You’ve been working with the same service bureau for years now and your merge has never changed, so it must be right…right? Wrong! There is always a chance for human error.
Data sometimes change formats, coding could be incorrect, or the comfort of working on an account for so long could lead the provider to grow lax in enforcing quality controls. That’s why you should always review the results from your service provider:
- Check your current counts to the counts from the last database update (if it applies) and to the last job that was processed. There will be some fluctuation due to changes in date ranges, but for the most part counts should always increase.
- Ask for sample records from the service bureau to confirm correct segment placing on your internal database. When you receive the merge reports, compare retention rates, and make sure that there are dropped records for every suppress file that was brought into the merge.
- Request interaction reports to determine if there is a high synergy between any specific lists. If there is a high synergy between house and specific rental lists, you can request a better price from that rental since you net out lower than the average.
- Since it is possible for account numbers to be truncated or for data to shift, make sure that the account numbers that are associated with a record on the service bureau’s file matches the information on your database.
It might take more time to check all of these steps, but it always pays off!
Deanna Cruzan is senior marketing coordinator of Bethany Beach, DE-based consultancy Lett Direct.