How clean is your house?


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According to a new report by Validity which surveyed over 1,200 CRM specialists, 76 per cent of businesses rate their customer relationship management (CRM) data quality as either “good” or “very good. Yet, according to the study 44 per cent estimated their company loses over 10 per cent of annual revenue due to poor data quality. Which seems something of a paradox.

Close to 20 years ago a programme in the UK called How Clean is Your House? regularly attracted 5.1 million viewers, an audience size very difficult to achieve today – clearly this was before the time of Netflix and Amazon; there was very little else on! The format was simple; hapless homeowners were visited by professional cleaning duo, Kim Woodburn and Aggie Mackensie, to be shown just how filthy their homes were. Bathrooms and kitchens were literally put under the microscope to show the germs and ground-in-grime that the eye couldn’t see. Nice.

However, this provides an interesting parallel with data. All too often businesses mistakenly believe that their data is accurate and up to date – but fail to realise that in actual fact over a third of it is wrong due to changes in circumstance such as moving house or sadly, customers passing away. This has become even more of an issue during the pandemic with the UK death rate having almost doubled. The study reinforces this with 79 per cent of respondents agreeing data decay has accelerated at an unprecedented rate because of Covid-19.

Maintaining high-quality data health remains a challenge for many businesses, so much so that the UK Government this month published an advice paper on data quality assessment.

The bottom line, as highlighted by this latest research, is that poor quality CRM data results in significant customer losses, sales deficits, and high employee turnover. Worryingly, data mismanagement was also found to lead to dubious internal practices, with 75 per cent of those surveyed admitting they often (33 per cent) or sometimes (42 per cent) fabricate data to tell the story they want decision-makers to hear.

The impact extends to employees too. CRM users are at their breaking point, with 64 per cent saying they would consider leaving their current role if additional resources were not allocated to a CRM data quality plan.

Luckily, there’s light at the end of the tunnel – companies are planning to address these issues with increased budgets and full-time staff. This year, 57 per cent expect their company to increase data management budgets, while 56 per cent of those who do not currently have full-time employee(s) dedicated to CRM data quality have active plans to make hires in the next six months.

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However, the solution does not necessarily lie in more resource. There are also technological options available. Traditionally, to clean data stored within CRM involves manually extracting data to be processed and then reloading the results back in – this is slow, resource heavy and presents risks throughout the process. However, this can now be automated – matching consumer records to multiple data sets to identify where someone has moved or died. Flows can be activated manually or as a scheduled event, which is seamless, compliant, and secure; with all data contained within the CRM environment making it quick, cost effective and secure. A win-win for those companies that are seeing revenue pour out the door due to poor data quality!


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