4 Steps to a Clean and Up-to-date Customer Database

Every database is subject to bad data. Bad data can take the form of duplicate or spam records and outdated information, and affects business analysis as it may show inaccurate calculations which may eventually lead to lower productivity. In this article we discuss four useful tips for keeping a clean and efficient customer database.

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1. Prevent Bad Data
When accepting inputted information (e.g. from forms), all data should be validated to reduce the risk of people entering false information about themselves. Although validation helps, one should always recheck new records to make sure they are valid.

2. Remove Duplicates
Duplication can lead to inaccurate calculations or misinterpreting business actions. It is therefore advised that a duplicate-record checking process is implemented to eliminate duplicate records in the current database and to ensure that no duplicate records occur in future. One should also ensure that whilst deleting duplicate records, the remaining record is fully updated with any available information.

Nowadays, many CRM systems and their marketing automation platform offer the possibility to eliminate duplicate records automatically, saving considerable time.

3. Update Information Constantly
It is also important to update any records containing old data with the latest information, so as to maintain the database up-to-date. Keep on the lookout for idle leads or contacts who may have left their job, as their records might need to be deleted or updated accordingly.

A useful feature found in some CRM and marketing automation platforms is the gathering of public information through social media sources, such as LinkedIn. Such systems will be able to pull in information about leads and contacts, such as job title and current company, through social media and make them available through CRM, so one can rest assured that they hold the most up-to-date data about their leads and contacts.

4. Delete Spam Records
Spam records are made up of those contacts or leads that contain incorrect information, such as [email protected] for an email address. These records do not give any useful information and therefore are to be eliminated from the database.

The benefits of having a clean database are many. A clean database ensures more accurate sales prospect targeting, and reduces wasted marketing resources – thus also improving profitability. Following these simple tips will ensure that any bad data is disposed of and the database is kept as clean and up-to-date as possibl