For many companies the goal is to collect as much data as possible. Once the data is acquired, it’s stored safely in their CRM system where they assume it will be just as useful to them down the line as it is right now.
However, when the time comes to use that data, they quickly realise upon inspection that just collecting and storing data isn’t enough to gain any value from it.
As Gather’s Client Services Director, I have personally overseen and managed countless client databases with millions of records, both new and old. Which has given me unique insight into the problem’s companies face when trying to use old, neglected or disorganised customer data.
Collecting customer data is not the end of the story. The second you collect data it naturally starts to degrade and as time goes on the value diminishes. People move addresses, get new phones and abandon emails they get locked out of and this is why the upkeep and management of your customer data is so vital to your CRM marketing success.
Companies need to be data-driven
The first step to getting more usability out of your data is understanding the importance data plays in your decision making. Data should inform every part of your business, remaining front and centre to drive your brand in the direction it needs to go.
Just winging it doesn’t cut it anymore, in the age of the hyper-aware consumer you have to offer something tangible, something personal, something wanted. These types of targeted campaigns can only be achieved through the adoption of a data-driven attitude.
Failure to do so can often lead to your customers walking away and losing respect for your brand. The respect that takes multiple interactions and sometimes years to build and nurture can be lost in an instant, as mentioned in our recent blog ‘How mismanaged databases cause disaster‘.
Expect more from your data
Did you know on average 30% of a company’s data is inaccurate? The easily falsifiable and fickle nature of customer data and bad data collection and storage processes are somewhat to blame for this.
But that doesn’t mean businesses should have to expect this out of their datasets. Through data cleansing you can get a much clearer idea of who your customers are. Inaccurate and out of date records are essentially dead leads that are taking up valuable space in your CRM. When it comes to your CRM data, it’s about quality, not quantity.
By removing this wasted space, you give your CRM the opportunity to breathe, allowing it to truly convey the insights into your customers and dictate further decision making.
Lack of data – based staff
The data cleansing process can be broken down into two separate sections.
- Identify and fill in missing values
- Correct existing data
If you find you need to run a campaign asap but your data needs cleansing, rushing into the job without a full understanding can cause more harm than good.
A good CRM database adds so much value and yet, a lot of companies think that maintaining a database can just be an addition, added onto one of their existing employee’s to-do lists.
However, they quickly find out that treating database management like anything less than a full-time position, requiring knowledge and experience is a huge mistake.
Data, once collected, has to be quality checked, enriched and updated regularly. Only through doing this can you really start to trust and confidently utilise your databases to inform business decisions.
Outsource to data experts
The simple solution to not having adequate in-house CRM resource is to go out and find the experts. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to hire a whole new department just to make your marketing have any relevance, it may be cost effective and give you a greater level of expertise, to outsource data cleansing projects.
By outsourcing your database management you can rest easy knowing your data sets are being looked at by experts, whose sole job it is to look after your data. Not only is this great for reducing the overhead costs of promoting/ hiring and training new staff but you gain access to a dedicated team of experts who work with you to unlock the value in your customer data.
Here at Gather, we offer our clients a wide range of services to help keep their databases full of usable data:
- Data cleansing
- Data enrichment
- Customer loyalty marketing
- Data analysis
- Business analysis
- Stakeholder reporting
If you need help with any of the above then please don’t hesitate to get in touch and organise a chat with one of our experts. You deserve usable data in your datasets and you can have it too.
Take the first step towards valuable data
With our Data Capture app and Data services team on offer we provide all the tools necessary to unlock the value in your customer data