Coding Accuracy Support System applications, known as CASS, help companies clean up their customer address data in order to meet the United States Postal Service’s requirements for standardized addresses. The two major benefits of a standardized address database are you get faster postage delivery, and you’re eligible for discounts on your bulk rate postage. According to QAS, up to 25 percent of your customer database could have bad address data.
How Standardization Works
A program, such as QAS CASS certification software, examines the addresses in your database and matches them against the format that USPS deems proper. A program can add the obvious formatting issues, such as missing the extra four digits in a standard zip code. However, there are countless street names, town designations and other small mistakes that contribute to a wide range of inaccuracies with the postal addresses. No matter how you collect the data initially, unless you run an address verification software during data capture, you’re going to have issues because of communication problems and human error.
Upon gaining CASS certification, you can access commercial mailing rates from the postal service. If you heavily rely on direct mailing and other forms of postal communication, this saves a significant amount for your company. Your marketing department will dance with glee, as this opens up and expands marketing efforts.
Three elements are essential for verifying different postal services. For pre-sorted mail pricing, you have to check the five-digit zip code accuracy within 12 months of adding the address to the list, the USPS informs. If you want automation mail rates, the complete address has to be checked within 95 days of the mailer. Finally, carrier route rates require carrier route information, checking within 90 mailing days.
If you want to be doubly sure about your addresses, submit the list to the post office after running it through software. The post office can confirm the accuracy and national deliverability index of your mailing list. Fill out Form 3553, available online or at the post office, to submit your information to the USPS.
Why Use Software?
Hiring temp workers or contractors to confirm address formatting by hand may seem like a cost-saving expense. You end up losing money overall though because you introduce additional human error into the process. Not only do you have to train the workers, USPS requires that you use a software to maintain your certification. They do not allow hand-checking of addresses. Even if you want to add to your overhead with additional workers, it goes against CASS certification, the USPS states. You make your money back using the software package, and you also get a variety of intangible benefits, such as increased customer satisfaction, fewer returned mail and improved customer loyalty. You can’t choose any random software vendor, either. You need to check the list of USPS-approved vendors, and use these.
Have you considered implementing a coding accuracy support system in your workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments.