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Putting the Relationship back into Customer Relationship Management


Simon Doung 2 minute read Data quality

Customer service is undoubtedly high up on the corporate agenda in most organisations today. But as businesses are we doing enough to maintain these relationships? We might like to think so but does your customer contact data tell a different story?

I recently spoke at a webinar, “High Performing CRMs.” The attendees had the chance to submit questions around their own data challenges. Most had a common theme:

How do I implement data quality into my Customer Relationship Management system?

Through my 5 years in consulting I've seen CRMs in businesses big and small, and their purpose is self-explanatory – to manage customer relationships. What isn’t self-explanatory however is maintaining quality data within your CRM. What good is the data in your CRM, if it’s not quality data? Despite the best intentions, data decays over time, which means your CRM database becomes less valuable and the relationships it holds are put at risk.

So if you’re looking to improve the data in your CRM, first of all, assess its current state. How accurate is the data it holds? Key questions to ask yourself are:

  • Have you analysed the state of data quality within your CRM?
  •  Do you validate and improve data upon entry? Does your CRM allow typos and spelling mistakes? How does it ensure the same contact doesn’t appear as multiple entries?
  •  Can you justify your customer relationships enough to control data quality as an on-going concern?

Once you’ve established where you are with your data, you can implement technology to ensure you capture and maintain your data over time. This can be done by following these steps:

  1. Implementing real-time contact data capture, validation and deduplication at point of entry.
  2. Ensuring bulk contact data cleaning/validation and dedupe functionality.
  3. Ensuring certified integrations with SAP, Oracle, MS Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.

Data quality tools are only as good as the people who use them. Ensure you work with a consultant who can work with you to integrate data quality into your CRM, from analysing and profiling your data, to improving and controlling data quality via services, tools, and training.

Take an active interest in data quality to show an active interest in your customers. Download our Enterprise Application Effectiveness Guide