Many things can go wrong with inaccurate customer data. Two or three associates call up the same customer, and in the process annoy them and drive their business away. The associate calls up a number only to find that it is no longer in use. A bill is sent to an address, the sender finds that someone else lives there and the bill bounces back.
Not only are these incidents embarrassing, but they also reflect badly on the business. It hurts their brand name, and in a world where word gets around quickly, it might not be long before customers start withdrawing one by one.
Maintaining accurate customer data is thus essential for a business, and the following steps explain how to achieve this:
Front-desk employees are often given forms with many fields to be filled. These could be long and time-consuming and it may be tempting to take shortcuts and leave some of the information out. However, it is advisable not to. It is this incomplete information that will interfere with serving customers better. Make sure that no matter how long it takes, how much you need to coax the customer, and how minor the details are, every inch of the form is filled. You never know when this information will be needed in the future.
Data entry of this customer information needs to be accurate. Duplication needs to be avoided since it can be a cause of confusion. Correct data entry reduces the volume of data that has to be stored and also reduces the chances of wrong data being shared among the associates.
Create a common template for maintaining data, and make sure that all the teams in the company adhere to it. The last thing you want is for there to be ten different templates with different teams confused on how to use them and will minimize the chance of error.
Make sure you delete all incorrect information and outdated data at regular intervals. Some data processing associates will have to be put on this task full-time to make all the amendments. Companies survive on information and if the information is poor, so will be the performance of the business.
When it comes to data, security is a huge buzzword. Not everyone can have access to confidential customer data. Only a trusted few should have the right to make changes to the data and fill in new information. Give passwords, put in place restricted access, and make sure the information is in trusted hands. This will reduce the chances of fraud and malpractices.
While keeping all relevant customer data is essential, the business also has to make sure that it does not fill templates with unwanted details that provide no help to their customer support or sales teams. Customers might also not want to provide companies with more information than is absolutely vital. Companies have to draw a line somewhere between what is vital and what is not on their templates.
Use automation, self-fill forms, and abbreviations to make the task of obtaining customer information a lot easier. Nobody wants to take a long time filling up a form and the easier the form is, the more people would be prepared to share current information, and the more streamlined will be the process of data processing.
Businesses thrive on information about the people they are selling their goods and services to. Hence, it is essential to put a process in place that will ensure that your business always has access to accurate and updated data.