The database may include contact information, like the person's name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

The database may also include past purchases and future needs.

To prevent such embarrassing inaccuracies in the future, train your agents to confirm the spelling of such important details during every call – perhaps even using the phonetic alphabet.

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Needless to say, this lack of information makes life unnecessarily difficult for your customers.

Here are 19 tips for reducing customer effort There is no excuse for sending out a letter with poor spelling and grammar – especially as you are likely to be sending out several hundred copies of the same letter and only have to check one!

This often comes about because the wrong headed paper is put in the printer.

The one with the address and phone number has run out and been replaced by the generic letter paper with just the logo on the top.

While this is an easy mistake for an agent to make when filling out customer detail forms, especially if they are dealing with a unisex-name such as Jamie or Ashley, it is best not to take any chances. My surname is Pearce, but I have been sent letters as Pierce, Peace and even Pearle.

These errors were presumably entered into the database by an agent who misheard – and didn’t double-check the details.

And, if you use a template when apologising to a customer, don’t forget to personalise it…

Getting this wrong can be unforgivable, especially for customers who may be sensitive about their unusually high or low voice. This is an easy one to make, particularly if the name can be spelt in a number of ways.

Mailshots, emails, telemarketing and customer service activities are much more straightforward when you have instant access to contact details.

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.

I once had a letter from a well-known building society saying that my account was £1.43 overdrawn and that I had to take immediate steps to repay it.