“Garbage in, Garbage out” is a term used mainly in the technology industry to indicate that if the input data is incorrect or lacks quality, the output data after processing will also be incorrect.
This "error" is not generated because the processing was incorrect, but because the information that was used from the beginning did not have the necessary characteristics to obtain the desired result. Similarly, this phrase can be adapted to any type of process and customer management is no exception.
How many times have you lost a potential customer because you didn't have the right contact information? Or how many times have your emails bounced because you didn't make sure the address was valid? Surely this has happened to you on more than one occasion and, as in the technology industry, the problem is not in the communication process or in the marketing campaign, but in the information that was used to perform both activities.
Steps to Keep Your CRM Clean
It is well known that using a CRM platform, such as HubSpot or Salesforce, to store customer information and manage customer relationships is much more effective than simply keeping it in a spreadsheet. However, while these tools minimize the possibility of having erroneous information, they alone cannot ensure that 100% of the information is correct. For this reason, we would like to recommend a series of steps that will allow you to ensure that your CRM data is kept clean:
1. Assign a person in charge of the cleaning and define the frequency
The first step, and fundamental to the success of a clean CRM, is to define the person in charge of ensuring that the information is complete and correct. Assigning a responsible person ensures that the follow-up is carried out and, therefore, the cleaning activities are performed.
On the other hand, there is the frequency of cleaning, which can vary depending on the speed at which new information is generated on the platform. For example, if one company generates 100 leads per week versus another that generates 100 per month, it is obvious that the former will have to define a higher frequency for cleaning activities due to the volume of information.
2. Define what information you want to store and eliminate data that does not fall into these categories
In many cases more does not mean better and in the case of your CRM there will be data that will be better left out to focus your efforts on those that really enrich your operations. Whether your CRM manages variables, properties or fields, keeping only the essential ones will facilitate management and ensure the correct functioning of the platform.
3. Establish the format that the information must have and verify that the records comply with it
To ensure that the content is clean and easy to understand, it is important to define the format it must comply with. For example, reading 172836 is not the same as reading $172,836.00. Some recommendations in this step are:
- Capitalize first and last name.
- Include country code in the telephones.
- Use standardized lists in selection fields, among others.
4. Identify and/or eliminate obsolete leads
Having obsolete leads can hinder operations if they are not clearly identified. A lead is considered obsolete if it has not been interacted with for more than a certain period of time, depending on your company's line of business, or those that have presented hard bounces in your marketing emails.
5. Identify and eliminate duplicate information
This is one of the main problems that arise in CRM platforms and refers to the existence of more than one record for the same prospect. In these cases, the recommendation is to unify the information in the same record and delete duplicate records. In this way, a correct control would be maintained and the loss of valuable information for the business would be avoided.
6. Verify the validity of emails
Last but not least, it is highly recommended to verify if the email addresses are accurate and valid. There are digital tools that allow you to perform this task easily (such as Kickbox or Zerobounce). Identifying valid emails will allow you to have cleaner mailing lists and, therefore, improve the delivery rate of your emails.
As you can see, updating and cleaning your CRM information is not that complicated, you simply need to give it the importance it deserves and perform a routine review that will allow you to have more effective results. If you manage to define a cleaning plan that ensures you have valid and accurate information, the efforts you invest in your communication processes with customers and prospects will allow you to achieve the results you want.
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