In the last instalment of our customer data management best practice mini-series, we showed you the importance of preparation, preparation, preparation (don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can give it a scan now and then come back to this one afterwards). In this blog, we’ll take things a step further and explain why maintaining your customer data must be a collective responsibility in your business.

It’s dangerous and foolish to assume that your CRM, even with all the automation and rules in the world, would be able to pick up on every inaccuracy in your data. 

For instance, Gold-Vision’s smart de-duping tool will always alert you when it looks like a duplicate contact or company is about to be entered. However, a de-duping tool won’t stop the person using the system from ignoring that alert and adding the data anyway.

Instead, you need to nurture a culture in your business where the human element works in tandem with the CRM element. The responsibility of maintaining the integrity of your data should be shouldered by everyone who works on the system, becoming ingrained in their day-to-day work life.

This way, if your colleague is working on an account and they see a spelling error, they correct it. If you know that a particular contact has changed jobs, you update it. If someone spots that the postcode has a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, they fix it.

Why is this important?

Imagine you leave the house one morning, and you see a small weed growing. If you choose to walk past it every day then eventually it will get bigger and spread to other areas of your garden. Instead, if you’d just dealt with it when you first saw it (when it was small and on its own), then it would have taken you a couple of minutes to get rid of. Now it will take you a whole afternoon of painstaking work to clear the weeds. The same applies to your data.

If everyone in your business fixes these little errors and inaccuracies as and when they see them, then it is a quick and easy job. If that isn’t the case, then you’re going to have to face hours, days or weeks spent cleaning up your data for it to be functional for your business.

Quite simply, stop it from going wrong in the first place. A good place to start with this is to monitor new records regularly by setting up a data integrity dashboard. This way any incomplete records can be highlighted, and you will be able to quickly identify anyone that needs reminding or retraining on how to do it correctly. 

You can also save yourself many headaches down the line if you include this as part of your training for any new starters or new users of the system so that they know from the beginning what is expected.

Thanks for reading the second instalment in our customer data management best practice mini-series. If you can’t wait for the final one then go ahead and download our eBook, Manage your customer data like a pro for all of the tips and advice on this subject.

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