Each company relies on its CRM software to communicate effectively with clients as well as to plan future marketing and sales campaigns. Consequently, meticulously maintaining your CRM data should be a top priority.
However, that isn’t always the case. The influx of customer data pouring into your CRM every second can be overwhelming and cause errors if not handled properly. According to recent statistics, poor-quality data costs firms millions of dollars annually. If you are wondering whether it is possible to sort through the volume of data and mine relevant information, the answer is affirmative. BUT, you just need to know where to look and your dataset needs to be as clean as possible.
Conversations and interactions with clients generate an abundance of customer information. Let’s examine some common CRM data problems organizations face as a result of this abundance:
Client’s contact information can change frequently and with data often coming from multiple sources, errors are inevitable. Studies have shown that 40% of leads contain inaccurate data, while marketing professionals claim more than 30% of their records are flawed in some way.
Numerous businesses face this issue daily. Customers may unintentionally enter incorrect information, or the details may be outdated or inaccurate through internal error. Considering the high level of employee turnover, a company’s B2B customer database could quickly fill up with erroneous information. This is problematic not only for internal analysis, but more importantly, for maintaining strong client relationships.
Information gaps still plague organizations despite access to numerous data sources. Reasons for this may be device limitations, consumers’ browser settings, and more. Whichever it is, the firms end up lacking key customer data. With incomplete records, you cannot contact customers in their desired method of communication.
Duplicated records (customers recorded under multiple names or addresses) are easy to detect. If not addressed promptly, they can cause problems at every step of the customer journey and financially impact the organization.
Duplicated data can also damage marketing campaigns if some prospects go unnoticed. Additionally, skewed analytical results are more likely to occur with duplicate data.
Data must sometimes be converted from one format to another to be compatible with different systems and software. Inconsistent formatting can hinder marketing and sales automation systems significantly.
Phone numbers are the most common example of a formatting error due to the numerous variations of inputs — some have country codes, others have dashes, and so on. Additionally, addresses, provinces, postal codes, and other input fields also face formatting issues.
Ensuring that your organization’s client data is secure and kept private is absolutely paramount to the reputation of the company, which requires staying current with federal privacy laws.
Here are some possible solutions to the concerns we addressed above:
If you manage sensitive data, regulations may stipulate how you should handle it. Financial or personal can be classified as such. To protect this information (and minimize liability), you must keep abreast of the latest changes in legislation. Furthermore, you should use processes such as data governance to ensure that only authorized users can access the records.
To ensure databases are updated, make sure you verify customer information whenever you contact them directly. For instance, ask a client to confirm their address, phone number, and email when you are speaking with them. Additionally, you can use various services to clean your databases and manage your records.
Avoiding inconsistent formatting starts with prevention. You can try adding the appropriate restrictions to customer input forms (and internal ones). For example, clients shouldn’t be allowed to input a “First Name” without capitalization. All customer-facing forms can incorporate form validation to ensure accurate case information or correct common errors before they reach your CRM.
A proactive approach is vital for fixing duplicate contact problems and identifying duplicate records before (or as soon as) they reach your CRM. Some CRMs provide features for detecting (partial and exact-match duplicates) and merging duplicate customer records in bulk.
If your customer service, sales, or marketing staff is in contact with clients, make sure they are requesting all the data and they understand the importance of this to the business. Integrate your CRM system with other systems in your organization to complete customer profiles by bringing in purchasing information, orders, and invoices.
Streaming real-time data is one of the most common solutions to keeping different systems synced. In other words, the information is pulled into your business intelligence system immediately rather than periodically. This is a standard and automated process for most data management systems.
Business enterprises should recognize the importance of good data and take a specialized approach to manage it. To resolve customer data management issues, companies need to hire skilled employees, implement the latest technology, and ensure a good data management process is in place.
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