CRM Data Cleansing: How to Do It

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are essential to building strong relationships with the target audience, achieving sales goals, improving brand awareness, boosting retention, and much more.

However, the quality of your CRM tools output is only as good as the quality of the data you collect. Low-quality data can provide wrong insight into customer relationship management and lead to losses or even downtime. Keeping your data in top shape is key to achieving your sales and marketing goals.

That’s where CRM data cleansing comes in.

By keeping your CRM data clean, you are streamlining your business operations, empowering your sales reps, and keeping customers satisfied.

Let’s take a closer look at the way CRM data cleansing works.

What Is CRM Data Cleansing?

CRM data cleansing is the process of identifying and removing incorrect or invalid data from the database. Poor data can hinder your business operations tremendously. By utilizing invalid or outdated information you could face longer sales cycles, inefficient customer service, lost sales opportunities, and much more.

The cleansing process includes reviewing your data regularly, removing invalid data pieces, and monitoring data quality continuously.  

Why You Need CRM Data Cleansing

The biggest issues with incorrect data include:

1. Lost Customers

CRM doesn’t just help you drive a sale through. It allows you to analyze the potential target audience and find new sales opportunities. When you analyze CRM data, you get a better understanding of who your customers are. You can create personalized offers, ensure retention, address pain points seamlessly, and much more.

The more you know about your existing customers, the more you can learn about the potential target audience. Customer relationship management data allows you to discover new audience segments and learn how to capture market share.

If your CRM is full of invalid data, your customer data analytics suffer. You can gain the wrong insight about your target audience and use it to make bad business decisions. New customers will slip through the cracks while the existing audience might choose to move on to the competition.

Invalid customer relationship management data is synonymous with lost opportunities.

2. Undermined Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing has an impressive ROI. By implementing a high-quality strategy, you can save money while attracting and retaining customers, who, in turn, become brand ambassadors. The easiest way to hurt your email marketing strategy is to use the wrong CRM data

The key to building a successful email marketing strategy is perfect targeting. Knowing what your customers want to see and how to address their pain points allows you to create a high-quality email that achieves your marketing goals.

To do that, you need to gather and analyze customer data. If this data isn’t the right quality, you can make wrong decisions, create low-quality content, and send messages to the wrong recipients.

All of this can negatively affect your email marketing ROI, hurt your sender’s reputation, reduce the open rate to a minimum, and much more. The worst part about having the wrong data for your email marketing strategy is losing opportunities. Customers who get poorly-designed messages are highly likely to unsubscribe and move on to the competition.  

One of the most important elements of CRM data cleansing is email list verification. By making sure that all your email addresses are valid, you maximize the effect of your emails and save money in the process.

3. Wasting Time and Money

When it comes to sales and marketing, time is of the essence. Failing to take the right steps could put you behind the competition quickly. Sales and marketing teams that leverage high-quality data steal market share within days, leaving the competition far behind.

Low-quality CRM data forces you to waste time and money trying to pick up the pieces after making wrong decisions. Small businesses with limited marketing budgets, incorrect data could lead to serious issues. A low-quality sales and marketing strategy could cause a setup to fail.

4. Hurting Brand Reputation

Brand reputation is hard to get and easy to lose. In fact, a company’s reputation accounts for 63% of its market value. Some companies spend years building their reputation and ensuring customer loyalty. Bad CRM data can delete all these efforts in an instant.

Bad CRM database records that include incorrect demographic data could cause serious issues. A simple gender mix-up could go a long way toward losing the reputation or even facing a lawsuit. Meanwhile, duplicate data leads to issues with communications and customer frustration.

If your CRM database contains inaccurate data, you could have the wrong buyer persona. This affects your entire marketing campaign and makes a negative impression on your target audience. As a result, you may need to redo the entire campaign and deal with a poor brand reputation.   

5. Facing High Customer Churn Rate

Companies of all sizes work hard to maintain a high customer retention rate. With 20% of existing customers responsible for 80% of your sales, making sure your audience doesn’t churn is key to improving the bottom line.

Incorrect CRM data causes you to create irrelevant content and provide useless offers to your target audience. This increases customer churn and hurts your sales.

By ensuring the health of your CRM data, you are giving your sales team the tools they need to achieve success for your organization. This involves a number of CRM system data-cleansing strategies that should become an integral part of your campaign.

How to Cleanse Your CRM Data the Right Way

Around 30% of people change their email address once a year. The main reasons include changing jobs, avoiding spammers, and losing passwords. When customers change their email addresses, they rarely notify retailers or service providers about it. If you have the wrong address in your CRM database, your marketing efforts suffer. Same works for any other customer information.

Here are simple steps for cleansing your CRM data.

1. Use an Email Address Validator

An email address validator is a tool that checks your email list for invalid addresses, typos, and spam traps. If a customer shares the wrong address or stops using the one they gave you, the email validation tool can catch the problem and notify you about it.

Depending on the validation solution you use, you can take advantage of it in real time. When customers enter the email address information on the contact form, the instrument can check if it’s valid. So, you can prevent wrong information from entering your CRM database in the first place.

Email validation is an ongoing process. You need to perform email list cleansing at least once in six months.

2. Implement Data Standardization

Human error is the key cause of data problems. Manual data entry creates excellent opportunities for typos. If your organization doesn’t have clear rules about the way employees enter data into the CRM system, you are likely to face low quality data.

To minimize errors, you need to implement data standardization. To do that, you need to define standards by which data is entered manually. For example, instead of leaving a field for the customer’s address, you can make separate fields for the street name, house number, and zip code. The program should notify the user when they go against the format standards. This can minimize errors and speed up data entry.

Data standardization can keep your entire team on the same page. When one of the elements changes, you have to edit data in just one field. This reduces errors that employees frequently make when changing information in the system.

3. Remove Duplicate Data

If you haven’t streamlined your data standardization process yet, you could face data duplicates. To make sure you don’t have any duplicate data in your CRM, review the tool’s options. Many CRM systems have duplicate detection features. If you haven’t used them before, it’s time to do so now.

Even if your data entry system is seamless and highly organized, you still need to check for duplicates once in a while. Alternatively, you could choose a CRM tool that spots duplicates and prevents you from entering the same data twice.

4. Restrict the Number of Users

Since human error is key to bad and missing data, you can minimize the problem by reducing access to CRM data. In many organizations, the entire sales and marketing team has an opportunity to enter and change data in the CRM tool. However, the majority of these experts only need to check this data for analytics purposes.

By creating access authorization levels, you are not giving your team members an opportunity to make a mistake, delete a file, or enter the wrong piece of data into the system. Team players who don’t need to change the data simply won’t have a chance to do it.

In the majority of cases, four to five people with admin rights are enough for a system. If you have a large organization, the number of admins increases.

5. Archive Unused Data

Many CRM systems are overwhelmed with data. This is especially true for companies that deal with a large number of customers. Some customers remain in the system for years, even though their priorities, locations, and pain points have changed.

While auditing your CRM information, identify old data and archive it. Don’t rush to delete unused information. You may need to keep it for compliance purposes. Simply archiving it can streamline CRM platform operation.

Without large volumes of outdated information, the search for the necessary files becomes much easier. Meanwhile, your team doesn’t have to spend time sifting through large volumes of data to find the right piece. As a bonus, you will require less space for storage.

6. Implement a Data Maintenance Schedule

Every day, a company generates a large volume of customer data. Keeping it clean requires a comprehensive schedule. By implementing a defined cleaning strategy, you can make sure that invalid data doesn’t pile up and interfere with your company’s operations.

After auditing your data and identifying key problems, you can figure out a cleaning schedule. For some companies, biannual cleaning is enough. Others need to set up monthly maintenance.

A clear cleaning process makes it easier for your team to ensure seamless data maintenance and cleaning. They can arrange regular audits that identify low-quality data and allow all authorized employees to remove it quickly and efficiently.

7. Provide CRM Training

While limiting access is an effective way to prevent data errors, educating your employees about the CRM instrument is imperative. Your sales and marketing team members should have a clear understanding of how your CRM tool works and what needs to be done to maintain high data quality.

With proper CRM training, you don’t just improve the cleaning process. You help your entire team make the most out of this system and the data within it. Make sure your employees know the importance of keeping data clean. Everyone should participate in the CRM cleaning steps.

8. Delegate Data Management

While your entire team should be responsible for handling data the right way, having a dedicated data manager can improve the data quality in the CRM system.

A dedicated CRM system manager can be responsible for setting up a comprehensive cleaning process, advising everyone about cleaning schedules, determining the frequency of cleaning, and much more.

When one person is dedicated to CRM data management and cleaning, it’s easier to achieve data quality goals.

Implement a CRM Data Cleaning System Today

In the data-driven world, low-quality data is one of the biggest problems. Many companies are struggling with keeping CRM data in top shape. Without a  comprehensive data cleansing plan, it’s easy to miss errors and hurt your sales and marketing process.

By auditing your data and setting up a regular data maintenance schedule, you are minimizing errors and gaining high-quality data for data-driven decision-making.

Our Customers