central Michigan University. John can be found on LinkedIn at

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Renee Wilhelm

Renee Wilhelm is a product manager at SAP working on the SAP CRM Interaction Center and social CRM topic areas. Renee has been involved in contact center solutions since 1999, working on topics that range from workforce optimization to SAP CRM. Renee is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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