The importance of quality data for CRM systems

Today we have a guest post from Mark Connolly, Eureka Solutions:

The consequences of poor data

Poor data quality can affect an organisation in many ways. It can result in marketing promotions being sent to the wrong address due to incorrect information including email address or contact/business has moved. This means that you have wasted time and money targeting a customer who really doesn’t exist. But most unsettling is that it means that the integrity of your customer database(s) and other customer information systems is suspect. With the current focus on customer relationship management (CRM), data integrity has taken on even more importance. In short, with so much information streaming in and out of organisation the system from calls, website forms, point-of-sale contact information and other customer information systems, data quality and integrity should play an important part in your data CRM efforts.

Data quality issues

Data quality issues first arise during the initial application design stages of the system when requirements for extracting and transforming data from operational systems are developed. However, data quality issues do not stop here; they remain an ongoing concern throughout application development, use and maintenance. Problems persist because companies CRM systems are not integrated with their website or email marketing tool as well as employees not updating details when they receive them.

Options to cleanse

Manually using specialised data cleansing and enhancement tools. Tools such as Duedil and Verify Email Address tool can help companies cleanse and enhance customer files manually. As a result, tools like these are quite useful for email and direct marketing efforts and other CRM-related operations. Employ a data cleanse company An alternative is to use a data broker who provide general data cleansing services for cleaning up customer files. More importantly, they can offer additional services to get more data for sales and marketing campaigns. Such services are useful for standardising and improving customer and prospect databases by de-duplicating records and enhancing files.

Code of conduct for data quality standards

Achieving quality data requires establishing some sort of departmental or organisational standards to help maintain data consistency and quality. This involves making people in the business responsible for creating or manipulating the data, such as end users, entry people and auditors to assume a sense of ownership for data quality. This requirement is probably the most difficult to plan for and implement because it relies to a large degree on changing human nature and company culture (as opposed to systems management techniques) because business processes are distributed throughout the organisation. In conclusion, data quality is an important issue that should be accounted for starting with initial CRM design through implementation, maintenance and use. The good news is that companies now have a number of options in the way of products and services to help them get a handle on their data quality problems. Eureka Solutions is an award-winning provider of business systems with a focus on ensuring that our clients have the information they need to run their businesses more profitably. The increased requirement for mobility means we ensure they have the information not only when they need it but where they need it. Our toolkit is NetSuite, Sage, Swiftpage and Qlikview along with a number of other smaller products covering specialities and these products allow us to deliver implementations to various market places. Mark Connolly is responsible for managing all digital aspects of Eureka Solutions including getting visitors to the website and converting them into happy customers.