Data Purification Guiding Principles and Assumptions
If you find your dealership’s CRM database is out of control, you’re not alone. This is a common problem, both with dealerships that are new to marketing automation and those who have been using it for some time.
Users enter data into your CRM system at several touch points, including salespeople, managers and various departments. These records may have been entered with incorrect or missing data, which can lead to a database full of dirty data. The following are some guiding principles to understand in order to keep your data clean.
Design Your System to Avoid Human Error
Most dirty data issues arise as a result of human error. While individuals often load bad data into the CRM, the most common cause of dirty data is the use of improperly designed systems. Workflows should be designed in a way that encourages good behaviors and block bad behaviors. Examples of CRM tools that can help limit dirty data include picklists, read-only fields and limited import access.
Picklists: These ensure that the field values are standardized and that the spelling is always correct. Picklists can be used for fields such as Lead Source, Lead Status, Country and State.
Read-only Fields: These are used in areas where only certain people need access, including Comments History, Lead Source and other fields that shouldn’t be altered.
Limited Import Access: Restricting the ability to import data will prevent inexperienced users from creating problems by failing to follow the correct procedures.
Each Field Should Have One Purpose
Every field has a specific purpose. One field frequently used for multiple purposes is the Notes field. This was designed to be used to enter details related to sales. Call notes should be logged in a separate field.
Use iSITE to Correct Data Values
iSITE data cleansing can correct many common issues that may arise, from removing duplicate records to address verification. These are some of the corrections that iSITE can make:
Data De-Duplication: iSITE will remove duplicate customer records to improve data quality, minimize data integrity issues and reduce data volume.
Purge Null Records: iSITE will remove null records. These records are incomplete and don’t contain adequate customer data.
Physical Address Verification: iSITE will verify the customer’s physical address.
Prevent Duplicate Records at the Source
CRM systems can be configured to prevent users from entering duplicate records. Run data de-duplication regularly to keep your database free of duplicates.
Institute a Regular Cleaning Process
Data cleansing isn’t a one-time process. Details like addresses, email addresses and phone numbers change frequently. Review your CRM database monthly or quarterly. Go over the records, clean duplicates and identify the source. Review your workflow and identify records that are missing entries in key data fields.
Use iSITE to Automate Data Appending
If your leads are missing key data points, you’ll want to fill in the data gap. iSITE can append important fields to the database, including:
Email Append: iSITE will add alternate customer email addresses to the records.
Phone Append: iSITE will add alternate phone numbers to customer records.
Garage Make: iSITE will add other vehicles garaged at the customer’s address.
Bonus Match: iSITE will add the alternate vehicles’ year, make and model.
iSITE Purification Guidelines
It may sometimes be necessary for iSITE clients to supply additional resources to complete high-volume, low-complexity manual cleansing activities. iSITE will ensure the extracted data is validated before and after the data files are purified and loaded into the CRM system.
iSITE will assign a data owner for each conversion, who will communicate action steps relating to the exported source data to be purified. It’s the client’s responsibility to communicate with their CRM provider regarding the final upload of the purified data. iSITE can’t make these types of decisions directly, as we’re not the client of the CRM provider.
iSITE will provide the data requirements and the associated support to help the CRM data team understand the iSITE data fields, and to map legacy fields in the records to the fields of the CRM system. The iSITE deployment team will use work plans and metrics to track progress over the course of the implementation.
The Final Word
Data cleansing is an important and challenging process that demands time and resources. The procedures mentioned above will help your dealership create and maintain a clean customer database that provides many benefits across different departments and serves as a key element for growing your dealership’s business. Consequently, dealerships should make data cleansing and management a high priority.