May 19, 2020

Fresh customer data equals business growth

Data
Tristan Anwyn
3 min
Fresh customer data equals business growth

Fresh Customer Data Equals Business Growth

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What are the implications of outdated data?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's important that every interaction your customer has with your business gives a good impression. Out of date data can hinder that.

Out of date data can mean your customers miss out on relevant messages. Or, customers 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It's all too easy for outdated data to start clogging up your databases.

Customers move house, move phones, move jobs or change 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 costs you money, too.

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.

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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