Spring is a great time to clean our backyards, houses and yes, our databases! Dirty client, prospective buyer/seller and agent databases can waste our time, hurt your reputation, cause misunderstandings and lead to missed opportunities!
So how do we turn garbage into gold? No data is ever perfect, but we can always strive to clean and normalize data to make it more accurate and usable. So what do you do, how can you fix your data and make it your friend? Well, the garbage in garbage out rule should always be top of mind, but there are also a few other ways you can maintain a cleaner database and improve the quality of leads or source of information your business relies on.
Every database has duplicate data. Spelling errors, extra spaces or different spelling and abbreviations for a company name, contact name or address. These are some of the common ways duplicate data sneaks in. Looking for unique identifiers such as phone number, email address or a postal code can help you understand who may be a duplicate contact or lead in your database.
What are the Rules?
How do you want to have your data presented? Should phone numbers, area codes or number fields be populating in specific formats? Should two letter abbreviations be used for State/Province fields? Be sure to ask how this information should be pulling in. It will save you time later in clean up if you set the rules now that make sense to your business.
Everyone is responsible for maintaining a clean database.
If you are speaking to your clients or prospects, ask for their most up to date contact information. Believe me, it not only helps your business but helps ensure your client is receiving the right information such as billing, changes to the business or promotions they can take advantage of. It takes 40 seconds to verify information on a call. Make a habit of asking, it is that simple.
Once you have a handle on the data, maintain it. Weekly or monthly health checks, looking at spam traps, typos or other inaccuracies that might find their way into the database. Check and recheck everything you import, along with any third party information feeding in, these are sources you can quickly identify and clean up if there are errors.
Don’t forget! If you have a change of information or would like to update your contact information or subscribe to our emails, send an email to email@example.com and we will be happy update your information.