Picture this: You're stepping into a tidy, well-organized room where everything is in its rightful place. Feels refreshing, right?
Well, the same principle applies to your digital space. That's where data hygiene comes into play — it's like giving your data a good old-fashioned spring cleaning.
Want to learn more about keeping your customer relationship management (CRM) data squeaky clean? Keep reading!
What Is Data Hygiene?
Data hygiene refers to the practices and processes used to maintain the cleanliness, accuracy, and reliability of data. It involves ensuring that data is correct, up-to-date, and free from errors, inconsistencies, duplicates, and outdated information.
However, as you can imagine, keeping all of your CRM data organized, accurate, and secure is no small feat. Data hygiene best practices are often swept under the rug in the name of productivity and efficiency.
Unfortunately, just like with cleaning a house, the longer you spend putting it off, the more in over your head you’ll be when it’s time to turn that data into something useful.
Data Hygiene vs Data Quality
While data hygiene focuses on the cleanliness and integrity of data, data quality takes a broader perspective by examining its overall completeness and usefulness.
Data hygiene is like a maintenance routine that keeps your data environment tidy and error-free, while data quality is the ultimate goal of having reliable, complete, and accurate data that supports informed decision-making and business objectives.
Still, data hygiene and data quality are interconnected concepts. By prioritizing data hygiene and striving for high data quality, you can unlock the full potential of your CRM data and make informed decisions that drive success.
Why Is Data Hygiene Important?
Data hygiene is critical to ensure CRM data can be leveraged successfully and securely. Inaccurate or unorganized data can be costly and drastically hinder sales and marketing efforts, such as:
- Lead generation
- Handling customer service
- Accurate personalization
- Lead tracking
Additionally, regulations and rules surrounding data security are becoming more and more stringent, so having a firm grasp on the hygiene of your CRM data can save significant time — and headaches — in the future.
All in all, data hygiene is the secret ingredient that elevates your CRM from good to exceptional. By investing time and effort into cleaning, validating, and organizing your data, you unlock a myriad of benefits.
Benefits of Data Hygiene for Your CRM
You rely on your CRM system to streamline operations, nurture customer relationships, and drive growth. By keeping your data clean and well-maintained, you unlock a treasure trove of benefits for your CRM.
Let's dive in and explore how data hygiene can revolutionize your CRM game.
Improved Data Accuracy and Reliability
Data hygiene ensures that your CRM is filled with accurate, up-to-date customer information. By regularly scrubbing and validating data, you eliminate duplicate entries, correct errors, and standardize formats.
The result? A CRM that houses reliable, high-quality data, empowering you to make informed decisions, personalize customer interactions, and deliver exceptional experiences.
Enhanced Decision-Making and Strategy Development
Clean and well-organized data serves as the foundation for insightful analytics and reporting. With data hygiene, you gain access to reliable metrics, trends, and patterns, enabling you to make data-driven decisions with confidence.
Uncover valuable insights, identify growth opportunities, and optimize your sales and marketing strategies for maximum impact.
Better Customer Segmentation and Targeting
Data hygiene allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your customers. By maintaining accurate contact information, preferences, and purchase history, you can personalize interactions, anticipate their needs, and foster stronger relationships.
Engage customers with targeted messaging, relevant offers, and timely support, showcasing your commitment to their satisfaction.
Increased Efficiency in Marketing and Sales Efforts
A clean CRM means streamlined workflows and improved operational efficiency. Eliminate the time-consuming task of manually correcting errors, merging duplicate records, or searching for accurate information.
With data hygiene, your teams can focus on value-adding activities, such as nurturing leads, upselling, or providing exceptional customer service.
Data hygiene plays a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive customer data. Regularly updating and cleansing your CRM helps protect against security breaches, unauthorized access, or data leaks.
Implement robust security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and user permissions, to ensure your CRM is a fortress of digital protection.
By practicing data hygiene, you avoid unnecessary costs associated with storing and managing redundant or outdated data. Minimize storage requirements, streamline backup processes, and optimize resource allocation.
In addition, maintaining a clean CRM reduces the risk of errors and costly mistakes that can arise from inaccurate or incomplete data.
Key Practices for Maintaining Data Hygiene
When it comes to implementing or improving your data hygiene, there is a “gold standard” set of practices to keep in mind.
Don’t set it and forget it. Instead, do the following:
- Audit and clean up your data at a consistent cadence. This includes contacts, forms, lists, and more.
- Assign contact owners responsible for owning their book of business.
- Define lifecycle stages and segmentation opportunities, such as personas or custom properties.
- Remove bounced, unsubscribed, unengaged, and unqualified contacts.
Don’t load junk and purchased lists. Instead, do the following:
- Subscribe to an email validation tool like NeverBounce.
Don’t forget field mapping. Instead, do the following:
- Standardize data field input.
Don’t rely on single-line data. Instead, do the following:
- Create custom properties with pre-set selections.
Whether data hygiene has only recently become a priority or best practices have been implemented for quite a while, ensuring your team is trained and held accountable for CRM data hygiene can help eliminate problems from popping up in the future.
Tools and Technologies for Data Hygiene
When it comes to data hygiene, there are several tools and technologies available to help you maintain the cleanliness and integrity of your data. These tools automate processes, streamline workflows, and ensure that your data remains accurate and up to date.
To start, HubSpot’s Operations Hub software offers a range of tools and functionalities that can help you manage your data, automate processes, and enhance overall operational efficiency.
With Operations Hub, you can centralize and clean your data, ensuring its accuracy and reliability. It provides automation capabilities for repetitive tasks, allowing your team to focus on strategic initiatives. The software also enables seamless integration with other systems, facilitating data flow and enhancing collaboration.
With features like data cleansing, workflow automation, and data syncing, HubSpot Operations Hub empowers businesses to drive productivity, make data-driven decisions, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Other data cleaning tools on the market include Dedupley, which is recommended for de-duplication, Trifecta Wrangler, OpenRefine, TIBCO Clarity, and more.
Keep in mind that the choice of technology for data hygiene depends on your specific requirements and the complexity of your data environment. It's important to evaluate and select tools that align with your organization's needs and goals to effectively maintain data hygiene and unlock the full potential of your data.
Don’t Want to Go At It Alone? We Can Help!
At LAIRE, we understand the significance of data hygiene and offer comprehensive solutions and expertise to assist you in maintaining clean and accurate data for effective marketing strategies.
We’ve rolled up our sleeves, grabbed our digital cleaning supplies, and are ready to help you get the most out of your CRM data.
Ready to take the first step? Get a free 20-minute HubSpot portal audit to see how we can make your data shine.