The prerequisite for this is a complete, correctly printed and properly formatted address. It is therefore essential to check and where necessary correct the recipient address before sending. Thanks to automated solutions, the quality of existing or newly entered address data can be optimised simply and quickly.
During the pre-Christmas period, the number of parcels and packages sent rises by up to 40%. In addition, gifts, personal greetings cards to customers and business partners or pre-Christmas special offers also create extra work for the postal service. If the items do not reach their destination at the required time, this is not only disappointing for the recipient but also looks highly unprofessional.
Yet it's precisely when under time pressure that people make mistakes and so it often happens that, when clients or employees key in an address, mistakes are made or parts of the address such as the postal code are completely forgotten. Anyone capturing several hundred or even thousands of new addresses a day, such as an online shop, cannot take the time to add to or correct addresses manually. Quite aside from the extra work this entails, subsequent corrections also lead to additional and unnecessary costs. Unfortunately, often just a simple error in the address is enough to delay delivery to the recipient. Where certain parts of the address are missing, this can even mean that an item cannot be delivered at all. In times of online review portals, this can have a negative effect on customer satisfaction and even on the company image, particularly if the recipient sees that his or her address was written incorrectly.
What represents a huge challenge for many in the UK contains unexpected hurdles and risks when sending items abroad in particular. Aside from typing errors, there are a number of different address formats which differ in terms of the hierarchical structure of the individual address elements, such as street or postal code. Whilst in the UK every address element is written on its own line, in the USA city, state and postal code are all on the same line. What's more, foreign scripts such as Chinese, Arabic and Cyrillic also need to be tackled. Those intending to expand into new countries must thus adapt their address processing and printing to these new challenges. Only when you are sure that your delivery addresses are existent and valid can you prevail in the longer term in international competition.
"Many expanding companies want to avoid the risk of erroneous or incorrectly formatted addresses. It should therefore be standard practice for both large and smaller companies to check addresses before sending", says Steffen Niehues, Managing Director at AddressDoctor. AddressDoctor has developed a web service which can be integrated into any online form or CRM system via a SOAP interface. Every delivery address entered by a customer is thus corrected when it is entered in real time. AddressDoctor cleanses addresses from more than 240 countries and territories. This verification process involves alignment with continually updated reference data from all over the world. Upon request, the results can be displayed in country-typical address formats.
Global DM Solutions, a multinational direct marketing firm, began validating addresses with AddressDoctor in 2001. "Address validation helps us to support our clients’ global marketing and mailing efforts”, says Sheila Donovan, President of Global DM Solutions. Good address quality does not only save businesses money by reducing undeliverable mail, it improves the overall data efficiency and targeted marketing efforts. "Reducing undeliverable mail also helps our clients to be more environmentally proactive", Sheila adds.