I Hate it When They Misspell My Name

Amex_name_misspelling_1Don't you just hate it when you get a direct-mail solicitation, and they spell you name wrong?  So do most people.  I immediately think, "if they can't get my name right, how bad will their service be?"

Whenever I get mail addressed to "L.B. Dvorak" (a blend of my wife's and my name - click the image to see it full-size) or "Lawrence Dorian Dvorak Bodine," I toss it right away.  I don't bother to even look at it.  The worst offender is the Internal Revenue Service, which has my name as "Lalurence Bodine."  Only because the IRS is now a part of the fearsome Department of Homeland Security, I don't even consider messing with them.  I just imagine the dozens of chimpanzees they have working in rows of typewriters, sending out mail to harass honest taxpayers.

Nicor_name_misspelling That's what clients think of when you misspell their names in invitations, newsletters, letters and promotional materials.  Clients are tired of computers mangling their names.  Bad customer data costs U.S. businesses $611 billion per year in postage, printing and staff, according to The Data Warehousing Institute in Seattle.  A misspelled name on an invitation to a firm event does more damage than not inviting the client at all.

I know that cleaning up a CRM database is a godawful chore.  But I've heard about IBM's name data analysis tool called NameInspector that identifies problem records, wrongly parsed names, multiple identities within the same record and potentially erroneous name entries.  It also cleans our random symbols or "test" names.

Think of it the next time a direct mailer misspells your name.

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