GB Group's 4C-UK service homes in on house movers

Source: GB Group

Data service company GB Group plc has launched the UK's first ever tool to help financial services companies proactively and accurately identify when customers are about to move home.

The 4C-UK data service - billed as the most proactive customer retention tool currently available - gives financial services providers the opportunity to proactively approach customers at a time they are most likely to be considering loans, mortgages, insurance and other products.

Research reveals that the 1.3 million people who move home each year spend an average of £15,000 in the first 12 months after moving. However, a third of these people neglect to tell ANY company that they deal with of their move.

By accurately flagging when an existing customer is about to move, 4C-UK can aid customer retention and help financial services companies sell relevant services as well as heading off potential debt problems from customers they would otherwise lose track of.

Knowing that a customer is about to move is also a major weapon in the fight against fraud – credit cards and financial information going to the wrong property are at risk of being used to steal identities.

The data – which is exclusive to GB Group – is sourced from partners involved in the final stages of the conveyancing process, when residential property searches are completed.

It is the first of a range of life stage data sets GB Group will launch over the next 12 months under the 4C-UK brand.

The unique strength of this data means 4C-UK is the only pre-homemovers product which can provide 80% degree of assurance for businesses to trigger a proactive customer care call ten weeks prior to them moving home.

With the estimated 1.5 million home owners in the UK moving house every year and spending in the region of £2.2 billion on associated household goods and services, GB Group believes that the market for 4C-UK is huge.

Traditional data sources are deteriorating and with increasing numbers of people signing up to the Telephone Preference Service, acquiring new customers through direct means is increasingly challenging and costly.

4C-UK has been designed specifically to benefit consumers and help businesses to do more to retain, cross-sell, up-sell and provide proactive customer care for existing customers.

David Green, Business Development Director of GB Group explained: “Financial services providers have never had the chance to accurately pinpoint a crucial, defined window of opportunity when customers are ready to move house.

“Being able to contact them during this period opens up invaluable opportunities to retain existing customers as well as sell further relevant products - having access to this information can also help to stave off potential debt risks.

“Traditional pre-home mover products have used unreliable data sources such as recording ‘for sale’ signs or using lifestyle surveys. Our innovative approach gives the highest degree of assurance – making it ideal for businesses who are at risk from debt or from homemovers who simply forget to pay bills following their move.

“For the first time ever a proactive data source challenges the existing database marketing industry suppliers of suppression data sources, which are simply reactive to customers moving home.”

GB Group’s research – conducted independently by - also revealed that 75 per cent of consumers polled would welcome being contacted by relevant companies in advance of their move.

David Green added: “Retention is a strategic issue for the majority of UK businesses and our research has shown that when customers move home, many businesses simply lose touch. Only 38 per cent of consumers we asked had flagged up the move to companies they regularly dealt with BEFORE their last home move.”

In fact, nearly 50% of those polled by GB Group would not think of notifying their building society, while less than 50% would tell their credit card company and only 13% would let their loan company know of the move. What is more, only 15% would contact their endowment and share management company and just 18% would notify Premium Bonds.

The research revealed other industries are also suffering - 43 per cent of homeowners polled by GB Group said they would not notify their satellite television provider, 68 per cent would not tell their mobile phone company and 38 per cent would not let their internet provider know of the move.

GB Group plans to make 4C-UK an easily updateable web service following the success of its URU identity verification solution which is used by major financial services companies such as Newcastle Building Society and TD Waterhouse.

David Green concluded: “Our customers want fast, life-stage data sources which are always current and reliably accessible, therefore we plan to offer all our data sources via web-services delivery by the end of this year”.

4C-UK is currently being trialled by several major blue chip clients with millions of nationwide customers.

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