3 Ways to Maximize CRM Systems
There are, however, some simple things you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your CRM system for target marketing applications. Here are three:
1. Evaluate the Kind of Data You Capture
Your CRM solution should be built around the way you interact with your customers. The processes you use to sell, service and support your customers must be integrated with your CRM solution to leverage the value of your investment. It's important to understand the processes that are defined in the CRM solution and be able to configure the solution to specific business practices.
2. Institute an Ongoing Data Quality Process
Data quality is a continuous process, not a one-time occurrence. As priorities change, as new types of products or services are released, or as new kinds of customers are targeted, the differences need to be reflected in your business. You'll also want to fine-tune business rules as you learn more about your company and your customers. Analysis of a recent marketing campaign may shed new light on how you can better serve your customers.
And don't forget about routine maintenance of the CRM system. More than 41 million change-of-address orders—including 2.6 million businesses—were filed with the U.S. Postal Service in 2000. In less than six months, more than 8 percent of addresses in a typical database have the potential to be inaccurate due to move changes alone.
And it's not just physical moves businesses need to contend with: ZIP code and area code changes, contacts, and phone or e-mail address changes are other examples of how data can become outdated. Data degradation in CRM applications is huge—and must be dealt with on an ongoing basis.
3. Create a Single Customer View
The "holy grail" of targeted marketing—achieving a single customer view—is no easy task. Even the most sophisticated CRM system isn't capable of maintaining a single record per client without accurate, cleansed information. Once various data sources have been identified and inaccurate data have been corrected through enhancement, all records containing overlapping information can be consolidated to create a single customer record.