This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post on 5 Tips to Improve Data Quality (http://bit.ly/gf5T6L) and again is sourced from a white paper provided by Experian which you can Google and enter your information if you want the actual white paper.
The premise of the white paper is that everyone in an organization benefits from accurate data in the CRM because bad contact information costs everyone time or money in one way or another.
- Returned mail increases costs. The U.S. Postal Service estimates that five percent of all mail is undeliverable as addressed. I know one firm that imported a legacy database without cleaning it got about 20 percent of its mail back. After a couple of mailings we could have saved what it would’ve cost to run the legacy data through a data cleansing service.
- Prospects and customers miss important information. Without deliverable contact details, marketing, finance and customer management teams cannot properly disseminate important information via email or snail mail. Whether the information is for lead nurturing, customer invoicing, product delivery or customer upgrades, it’s important for all communications to be received, and received in a timely manner.
- Sales teams act on partial information. Theoretically a CRM application provides a holistic view for each contact or account. This functionality allows CRM users across departments to consider previous company interactions before committing to future activities. While a 360-degree view of the customer has the potential to add significant sales value, the results will be mediocre if data quality standards are not achieved and maintained.
- Marketers misunderstand their analysis. Without accurate customer and prospect information, marketing cannot confidently analyze target demographics or campaign performance.
- Customer satisfaction declines. Any change in brand experience, lag in customer support time, incomplete customer data or untimely follow-up can be received negatively. Customers have come to expect that you have a record of their previous interactions with you and do not have to bring each CSR they speak with up to date on the issue at hand.
- Call volumes and support goes up. Once satisfaction goes down, call center activity will go up. Customers and prospects with questions and concerns will call support staff to get their questions answered and support staff will have to redirect some of these calls to more knowledgeable field staff — an unproductive and inefficient cycle.
- The U.S. Postal Service rewards accuracy. The USPS offers mailing discounts to organizations who proactively work to ensure address accuracy. While we may be sending more email than snail mail today, this is still an opportunity for cost savings.
The CRM system we just installed has fields to capture a customer/prospects’ social media addresses (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blog) as well. While these fields are not currently populated, I expect them to be over time as members of the sales team see the benefit of knowing everything they can about a prospect or customer prior to contacting them.
What reasons do you have to improve CRM data quality?