If you are using Dynamics 365 or Power Apps with Model Driven apps, then you know there are native (or custom) fields available to capture addresses. However there is no way to make the address data entry easier. Similarly, there is no easy way to standardized or verify the accuracy of the addresses. Here are our top 5 reasons why you should implement an address autocomplete control.
1. Address information standardization
One of the most common issues in businesses is the inability to create accurate reports. Having the ability to group customers by regions (city, state, zip code etc.) should not be completed.
When you have multiple systems or duplicates entries, addresses are often stored in different ways : US vs USA vs United States, CA vs California and so on. This makes the cross matching work difficult.
To be able to successfully segment your customers, or in order to match potential duplicate accounts, having the address formatted in the same way everywhere can save you a lot of time. By using an address autocomplete control with an address verification APIs, your addresses are always be formatted the same way across your application(s).
2. Save money on returned mail
We’ll start by sharing a little known fact : in 2016, more than 6.8 billion pieces of mail were undeliverable in the United States — that’s 4.56% of outbound volume. The cost to the United States Postal Service (USPS) to process all that UAA mail was a around $1.3 billion (source).
Of course, some of that cost is passed on to the customers. This could be your company. You pay three times for shipping : one to send to the mail, one to have it returned to you and a third time to send it again to the proper address. That is after you have spent time tracking down your customer to get the correct address. To make sure you mail is delivered, all you have to do is start using an address autocomplete control with an API that’s verified against authoritative reference (USPS CASS, Canada Post SERP etc.). These APIs only return addresses that are deliverable.
3. Save time and gas when driving to your customers
One of our customers in the food industry has over a hundred representatives on the road constantly driving to existing and potential new customers (convenience store, super markets etc.). Before they implemented address autocomplete and background address verification and standardization, they had an average of 6 failed visit per representative per week (failed visit means driving to a place that does not exist, or not accessible for any reason).
The number dropped to one failed visit every two week, mostly due to store closure or major constructions in the area. The issues are no longer related to addresses being wrong or in areas where cars cannot drive. This allowed the organization to save time and gas and reallocate their resources to meaningful tasks.
4. Enrich you address information
Most address verification APIs will return more then simply the address. It will give you missing data such as zip code and county. It will also return geolocation (latitude and longitude). Lastly, the premium connectors can go beyond by providing ZIP+4, PO Boxes, deliverability information and more.
This provides organizations with more data that can be leveraged to gain more insights on your customers (ex. Plot customers on a map, import to BI tool for complex segmentation etc.).
5. End-user data entry time saving & reduction of human errors
As we’ve mentioned in a previous article on our blog, end-users can save a great amount of time by using an address autocomplete control. A user can go from 30 seconds to manually entering an address to 10 seconds. Bonus: the data obtained in less time is standardized (and deliverable if you are on a premium connector).
If you still have not integrated an address autocomplete control on your Model Driven Apps, check out our product Address Validation for Dynamics 365.