Within Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and related Master Data Management (MDM) the party behind the business-to-business (B2B) customer is an important entity.
It is often said that the data capture is the most important moment where it is essential to get data quality right. However with a complex entity as a B2B customer, there are of course several moments of truth within the life circle for such an entity.
These are probably the five most important ones:
- A lead is born
- Engaging a prospect
- One more customer
- Churn happens
- Win-Back happiness
A lead is born
Leads are born in many different ways: A business card obtained from a little chit-chat on a conference, buying a list of leads or even an engagement in social media as the new way of doing things.
One of the most important things to do when capturing the data at this point is ensuring if you already have the party somewhere in the customer life circle or maybe even in other party roles as examined in the post 360° Business Partner View.
Engaging a prospect
When a lead is qualified as a new prospect and you typically engage in a one-to-one dialogue this process includes capturing more data.
Such new data may include adding a visit address to the first captured mail address or vice versa and expanding the firmographic collection of data.
As explained in the post What are they doing? there are a lot of data quality issues in capturing such data as:
- Unstructured versus structured data
- Internal versus external reference data
- One versus several values
One more customer
After a successful sales process a new customer can be added to the customer list often with more data being captured as adding a billing address and stating credit risk as credit limit and terms of payment.
This is the point where many party entities are split into data silos. Maybe the current customer master data lives on in the CRM system while new customer data are reentered and enriched in an ERP system and even other business applications.
Keeping these data silos aligned is the classic customer master data challenge as discussed in the post Boiling Data Silos.
There are actually two kind of churns (loss of customers):
- A customer stops a subscription, a service contract or tell you that further buying will be at your competitors or that there is no further need for the products and services in question
- A customer dissolves
Sometimes you don’t even discover the latter one. So your data isn’t very useful or valuable if you don’t practice Ongoing Data Maintenance.
In the first kind of churn you may work hard (or be lucky) and win back the customer.
Be sure to build on the data from the first engagement and not start from scratch again capturing master data and history. Avoiding this covers up for some of the 55 reasons to improve data quality related to party master data uniqueness.