In every business, customer data is collected and stored to be used in the future, and a CRM platform makes it easy to collect and manage this data.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is not just for sales. It contains information about the whole customer journey, which is valuable for all areas of your business. CRM integrations with other platforms, such as marketing automation, make it easier to analyse data across teams.
Organising and maintaining accurate data is crucial to personalising your marketing campaigns. But the marketing automation techniques used by almost 51% of companies do also have disadvantages. Among these is their tendency to produce bad data.
What causes bad data?
It is estimated that about 30% of marketing and sales data is inaccurate. Your marketing campaigns, sales, and even the reputation of your company can suffer from improper data collection.
In CRM databases, bad data, also considered dirty data, can occur for a number of reasons, including:
A data set that is outdated
There is a constant deterioration in the quality of customer contact data. We all change our phone numbers, email addresses, and job titles from time to time.
For more insight, take a look at these statistics:
- At least 40% of email users change their email addresses within two years
- Annually, 20% of postal addresses change
- 18% of customers change their phone numbers every year
- Every year, 60% of employees change jobs within their organisations
Incorrectly formatted data
There are many ways to write things such as addresses, names, and dates. Whether employees manually enter information or customers input their information online, they won’t all enter it the same way.
Duplicate data can occur when merging lists. Multiple lead generation opportunities could also lead to the same person’s email being on multiple lists.
Data hygiene improves customer service
If your business is able to work out a system of inputting data, and keeping your databases clean, this will have benefits for both your organisation and your customers, for a number of reasons. These include that:
Clean data is easier to access
CRM data that is kept clean makes it easier for your team to find information at the right time. By storing only relevant data in the system, it eliminates the need to manually search for relevant information.
Clean data makes your business more productive
The ability to share updated data among all departments in an organisation boosts productivity, facilitates coordination, and helps ensure consistency. Regular CRM cleansing also helps ensure that irrelevant information is removed from the system, further improving the efficiency of business operations.
Clean data offers more valuable insights
It is easier to create accurate and reliable reports when the data is clean. In turn, this leads to better forecasting and more insightful business decisions. Achievable targets can be set and progress can be tracked continuously.
Clean data makes marketing more effective
CRM data that is not clean can also have a negative impact on your marketing campaigns. You can lose a lot of time pursuing leads that aren’t relevant or sending emails to incorrect addresses.
By identifying where your best leads come from, clean CRM data can help you allocate marketing resources more efficiently.
A quick guide to CRM data cleansing
Resolve format issues & establish a standard
Format issues include incorrect data, incomplete data, or misused abbreviations of states, countries, counties, etc.
Once these have been corrected, a standard format should be implemented for any manual data entry. By doing this, your sales and marketing team can quickly find the information they need.
Streamline data fields
The core of any successful cold marketing campaign is consistency and personalisation. Every email should be addressed to the same first and last names, with the same capitalisation in the same places every time. There should not be any confusion as to whether a name is the first or last name, and any additional information should be accurate and correct.
This means data cleaning across the entire database by standardising every field, removing erroneous information, punctuation or emojis, and removing anything that cannot be verified.
Companies often have a lot more duplicate customer data than they think. In fact, it is common to have 20%-30% duplicates in the average customer database.
Your product or service may be of interest to people, but they don’t want to be targeted twice. Providing multiple versions of the same offer to your contacts will quickly make your company appear unprofessional.
In a CRM database, duplicates can appear in a variety of ways. An existing lead may opt-in more than once, or newly imported data may not take into account existing records. Your CRM system should be set up to detect and block duplicate records automatically once you’ve done a purge of any existing duplicate records.
Duplicate contacts, companies, and addresses are merged in CRM systems through deduplication. Each duplicate record for one business (or contact) will be placed into a duplicate group, containing all the entries for that individual.
Often, duplicate records are partial matches, which means there is only partial overlap of data between two records, rather than exact copies. One master selection will be chosen as the record to be retained in the database after merging the records, and the others discarded. To choose the master, you should look at your duplicate group and compare the information for each entry.
Develop a system and apply it consistently
Develop a set of data collection rules your sales and marketing teams can adhere to. You’ll prevent more errors in the future by cleansing your data and maintaining a single customer view.
There is no way to completely avoid database maintenance – it is inevitable that any CRM database will contain some errors. But creating a system that works and ensuring your teams use it during data processing will save you a lot of time.
You can use More Than Words’ CRM data cleansing service to clean, replace, and validate data quality in your marketing database.
Our team is capable of working with:
- Existing customer databases – a list of companies and organisations with whom you have done business previously,
- Lists you create yourself – of companies and organisations who have left you their contact information for follow-up, but who have not purchased from you before.
- Databases that you have purchased from a third party – such as More Than Words Marketing
A company’s customer and prospect databases are assets that generate revenue for its sales team.
Ensure all customer and prospect databases are up-to-date and free of errors by having our team check them. We’re available on 0330 010 8300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org