Clean up your [data] act

by Rakhee Ghelani February 11, 2016

At PLAN Australia, we’re focused on providing the best technology for our members. But you won’t get the full benefits of great technology, such as effective marketing campaigns, if your data is not up to scratch.

We understand that it’s easy for inconsistencies, gaps and duplications to appear in your customer database over time, so we’ve put together some tips for getting your data cleaned up and developing consistent processes.

Getting started

Start by identifying problems with your data — you may have information missing or duplicate fields/records, or even incorrect details. Once you’ve identified the problems, then prioritise which issues are most important to deal with — missing email addresses are likely to be more significant than duplicate fields.

Once you’ve identified the issues, clean up your existing data. You need to define a centralised process for data cleansing projects. Your CRM platform may have tools that can help with importing and cleansing data.

The next step is to set up systems and processes to maintain data quality.

Action: Have you got an email address for every single contact in your database? It’s a great 90-day goal to set at the start of 2016.

Data quality & reporting

You should also set up rules to alert users when data records are incomplete or don’t conform to data quality standards. For example, set up alerts if basic contact details — such as mobile, email and postal address —are incomplete.

You can also set up data quality dashboards to create reports to monitor data quality.

Your CRM should have reporting functionality. In Podium CRM, you can use exception reports and data-quality dashboards to remind users when their Accounts and Contacts are incorrect or incomplete. Scheduling your dashboards to refresh on a regular basis and sending that information to your team is a great way to encourage consistency. Also empower your staff to own their data and help them to understand the importance of quality data and how it affects their work.

Monitor and maintain your data

Creating a high-quality database isn’t something you do just once and forget about. To maintain data quality, you need to establish policies, processes and tools — and make sure that everyone in your business uses them appropriately.

Whenever you have contact with a customer — whether it’s a phone call or a face-to-face meeting — make sure you check that you still have the correct details for them. If they need to be updated, do it on the spot.

The Podium CRM is powered by Salesforce, you may also find this Salesforce article on data cleansing helpful.

TIP: Incentives work

It’s amazing how even a small prize can persuade people to make an effort! If you calculate how many potential leads you’re missing out on because your data is incomplete, chances are a prize is worthwhile investment.

It’s a simple exercise to contact everyone on your database and let them know that when they update their contact details, they’ll be in the draw to win a great prize.

For existing customers whose email addresses you don’t have, make sure you extend the prize invitation to them via SMS or post.

We want you to make the most of our technology offering, so talk to your PLAN Australia BDM about how you can create reports and dashboards to help you with your data cleansing.

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Rakhee Ghelani

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Rakhee Ghelani is a freelance writer who also has nearly 20 years’ international experience developing and implementing strategic initiatives for some of Australia’s largest brands in banking, manufacturing and professional services. She has travelled to over 50 countries and has been published internationally.

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