The danger of CRM contamination
A CRM system is of course an ideal tool. It lets the entire organization keep track of all sorts of different things. At the same time, there is a danger hidden in this. In these times of big data, we have more and more opportunity to store information. But what data is truly relevant to your organization, and more importantly: still up-to-date and hence usable?
Years pass and everyone in the organization experiences the convenience of the CRM system working for them. From secretaries needing to schedule appointments and customer-service agents assisting customers, to the communications department wanting to send out a newsletter and a seller wishing to warm up a past customer for a new purchase.
Contamination caused by too much information
Which information is stored in the CRM system and which isn't is up to each organization to decide for itself. There are no guidelines, except that it should serve the organization's goals. These days, information can be found all around us. WiFi-connected refrigerators and customers that we can keep a close eye on over the Internet. Anything you can think of can be converted into digital data. But beware: prevent contamination of your CRM system by determining very carefully what data will be of benefit to your organization. This prevents you from first having to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Contamination caused by the passage of years
Even when utilizing relevant data, over the years inefficiencies can creep into the system. Is every employee still accurately inputting everything into the system? Or are quick phone calls while driving sometimes neglected to be documented? Does the communications department take care to perform an update after the newsletter has been sent out and cancellation requests and bounce messages from nonexistent addresses are received?
A CRM system can only work optimally if it is kept up to date. This goes beyond recording data at the time contact has taken place. Companies that have not been contacted in a long time are ones that should especially be screened from time to time. Just like a content audit, a CRM audit is not an unnecessary luxury. Does the contact still work at the company? Does the company still exist? Is the address still correct? Keeping your data files up to date ensures that marketing and sales can be deployed effectively and your organization as a whole continues to operate efficiently. Moreover, it gives your organization a professional, reliable image, since you keep your business in noticeable tip-top shape.