Identify Duplicate Customers

Customer Record DeduplicationReasons for merging or purging duplicate customer records

There are many reasons why you would want to merge or eradicate duplicate records, some include:

  • Customer Experience: A customer expects you to know who they are and what products they have. It is embarrassing to offer a customer a product that they already have at a preferential rate, and it does nothing to improve your relationship with them.
  • Data Accuracy: With multiple records how do you know which record holds the correct information?
  • Credit Risk: Customers with multiple credit products under different customer id’s will be judged based on the customer record that they are linked to. They could end up with a lot more credit than a financial institution would normally lend them.
  • Cost to serve: This includes a multitude of factors, including but not limited to:
    • Communication – marketing offers, printed statements, telephony centre (with duplicate call lists)
    • Staff overheads – head count is often based on number of customers
    • Technology and systems overheads
  • Incorrect Management information: Business goals and objectives are often based on key performance indicators such as total number of customers (increase/decrease) and customer profitability. These will be incorrect if there are too many incorrect records.
  • Time: Most organisations will have a percentage of duplicate customers slipping into their data. If the problem isn’t resolved it will only escalate causing more trouble down the line. Time is wasted every time a staff member has to work with that information.
  • System Validation: Pinpointing which records are incorrect allows the identification of the system that was used to input the information. By fixing the system you remove the likelihood of it happening again.

Consider a simple financial example.

Potential annualised savings for marketing literature


Annualised Savings for Marketing Literature - PoundsMarketing Literature can include Terms and Conditions, Marketing Offers, Statements, Legal/Compliance Mailings, etc.
Assumes that the average customer will receive 5 mailings per year at a cost of £0.50 per mailing

Identification, remediation and implementation of data governance are important steps to overcoming these issues. Our service can help with each of these phases.

Simplified Process Diagram

Identifying duplicate customer records

So what does this mean?

In order for us to find duplicate customer records we actually match the file to itself. Multiple fields from every record are standardised, formatted, split up and then matched to every other record in the same file. We do this at multiple levels and with multiple pieces of key information. Each time we do it for a new customer the match routines are changed to suit the data that you give us. It is difficult to rely on an out-of-the-box solution alone because it could never account for the nuances in different customer data from different systems, organisations and industries. That is why every file is painstakingly profiled to ascertain which are the best fields to match on and how they need to be formatted in order to match against the other records.

Want to see some examples? Check here.

If you would like us to find duplicates in your customer data then please use the Contact us form.