4 ways to clean up your CRM Data
So 2021 is finally here and no doubt there will be at least a few New Years resolutions that we will all be trying to stick to. Eat better, exercise more, drink less just as a start! But there are also some work related resolutions that are worth considering too, and with many of these, you can put them in place early in the year and reap the benefits soon after.
The area I suggest is given some focus is around cleansing data in your CRM. This is a topic that crops up a lot in conversations that I have when helping clients migrate to a new CRM. More to the point, it’s about taking the opportunity to clean up those records that have been bugging you for years but you just never got round to tidying up.
Well, it’s certainly true that addressing this at point of migration is worthwhile. But what can you be doing NOW to make some huge improvements to the quality of your CRM data?
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Analyse your Data
Well before you start thinking of culling any records, you need to get a better idea of where your data is not up to scratch. A benchmarking exercise will allow you to pinpoint several areas such as:
- How many duplicate records do we have?
- Why do we have this many duplicates?
- Is the quality of data we are capturing sufficient?
2. Clean your Data
Once you are clear on where the bar is set on your data, you can then think about starting to tidy up where possible.
For any duplicate records that have been identified, you essentially have two options. Merge or Remove.
Which route you go down depends on the quality of data stored within the duplicates. As a rule of thumb, if activity notes have been added to both records, then it’s recommended to Merge these records. If on the other hand, a duplicate exists with literally just contact information and zero activity, then removing this redundant record is the most sensible course of action.
Please note that removing any data should always be done with extreme caution. If unsure, then it’s always a good idea to reach out to your CRM provider for further advice.
In step 1, an action point was to look into the quality of data being captured in your CRM. This relates to not only the number of data fields being populated, but also the level of information entered into these fields.
Standardising, or normalising, this level of quality is fundamentally important as it means that the CRM will be a source of consistently strong data.
Items to consider here include:
Formatting of Names and Contact Details
If you are using your CRM as a source of information to segment and distribute marketing information (you know you should be right?!), then ensuring forenames start with a capital letter is an absolute basic item to check off. As trivial as it may seem, but this can have a drastic negative impact on response rates and also portrays a bad impression.
Many CRM systems have some form of “click to dial” functionality where the user can click on the contact’s phone number and dial them without having to punch in the number. A great feature, which increases user adoption due to its huge time saving impact. Some more advanced integrations will also automatically populate a text box so the user can enter their notes from the conversation. Again, a big time saver plus also ensures the activity is logged.
But in order for this to work as well as possible, the phone number to be dialled needs to be in a recognised format. Any strange characters or additional spaces here can potentially cause this to fail when trying to dial out.
This can vary between CRM and compatible phone systems, so worth checking with your CRM and telephony providers to make sure your phone numbers are in a “diallable” format.
3. Update Contact Info
A scary stat is that between 10-25% of contacts in a B2B database (which is basically what your CRM is) contain errors.
We are not just talking about typos here either in the email address. What is more commonplace, and probably contributes further to this statistic, is the volume of contacts that move company but their CRM record still shows them at their previous company.
Take the time to address this area as it will not only ensure that your marketing communications are going to the correct contact, but increase trust between users and the system so they can confidently reach out to contacts and not be told that “they left the business 2 years ago”! Again, this just creates a negative impression on your business which can easily be avoided.
4. Update Candidate Info for Brexit
Like it or not, Brexit is here and your recruitment CRM must be aligned with the new regulations regarding workers to ensure your business complies where necessary.
The major change is undoubtedly around Right to Work checks for EU workers / job applicants. If you are unsure of what this covers, then check out the government’s guidelines on checking a job applicant’s right to work
In regards to what you do should in your CRM, then I would suggest at least the following:
- Having a “Right to Work in UK” field on the candidate record and making this mandatory. Also, consider making the “Nationality” or “Citizenship” fields mandatory too.
But it can’t just be enough to tick a box or two on this.
Run regular (at least monthly) reports to pull off list of all candidates registered in that period. For each of these records, confirm that RTW checks have been completed.
Ensure documents are added to CRM with relevant expiry dates. Thus allowing you to be ahead of the curve when these documents are approaching expiry.
There are ways to vastly improve the information stored in your CRM and I would certainly strongly recommend that it’s actioned as soon as possible.
You don’t need to wait until you are moving to a new CRM to address any of these areas.
You can be doing a lot right now to make your CRM a far better source of data going in to 2021.