Your CRM is one of the most important assets of your business. It contains information pertaining to your customers. The state of cleanliness of the data in your CRM can make a difference between smooth operation and frustration. Let’s go through some ways in which you can keep your database clean, and the advantages of keeping your data consistent.
Store data that is absolutely necessary to your operations. Storing more data than you need increases the likelihood of producing inconsistencies across your CRM
Smaller databases are also much easier to maintain, both in terms of time and effort. For example, if you only communicate with your customers via email, don’t store their phone numbers. Every data field that you add to the database will require time to maintain in the future, and that’s why less is sometimes more.
Chances are that you already have duplicate records of the same person and contacts with whom you have failed to establish contact in the past year. There is no need to keep more than one record for the same person. This will create errors and confusion that can both be easily avoided. Simply merge your contacts, or remove duplicates.
There is also no use of keeping contacts with whom you can no longer communicate. If the previous couple of emails have bounced, or if the contact has unsubscribed from all communications, simply remove them from your database, as they have no use for marketing purposes
These contacts are like empty cups that you can’t use: they take up space but there’s no advantage to keeping them in your database. In the end they will only cost you time and money. Delete them.
You might find our data comparison tool useful for this task, though it is meant to be used for excel data, rather than databases.
Determine how you want your data to appear in the database. For example, establish whether you want your customer names to be stored in UPPER CASE, Capitalized Case, or lower case. Make sure that all your records are stored in the same fashion. Don’t store one customer’s name in capitals, and the others’ in lower case. While this may not necessarily be detrimental, it’s simply not a good idea.
In order to achieve data standardization, you will need to put some data validation in place. This can be as simple as not allowing information in a format that doesn’t comply with your standards. If, for example, you decide to store the names of your customers in UPPER CASE, but one of your employees tries to enter them in lower case, you can throw an error and force the data to be entered in the predetermined format, ensuring consistency.
Storing unnecessary contacts can become expensive very quickly. Many marketing CRMs charge based on the amount of contacts stored in the database. That means, you pay for every contact, even if the contact is no longer usable
But the price of bad data extends beyond your database, depending on your business model. It can lead to undelivered packages, bounced payments, missed critical information regarding your product, and so on.
Your marketing automation will also suffer because of data inconsistencies. Marketing automation for the most part heavily relies on specific triggers and conditions, whose operation, in turn, relies on the quality of data. If the data is inconsistent, it may prevent your automated processes from being triggered correctly, or produce critical error. This can lead to wasted time and headaches.
Keeping your data clean is important to your business and will simplify your day-to-day work. It’s a good practice to perform a database audit every couple of months. The longer you wait, the more painful the cleanup process might become. Keep your data clean and you will thank yourself in the long term.