Is Your CRM System Clean and Working For You?
Any company’s biggest asset is its customers and as with any asset, it’s vital that it be looked after correctly.
Why Use a CRM System?
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is a great tool for helping ensure you utilise the asset of customers and prospects as best you can. It stores information about them in one place, standardises how and automates when you contact them. Using a CRM system’s email templates and workflows brings with it a degree of professionalism that will impress your clients and prospects alike. This will, in turn, develop good business relationships which generate revenue for your company.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
A CRM system is a database and thus needs to be kept up to date for it to be effective. Using the old adage “You only get out what you put in” is a simple way of looking at it. With often several people having access to the CRM system, it’s vital that everyone knows their role in keeping it up to date. So, here are a few simple tips which, if followed, will set you on the way to success:
- Standardise the fields – Make sure it is clear what information goes where, as people are more likely to put the correct information in the correct field if it’s clearly labelled. Consider making certain fields compulsory for important information such as email address.
- Make sure it’s easy to input – People will give up or only part complete if it’s a complicated process or they have to flick between screens. Make the information required follow in a logical manner.
- Standardise the input –
- Create a field for each piece of information, rather than cram additional information into one field. For example, don’t add salutation in the first name field, or add a middle name with last name. If your CRM limits the fields you can create, prioritise. If necessary, leave some less important info out.
- Avoid the use of abbreviations. Write the company name in full. That way it makes it easier to search for specific companies, especially if you have a lot of records.
- Keep the same font, size and case throughout. For example, use capital letters for the first letter of company name and contact information. Not only does it look better, it makes for simpler campaigns as the info will mail merge correctly.
- Set up rules – Simple, non-obstructive rules will make for an easy life for your employees. Over-complicating things can put people off completing the information correctly. Ensure employees are kept informed through appropriate training on what information is needed and how to input it correctly. This initial process will pay dividends in the coming months and years.
- Encourage constant organic cleaning of the CRM system – When someone learns of a change of address or job role, make sure they know to update the system. It’s even worth getting them into the habit of checking other important pieces of info at the same time.
Combat the Effects of Time
It’s estimated that, on average, 37% of data is likely to decay over a 12-month period. As such, even by following these basic rules, you will still need an occasional data cleaning service. However, adopting these practices will ensure that when the time comes, the cleansing process should be simple and inexpensive.
Remember, data is a valuable asset that your company holds and can be the key to future success. Keeping your CRM system clean and up-to-date will maximise your chances of gaining new business, whilst also ensuring you remain compliant.
Colleges can benefit from this blog by ensuring all departments with access to their CRM follow uniform procedures so that the database is kept standardised.
Businesses can benefit from this blog by adopting a CRM system, streamlining their marketing through automation and thus freeing up time to concentrate on what they do best.
Marketing Agencies can benefit from this blog insofar as this advice could easily be given by them to their clients, so they must practice what they preach.
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