Most businesses have implemented a professional CRM system that needs CRM maintenance. They use it to provide customer support, as well as organize their sales and marketing departments. The system needs to be CRM maintenance needs to be done consistently, however, in order to properly ensure quality of service. If a major server should go down or important piece of software fail to run without proper CRM maintenance, the company could lose its ability to interact with the public.
The Importance of CRM Maintenance
Your CRM is a wealth of knowledge for all teams within your company.
- Your company’s customer service team and how you handle customers rely heavily on accurate data from your CRM system to effectively provide customer support. Without accurate data about customer interactions, your customer service team would not be able to service customers well.
- Your finance team will need accurate data for data forecasting.
- Your sales and marketing teams will need CRM maintenance data to accurately predict business strategies.
Hence, CRM maintenance is of the utmost importance to run smooth business operations.
With the rise in cybersecurity threats and data breaches, it has become clear that consistent CRM maintenance needs to be conducted to ensure data safety. Without periodic CRM maintenance, you will never know when your company data is compromised, and it would leave you wishing that you had prioritized CRM maintenance more.
What is CRM Maintenance?
CRM maintenance is the process of auditing data gathered by your CRM system and troubleshooting any issues while focusing on the following areas:
- Data quality: CRM maintenance ensures that you have access to quality and up-to-date data when it comes to your business. By restricting the number of members within your team that can alter data, you can ensure that there won’t be any data-related blunders.
- Data cleansing: CRM maintenance ensures that through data cleansing you are removing any incorrectly formatted, duplicate, or incomplete data entries in your CRM solution.
Data operations: data operations are an important aspect of CRM maintenance as it ensures that bulk data is entered correctly without any errors. Daily bulk updates, consolidation of fields and data redundancies, migrating free-text fields to picklists, and importing data are data operations tasks that ensure that your quality of data is maintained throughout.
- Data deduplication: data duplication is a common error that can be cleaned up by means of CRM maintenance. Duplicate data can represent inaccurate numbers for CRM beyond customer service, sales, and marketing teams. Hence, consistent CRM maintenance is important to reduce data redundancies.
- Data purging: the removal of unnecessary data during CRM maintenance is what is known as data purging. Any redundant, low-quality, or outdated would be purged out of your records to maintain quality data for your company. Without unnecessary data cluttering up your CRM solution, you are able to make better more informed decisions with CRM maintenance.
- Data monitoring: data monitoring is an important aspect of CRM maintenance as it ensures that periodically, the quality of data is measured against your goals. If your CRM data reflect something different than what you think, make sure that your CRM maintenance is up-to-date and the quality of data is not in doubt.
With how important CRM maintenance is to running your business, let’s explore some CRM maintenance strategies that have proven effective in business.
CRM Data Backup
You will want to back up your data at least once a week (daily is generally considered a better choice). CRM maintenance can be done in-house, though transferring the data to an off-site location will provide your business with additional protection from fire, floods, and natural disasters. CRM maintenance may even be a good idea if you are using a web-based vendor - there is always the possibility the company will go out of business and take your data with them.
You should also have multiple levels of authentication that change on a regular basis. The administrator will want to distribute new logins and passwords at set intervals and make sure they are not written down anywhere. A role-based login verification system is also suggested. With CRM maintenance, you will be able to protect the security of your CRM system and prevent a hacker or cybercriminal from compromising any data.
CRM Software Updates
Another important part of CRM maintenance is making sure all of the computer software is up to date. You will want to run any recent patches that have come out and update the drivers to their latest versions. You should also keep a constant look out for security fixes to the operating system. Failure to do so could result in the computers crashing at an inopportune time and data being lost.
Technical CRM Maintenance
Technical CRM maintenance will be necessary if the hardware for your CRM system is located on the premises. Your company will need to regularly examine the computer equipment, switch out old wiring, and remove any dust that has accumulated for CRM maintenance. You may also want to run stress tests on the computers each week. If your business is using a web-based solution, this type of CRM maintenance is generally left for the hosting company to perform.
CRM Data Cleanup
You will also want to perform data cleanup to improve CRM workflows on your computers whenever possible. Corrupt records in the CRM database can slow down your system and provide inaccurate information to employees. You should parse the data for syntax errors, normalize numeric values, and remove any duplicate files that exist during CRM maintenance. It’s additionally a good idea to optimize the database indexes.
Overall, the most important thing is to make sure that the CRM maintenance is performed on a regular basis. Customer relationship management is a major part of the business world, and all it takes is one piece of equipment to malfunction for the whole system to be compromised. Proper CRM maintenance can help to reduce this danger and ensure that your data is kept safe.