Magazine article CRM Magazine

Ensure CRM Data Quality

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Ensure CRM Data Quality

Article excerpt

Any CRM initiative, be it a marketing campaign or a major software and process overhaul, will underperform if the underlying customer data is weak, disorganized, or downright misleading. Take these four steps to ensure that data quality is high and that CRM efforts are a success the first time.

1. Reduce Multiple Master Records

The biggest enemy of data cleanliness is the redundant record, which disperses and obscures valuable information about a customer throughout the enterprise. Emerson Process Management faced a tremendous challenge four years ago in getting its CRM data in order: There were potentially 400 different master records for each customer, based on different locations or different functions associated with the client. "You have to begin to think about a customer as an organization you do business with that has a set of addresses tied to it," says Nancy Rybeck, the data warehouse architect at Emerson who took charge of the cleanup.

Working with Group 1, Rybeck analyzed the customer records for similarities and connections using everything from postal standards to D & B data, and managed to eliminate the 75 percent site-duplication rate the company suffered in its data. "That's going to ripple through everything," she says.

2. Don't Abandon Eyeballs

Automation plays a key role in any data cleanup, but human judgment is still vital. Automated systems may fail to make an association between an affiliated brand or a corporate division, for instance, and highlighting those relationships can help your company treat your clients holistically. "Understanding those cross-divisional situations is where you really stand to benefit," says Mike Ostrowski, e-business practice manager at Optimus Solutions.

At Emerson, connecting the dots in this manner helped alert the sales team to opportunities it was missing by underestimating certain clients. …

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