How effective is your customer data management?


We’re living in the information age, and customer data is your most valuable resource. Customer data refers to all personal, behavioral, and demographic data organisations collect about their customers. Customer data management is the ways in which organisations acquire, store, and process customer data.

By managing customer data properly, you stand to reap incredible benefits. For instance, Amazon uses customers’ purchase history to upsell and cross-sell other products; MTN uses customers’ mobile money transaction history to determine whether they qualify for a quick loan or not. The flip side is that, if you do not manage customer data properly, you run the risk of ruining customer experience, missing opportunities, making wrong business decisions, and damaging reputation.

Are you managing customer data effectively?

Chances are you’ve responded in the affirmative because your organisation has never recorded any incidence of customer data breach. However, data security is just one aspect of customer data management. Other aspects of customer data management like data governance, data centralization, data quality, and data goals are equally important. 

The only way to know whether you’re managing customer data effectively or not is to carry out a data management assessment. Data management assessment evaluates your current data management architecture to identify gaps against best practices, and outline needs and opportunities. It’s a comprehensive process and can take 5 to 15 days depending on the size of the organisation, but let’s do a quick customer data management assessment here.

If your response to at least one of the questions below is no, it indicates a gap in your current data management architecture and deserves immediate attention. 

  • Data centralization: Is your customer data fully integrated across sales, marketing, customer service, and accounting & finance departments? Is it possible to track customers’ journey seamlessly? Do you have visibility over customers’ social media interactions?
  • Data quality: Is your customer data up-to-date, error-free, and not duplicated?
  • Data governance: Have you set clear rules, protocols, and standards on how data is stored, retrieved, and used?
  • Data security: Do you backup customer data regularly? Is access to sensitive customer information restricted with passwords and encryption? Do you perform regular data and information system audit? Do you have an open and transparent data privacy policy?
  • Data goals: Is the data you are capturing relevant?

Leave no stone unturned!

Poor customer data management affects customer experience badly. Today’s customers expect you to use technology to serve them faster and better. Therefore, they get frustrated when you cannot quickly access their account records or bounce them among departments or make them repeat information over and over again. 

Also, poor customer data management leads to missed opportunities. A fully integrated and cleaned customer data is a repository for customer insight. It can be used to understand customer behavior, discover new market segments, or personalize marketing communication. Unfortunately, these are missed opportunities due to the existence of data silos and inconsistent customer data.

Tips for you!

Lauren Funk proposed 8 ways for managing customer data effectively which you’ll find useful. But, I modified her fourth suggestion from “invest in smart CRM storage” to “invest in customer data platform (CDP)”; because, CDP is the latest marketing technology your organisation must have.

  1. Take security seriously
  2. Gather information ethically
  3. Decide what you really need
  4. Invest in customer data platform (CPD)
  5. Backup your data
  6. Clean up your data
  7. Train your team
  8. Think about access

Remember that customer data is your organisation’s most valuable resource in the information age and how you manage it can determine your organisation’s long-term success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *