In an ideal world, your business has immaculate customer data. You know exactly where to find the right contact email, when they became a customer, and who in your team spoke to them last. Your data is segmented, up-to-date and reliable.
But if that’s not the reality for you just yet, don’t worry… you are certainly not alone.
It’s all too easy for customer data to descend into chaos, especially when your business is using multiple apps, as most are.
However, even if your data is a mess, putting it in order is possible – and easier than you might think.
Here’s how to keep your customer data up-to-date and reliable everywhere, even when you’re using several different apps.
Why is customer data management so important?
With your customer data in disarray, you will likely come up against these frustrations:
- Data silos, or pieces of information that only certain people have access to
- Contradictory data in different apps (or the same app) so you can’t tell what’s accurate or reliable
- Poor customer experiences as you lack the data and insights to personalize interactions
The truth is: organizing your customer data isn’t just about making life easier for you (although it does this, too).
Your customers want an integrated experience when interacting with your business, no matter who they’re speaking to or which department. 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.
This becomes more essential to focus on considering all of the different contact points in your organization. A customer might interact with sales, marketing, customer support, technical support, admin, and billing. And for a good customer experience, they should get speedy answers to their problems and not have to repeat their story over and over again to different people.
They want to be treated like a person instead of a message or support ticket number, and you can’t achieve this if you don’t have the data to tell you who they are and how they have interacted with your business before.
Where Customer Data Lives
In your business right now, you are probably storing customer data in several places. This might include your:
If these systems are siloed, or information sits there disconnected from your other apps and is inaccessible to other people, you risk data silos, inconsistent data, and poor customer experiences.
For the most seamless customer data management, your apps need to communicate data in two directions, in a language that each app understands.
Best Practices for Customer Data Management
1. Keep clean, accurate data in each app.
Your overall customer data is the sum of its parts, so it’s important to keep the data in each app fresh and reliable. Here’s our advice on cleaning up your customer data, including removing duplicates and outdated information.
2. Use segmentation for clear organization.
Segmenting your customer data in each app is a powerful best practice. As one key reason, it enables you to offer a fantastic customer experience that boosts satisfaction and reduces churn. And, a 10% increase in a company’s customer satisfaction score leads to a 12% increase in trust from customers.
If you know your customer belongs to segments for customers based in the U.S., and they’re subscribed to your premium plan, and are paying for your digital marketing add-on, you can use automation to send them the most personalized experiences and messaging.
You can also use segmentation in your data integration strategy, syncing the labels, tags, groups, and list memberships you have in your key apps across your stack.
3. Sync data two ways.
There are several ways you can connect your data between apps. You could use built-in native integrations offered by your software providers, or trigger-action automation such as what Zapier enables.
However, when it comes to your customer data, you’re best off with a two-way sync. This mirrors data between two apps, updating one as soon as something changes in the other.
It’s the most reliable way to make your data readily accessible to all your teams across your entire app stack.
4. Keep it simple.
As with many things in life and work, the most effective customer data management is simple. This can mean:
- Standardizing data organization: For instance, having one property for ‘Industry’ rather than overlapping properties for ‘Sector,’ ‘Business type,’ and ‘Industry’.
- Deciding which data to sync: Rather than syncing everything, you can sync relevant and insightful data that enriches every app, rather than adding unnecessary complexity.
- Creating clear processes and documentation: For adding, editing, and viewing customer data to make life easy for you and your colleagues.