Organizations depend heavily on customer data for predicting sales trends and coming up with strategies for successful sales campaigns. Maintaining healthy customer data is a high-priority requirement for a flawless revenue stream for any company. Customer data is arguably one of the most valuable global resources today.
Breaches in customer data are absolutely detrimental to the public perception of your company. It ultimately leads to the loss of the customers' trust in the company. Proper and carefully calculated customer data collection and maintenance are essential for ensuring repeat business.
Read on as we first define what Customer Data Management (CDM) means and what goes into a company's CDM strategy. We will then go on to discuss the best practices in CDM in the current market scenario.
What Involves Good Customer Data Management?
CDM consists of the collection, cleaning, and analysis of the personal data of a company's leads or customers. All of these steps that use customer data must follow an ethical code and should not be exclusively for a company's interests. Good CDM strategies help with generating more up-selling and cross-selling opportunities as well as increased customer acquisition.
Other customer-centric benefits of a good CDM include better customer retention, and an increase in customer lifetime value as well as customer loyalty. Through these enhanced customer benefits, companies can hope to achieve a plethora of business and marketing objectives.
The preliminary steps for these strategies are lead generation and customer acquisition which can be achieved with planned top-of-the-funnel marketing. This can be done through the use of simple one-field forms and other embeddings on various targeted landing pages.
Best Practices In CDM
Companies keeping up with the times always tend to have best-in-class Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools such as Salesforce and HubSpot. What truly makes the customers' relationship with the company or brand tick is the practices employed for data collection, tracking, and measuring sales and marketing efforts. The following are some of the highest regarded best practices in CDM:
1)Critical Data Selection
Customers are considered the bloodline of any business' potential and long-term success. So it is always important to consider a few factors while collecting customer data that range from how you will acquire the data, protect it, what you need from it and what you will do with it. It is important to have a roadmap ahead of the data collection process.
Going into the customer data collection process without having first prepared a strategy on how much and what data you really need. Too much data can overwhelm your company's decision-making as you wouldn't know where to look. The data that you may not necessarily need is stored with looser security which exposes it to hackers.
You must assess how the data aligns with your company's long and short-term goals, and what purpose each bit of customer data can serve in it. Marketing-automation software is usually implemented for customer data collection which should be calibrated beforehand keeping the above-mentioned criticalities in mind.
2)Keeping Data Clean
An overabundance of customer data means that a large chunk of it is of no use to the company and several hours are spent in sorting through it and finding actionable information. Companies spend millions in sifting through dirty data instead of implementing a reliable data cleaning process.
Out-of-date information needs to be updated, the records need to be periodically merged and de-duplicated. Meanwhile, data about previous customers that have stopped coming back for your company's services need to be deleted from your records.
You can use email newsletter platformers that tell you if people are opening your mailers, and then improve upon your deliverability numbers. You must also bidirectionally sync the data between all key business applications. This helps decrease manual data entry and ensures you’re getting accurate contact information in all your tools.
While large organizations on the global scale often possess the required back-ups in place to contend with data losses, a Small Business Trends report showed that 58% of small businesses are not prepared. No matter the size of your business a robust data backup strategy is essential for the continuous functioning of an organization.
Organizations that lose their data have a tendency of shutting down eventually due to the lack of actionable customer insights. A company can protect its customers and allied businesses only with a secure fail-safe in the case of data losses. Some things to consider for your data backup plan are the backup budget, type of backup, storage place, and recovery plan. The final step of the backup plan's execution is testing the plan itself before actually implementing it in real-time.
4)Invest In The Right Software
There was a time not quite long ago when spreadsheets were the end-all and be-all for holding customer data. But ever since the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came about, businesses have been racing to retrofit their customer data into state-of-the-art CRM software that is GDPR compliant as well.
These software tools are meant to make the collection, storage, and management of customer data seamless and error-free. Organizations can make sense of the large volumes of customer information, draw insights from them, apply them in properly targeted marketing strategies, and improve overall sales.
5)Keep Customer Data Secure
Customer data could consist of everything from social security numbers, personal health details, and crucial financial information. It would be extremely difficult and expensive for a business to fully recover from a data breach. The chances of full recovery become slimmer as the size of the organization keeps increasing.
Every time a leading brand or company has a data breach, it leads to an insurmountable decline in customer trust and brand perception. As per Business Insider's research information, seven different global brands and business conglomerates experienced some data breaches in 2017. This led to unprecedented drops in their share prices and chances of recovery were slim.
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Optimize Your Business With Healthy Customer Data Management
Healthy customer data management strategies ensure that your business always has optimum sales performance, great customer analytics, and in turn, repeat customer activity for years. Your company's position and perception among its customer base always stay immaculate if customer data is handled responsibly.
You can keep your customer data up-to-date, strengthen data security and integrity as well as have complete control over customer data with Daffodil's impeccable Data Management Services. Find out how by booking a free consultation with us today.