Whether you're CRM account is in need of routine maintenance, or you're staring down a full database overhaul, it's important to have a plan of action for current and future customer relationship management. Proper data management will not only improve sales performance, but it will also save you valuable time (and prevent some unnecessary headaches!).
Today's Business Tips come from the article "5 Ways to Maintain Clean and Accurate Customer Information" on Zoho Blogs.
- Always enter complete information into your CRM. Set certain fields as mandatory so you ensure users will fill in this information. Fields like full name, email address, phone number, should be mandatory, but other fields such as title, cell number, mailing address can be equally important when maintaining a complete CRM.
- Avoid entering duplicate Leads, Contacts or Accounts into your CRM. Encourage users to always check the CRM before entering a new Lead, Contact or Account to avoid entering a duplicate. Search by name, email address and account name to make sure the person or company is not already in your system. You might find another user has already taken the time to enter this information. If that is the case, check to make sure your information matches and add any new information you may have obtained.
- Merge any duplicates you see in your CRM. Duplicates will occur no matter how hard we try to avoid them, so make sure you merge them together as soon as you see them. If some of the data is not identical, make sure to find out which information is correct and use that field when merging. If, for example, a contact works out of two locations, or has multiple email addresses, make sure you include all the information into their record before merging. You do not want to delete any important information when merging records.
- Maintain consistency in data entry. All users may have their own style when it comes to data entry. It makes for a clean CRM if everyone is consistent in the way they enter their data. It is highly recommended to set rules for users to follow. Using State abbreviations when entering an address, writing out the full company name and not using acronyms are just a few examples. You can also have drop-down options for certain fields so users can choose from a pre-determined list. Having consistent data will help generate accurate reports.
- Set security levels for your users. Every user has different roles within each company. Some will only be entering information at an entry level while others will be need to have access to higher level information. Depending on your CRM, you can set levels for some to be able to "edit" data or have them as "read-only" depending on the hierarchy of your organization.
- Always update Leads, Contacts and Accounts in your CRM. Make sure your users get in the habit of updating records in the CRM whenever applicable. For example, if a Contact has left a company, has a new email address or a company moved to a new location, make sure the CRM is updated accordingly. This will keep your data clean and up-to-date.