What makes today’s CRM systems and CRM software so impressive? For one, it’s their ability to help solve one of the most vexing challenges for businesses: empowering human connections, while avoiding human error.
CRM Systems and CRM Software: What’s the Goal?
Salesforce defines Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems as “technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.” Note there is not a single buzzword contained in this description of a CRM. That’s because, at its core, a CRM is about people communicating with people.
Granted, a CRM system uses some of the most advanced technology available, like AI, CSS, Data Enrichment, and Funnel Velocity. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about communicating – passing on information to various departments and customers in order to achieve a seamless synergy. CRM systems and CRM software unify otherwise disparate departments with the common goal of making human connections.
The Value of CRM Systems and CRM Software
CRM systems help companies perform one of the most valuable functions required in the modern enterprise: achieving error-free data. Today’s customer information is mined from an influx of real-time information. It’s culled from massive social media databases and streams of online data. And it’s added as bits and bites of customer details are retrieved and entered into the database.
In the age of Big Data, this makes CRM systems king. But they have one royal pain: human error. No matter how powerful a technology is, the human equation has the power to get in the way.
For a perfect example of how simple human error can defeat the most powerful of CRM platforms, let’s look at just one element of a customer database: email addresses.
Emails are often a company’s first line of customer communications and the best opportunity to directly influence sales, but their value is tied to the accuracy of the data used to send them. Unfortunately, many marketing email lists are riddled with errors that inflate bounce rates, waste marketing spend, and put sender reputations in danger. When you couple that with research that shows 1 in 3 people purposely enter false email addresses when giving their personal information online, and the fact that email databases naturally decay at a rate of about 23% per year, you can see how errors in a customer database can quickly get out of hand.
Circumventing Human Error and Database Decay
Marketing, sales, and customer success teams need a clean customer database to paint an accurate portrait of customers. It’s the key to delivering tailored messages, and providing personalized customer experiences. But errors – human or otherwise – sneak in. So, what can you do about it? You can:
- Assess the current state of your customer data quality and its impact on the business
- Remedy the issues found in the assessment following a detailed plan
- Use powerful data cleansing tools to keep your CRM data clean and usable
- Stop bad data, including duplicate records, from entering your CRM during imports or when individual users work in the database
- Leverage APIs to verify the accuracy of contact data in real-time, wherever you collect it
- Verify email lists regularly, and certainly before you hit send on digital campaigns
- Encourage a corporate culture that respects data quality
When you implement safeguards like this against inaccurate data, you help alleviate the cost and lost productivity associated with its impact. Doing so is your best defense against data decay and human error… and your best strategy for ensuring you can make those all-important human connections.