Maintain accurate address details to connect with clients.
Connecting with customers is more important than ever. The foundation of these communications lies in maintaining a comprehensive and accurate customer record, particularly when it comes to address data. However, address errors are common and costly. A staggering 80% of failed deliveries are attributed to mistyped addresses.
In the United Kingdom, the format of an address follows a straightforward guide, as outlined here. While postcodes serve as a familiar way of identifying an address, it's crucial to note that each postcode may cover an average of about 15 properties. So additional address details are essential to identify a property accurately.
Top Address Issues
Customer address challenges happen because of the following:
Address is Not Valid
Human errors, such as misspelling words or switching letters, are inevitable. These errors can confuse delivery drivers, leading to wrong deliveries or non-delivery. The average cost of returning an online purchase is £13.10, which can quickly add up. In addition to cost implications, they can also affect the business’s reputation and eventually loss of customers.
Missing Premise Identifiers
Property identifiers like property number, name, and street name are essential components of an address. The more details provided, the easier it is to locate an address.
There are subdivided properties or multiple residences in the UK that can be complicated to delivery mail to, such as student accommodation, businesses in a shared building or multiple households with a single letter box. These properties often don’t have their own delivery point e.g. a letterbox or pigeon hole.
On the Royal Mail community forum, a user reported a parcel going missing because they forgot to include their house number in the address. Similarly, on Reddit, a user shared their experience of a parcel being delivered to the wrong house because they didn't include their house number.
According to the USPS, 31% of mail with addresses missing details such as apartment and suite numbers, are returned to the sender, or worse yet, delivered to other units in the same building.
Vacant or Not Yet Built Properties
New properties or recently divided buildings must be reported by the occupants themselves or by the general public. These properties are added to the national address database as soon as they are occupied, however this could take time.
In the US, vacant addresses are identified by USPS delivery staff if mail has not been collected for 90 days or longer from that address, and these will no longer be listed on the database.
Mailings to these locations present fraud risks, as criminals may be attempting to divert checks or other sensitive information to un-served locations.
There are discontinued postcodes, which may either result from addresses becoming demolished, or through Royal Mail reorganisation resulting in postcode changes. If a consumer unintentionally enters a deprecated postcodes, this will make delivering a parcel very challenging.
Customers don’t always know that the primary reason why orders do not arrive on time is due to inaccurate addresses, and they tend to either blame the courier, or the retailer.
Often times organisations maintain customer addresses manually, and this can be done in several ways:
Send out change of address applications to identify new customer addresses.
Confirm change of address at time of mail preparation to reduce returned mail.
Verify changes with customer via email when a new address is detected, and direct customer to a secure web portal for approval of the new address.
Attempt to contact customer via email, web-portal, or other method to obtain a current address.
This process can take time and cost additional resources. As a result, if a customer does not receive their order, businesses deal with the consequences of an unhappy customer.
To address these challenges, implementing address validation becomes paramount. Solutions like Ideal Postcodes' Address Finder not only verifies property accuracy at the point of entry but also correct and complete misspellings or missing details. Organisations can save millions of pounds by making address validation and cleansing a priority.
Collecting comprehensive data, including as multiple residence data, not yet built data, UPRNS and even geocoordinates ensures the most accurate property address information.
Fix Your Customer Data Today
Leading organisations such as Wickes, Home Bargains and Pizza Hut have developed an address validation framework with Ideal Postcodes to enhance customer data quality. Get in touch with us to improve your customer database today!