Your business thrives when you use customer data to make decisions. Data serves as a map and an energy source, allowing you to change the way you create marketing strategies and communicate with your target customers. Unfortunately, you likely have unknown issues occurring within your customer database. It’s okay! Most do, and we’re here to tell you how to get an absolutely optimized customer database.
Bad data costs businesses millions of dollars each year, so it’s important to focus on fixing those customer database problems now so that you can efficiently grow and scale your business.
As you start to rely on data to make decisions, you’ll need to learn how to effectively manage your customer database. There are a number of common problems, but luckily, there are solutions that you can easily implement once you know about them!
In today’s blog post, you’ll learn why you need to fix kinks in your customer database, some common problems you might be dealing with, and solutions to help improve the way you manage your customer database. Let’s get to it!
Why Do You Need to Fix Problems In Your Customer Database?
We all (hopefully, by now!) know how important data is to running and growing your business. Whenever customers visit and interact with your business, you gain valuable data so that you can really target your marketing and business experiences. But especially over time, your data becomes less valuable if you don’t work to maintain your database in a strong way.
When you ignore key customer database problems, you make your business strategy weaker. Don’t do this! Since marketers and businesses rely so heavily on data analytics, you need to focus on fixing any problems with your customer database. 1 in 5 businesses actually lose revenue and customers due to incomplete or inaccurate data.
So to create impactful, successful marketing plans, you need strong data. Learning how to manage your customer database is going to make a world of difference! Now that you understand why it’s important, let’s dive into some of the key customer database issues you might be facing.
5 Key Customer Database Problems
Here are some of the most common customer database issues. After we determine what issues you may be dealing with, we’ll get into some easy solutions so that you can get to work identifying and fixing these problems.
#1: Stale, Outdated Information
Here’s the thing: information changes a lot. People’s addresses, emails, phone numbers, jobs, and interests all change frequently. While this is awesome for a lot of people’s individual lives, it’s NOT so awesome for your business data. Your customer information becomes outdated faster than ever before.
Another huge issue with stale, out-of-date information is age! Customer ages consistently change, but as we enter data into our customer databases, we usually forget to go in and update it each year, so it becomes inaccurate.
A quick solution to this problem is creating two data elements: one to convert ages to birth years when you first add data, and another to create a value that reflects the current year minus birth year. You’ll never need to update it again because it takes care of itself. Boo yah.
#2: Incomplete Data
There are often lots of gaps in customer data. Whether these gaps come from customer browser settings or other challenges connecting different behaviors and patterns, you might have missing pieces of data working against your marketing strategy.
To fix these problems, microsegment your audience whenever possible to avoid large audiences with missing information and gaps. You can personalize your marketing to what you do know and avoid what’s missing.
You can also work to actively fill in information gaps on your own by doing outside research. This way, you’ll have a more holistic view of your customers and a stronger, tailored marketing strategy.
#3: Inaccurate Data
Since data is often pulled from a number of different sources, there’s a huge chance that errors are going to occur. Marketing professionals estimate that over 30% of their records are inaccurate in some way. This is a huge problem for tons of businesses struggling with information that just isn’t correct!
#4: Privacy Law Compliance Issues
Changes in data laws, like the GDPR and CCPA, mean that data privacy is incredibly important. One of the biggest challenges in learning how to manage a customer database is protecting data privacy.
#5: Poor Quality Data
This one sounds simple, but it has a huge impact on businesses. If you have poor quality data, you’re not going to achieve the results you’re looking for—period. On the other hand, with high quality data, you can segment, target, and personalize things for your customers, helping them turn from prospects to customers to raving fans.
If you target customers based on poor quality data, you’re really not personalizing things in a meaningful way. Incomplete or inaccurate data makes it hard for you to maximize your customer acquisition efforts, so focus on fixing these issues first!
How to Manage & Improve Your Customer Database
First, focus on streamlining your customer database to represent your customers holistically, across all of their devices and buying opportunities. Make sure to delete any duplicate information and fill in gaps as you notice them.
Then, check in regularly to see if your information is still accurate, timely, and relevant.
You can supplement your data with third-party data to help fill in any missing pieces or fields, as well as update and verify specific pieces of information.
This helps you keep track of life events that cause changes for customers, so you can keep segmenting and personalizing. The more personal your efforts, the better your results will be!
Building a strong marketing plan and growing your business means you need to rely on accurate, up-to-date, and complete customer information. Regularly checking your customer database for errors is key to making the most of your information!
With a few preventative measures and an awareness of how to manage your customer database, you’re going to find success with your data! You’ll be able to reduce low quality data and focus on what’s most effective. Plus, make a whole lot more money in the end AND make a difference when you actually sell your products and services. *mic drop* If you need additional help optimizing your database, give us a call at 877.440.3282, we’re happy to help.