Customer Data Management is critical to effectively utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) software. Without up-to-date and complete customer data, customer service and sales suffer, as well as the ability to produce essential business intelligence and marketing information. Data management requires common sense procedures and diligence. Here are some suggestions.
Check data quality.
Use analytics to check your data quality. Examine customer information for completeness, freshness and redundancy. If customer data is incomplete, have a procedure in place for contacting the customer to gather the necessary information. Have a policy for determining what constitutes complete data.
Purge old data.
If you have not heard from a customer in the last 10 years, you probably won’t hear from them again. Delete the information.
Duplicate entries could be caused from multiple individuals entering information about the same client but using different spellings or abbreviations. To reduce the problem, establish procedures for entering customer data. For example, is it “American Widgets Corp.” or “American Widgets Corporation”?
Establish workflow to keep records current. If a client contact has not been established in X days, change the information status to “suspect” and schedule a contact to update or confirm the information.
Incorporating cascading data also improves data quality and reduces workflow. When a client selects a value in one field, it should automatically update other associated fields based on the selection.
Utilizing applications such as Jigsaw (now Data.com) or Broadlook can help fill in missing information, update existing information, and even score your data. Do not overlook crowdsourcing applications as an aid to data management.
A CRM software solution is critical to maintaining customer information, but the marketing and sales teams must remain diligent in following common sense data management procedures. Following the best practices identified here will keep information up-to-date and ensure top notch customer relations. Consult with Harvest Solutions on additional ideas on managing customer data.