Best Practices for Contact Data Hygiene

best practices for data hygiene

The tidiness of the office is a reflection of the quality of your business. Having a clean and orderly workplace uplifts the morale of your employees. The same is true when it comes to files and data. Practicing good data hygiene has its benefits.

What is Contact Data Hygiene?

Contact data hygiene is the process of maintaining a contact database clean of redundancy, miscategorized entries, and irrelevant information. 

Dirty data is the product of unhealthy data entry procedures. Poor data quality costs an average of $15 million per year in losses according to this Forbes article. This may include the time wasted on reaching out on outdated emails or inept actions towards incomplete data. 

Keeping data clean may sound simple. However,  having a large customer base with several people handling the database can be challenging. Once you learn some of these best practices for contact data hygiene, you’ll see the results are well worth the effort. 

Establish a Contact Data Quality System

Selecting the contact management app is the most critical part of data hygiene. This would be the foundation of how you handle the contact database. The contact data entry SOP will also be greatly wrapped into it.

Define the standard of a good contact entry. Set the KPIs and ensure every employee act in accordance with it. Adhering to a well-thought plan will eliminate bad contact data entries. 

Centralize the Database

In most cases, the sales team heavily relies on CRM while the marketing group sticks to other marketing automation platforms. Sales and marketing teams tend to speak their own language and have their own data standards and formats.

A good contact management app can consolidate the customer database coming from different platforms. Working on a single database controls the contact data better. This paves way for a smoother interdepartmental collaboration.

Validate Data Accuracy

Effective marketing occurs when you use high-quality data. More doesn’t equate to better. A large list of phone numbers or email addresses is useless if those are invalid.

Moreover, customers change addresses, get promoted, and change companies. Often, their email address and purchasing power vary with it. One must be on the lookout for these developments. 

There is available software to verify if the contact details work. Email verification systems and phone number validation tools can clear out the unworkable data from your list. 

Eliminate the Duplicates

Redundant entries are waste of time and energy. Sending the same marketing material twice to the same person may annoy the lead the least. Worse, your business would be reported as spam. 

A good contact management app makes merging duplicate contacts easy. Moreover, it helps your team to seamlessly work on the list, without the worries of obvious futile efforts. 

Check the ‘Recycle Bin’

Accidental deletions, while you clean out your contact database, may occur. Hence, it is vital that you properly tag if the data is subject to deletion prior to deleting it. Make those who have permission to delete contact entries conscious of their actions. 

If tagging data to be for disposal is not practiced before, some useful contacts may have been unwittingly sent to the trash. Some system allows only a retrieval period of a month. Fortunately, some contact management apps allow unlimited time for the recovery of deleted data. In this case, you can easily restore what you thought is permanently gone. 

Takeaway on Contact Data Hygiene

Dirty data bars sales and marketing professionals from coming up with good insight regarding the business. As they say, garbage in, garbage out. Practicing good data hygiene benefits not only the health of the business. It also increases the productivity of employees. 

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