How fresh customer data drives business growth

By Tristan Anwyn

Is your customer data fresh?

Stale customer data can hamper your business and have a negative impact on the customer experience. That's why it's important that you take the time to keep your customer data up to date.

What are the implications of outdated data? And what can you do to keep your records updated?

Fresh Data Enhances the Customer Experience

It is important that every interaction your customer has with your business gives a good impression, but out-of-date data can hinder that.

Your customers may miss out on relevant messages or in contrast could get duplicate emails, texts, or printed materials. This can look spammy and make them feel annoyed with your business.

Incorrect data can also mean mistakes in personalization. Getting a customer's name, title or job title wrong reflects badly on your business, making it look like you don't value them enough to address them correctly.

Fresh Data Saves You Time and Money

It is all too easy for outdated data to start clogging up your databases.

Customers move locations, change phones, move jobs or switch email addresses. Some might change their name. Before long, your data will start to get a little stale.

As the article "How Keeping Customer Data Fresh Helps Grow Your Business" points out, stale data can cost you time and money.

Stale data could mean:

  • Emails that go unread;
  • Phone calls that are never returned;
  • Mail sent to the wrong address;
  • Duplicate emails;
  • Incorrect personalization.


All of this can have a negative impact on your business, preventing you from reaching the people you want to reach.

Every incorrect detail also has a cost: every time you send a letter or email to the wrong person, you're wasting the postage, or using up part of your data limit, to no avail. There's also the time cost of reaching out to the wrong people.
 

How to Keep Your Data Fresh

So, just how can you keep your data fresh? You can start by:

  •  Making up-to-date data a priority. Keeping records up to date should be a regular and valued part of your business practices;
  • Centralizing where you can. The more you centralize your data storage, the less likely you are to end up with duplicate or incomplete data;
  • Deciding who has access to data. The more people have access to data, the greater the chance of errors. Decide who truly needs access to data, and assign it only to those people;
  • Automating where you can. If you can automate data entry by integrating different applications, much of your data will get updated automatically, cutting down on human error;
  • Making data entry easier. Make data entry easier for your employees with user friendly interfaces, pre populated fields, setting some fields as mandatory and using dropdowns to help them make the right choices;
  • Developing data entry conventions. Having clear conventions on naming, how to write place names or state names and so on will keep your data cleaner;
  • Collecting email addresses. Every customer will have a unique email address. If you use this as part of their record, it will be easier to search your databases and flag up duplicate entries.


Keeping your data fresh will save you time and money and help keep your customers happy.

Make data maintenance part of your business, and make sure your team on is board so that everyone who handles data does so carefully.
 

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to keep customer data fresh. This story originally appeared on our sister site Business Review USA.

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