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7 Common Mistakes That Cause Duplicates in Your CRM

on December 31, 2017

Introduction

Customers are the backbone of any business, and this is why managing them effectively is important to business success. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools make it easy to manage everything about your existing and potential customers – from relationships to interactions. However, there are some challenges that can make your CRM tool less potent. One such challenge is that of Duplicate data in your CRM. This problem is not new and is responsible for reducing the effectiveness of CRM tools. There are several mistakes that can lead to duplicates in your CRM. We will explore seven of them here, revealing what you should avoid in order to make your CRM free of duplicates.

 

What is Duplication in CRM?

Duplication in CRM basically refers to existence of repetitions of a customer’s data and information. This duplication can occur for multiple customers which always proves to be detrimental to the business. Duplication of data in CRM prevents businesses from having a holistic and real view of their customers. These data duplications often lead to reduced revenue, loss of customer goodwill, inability to forecast accurately, amongst other things.

 

What are the common mistakes that lead to duplicates in CRM?

We know that duplicated data in CRM can prove to be very expensive to businesses. There is however no way we can prevent these duplicates if we do not know how they come about. There are several mistakes that can lead to the existence of duplicate data in your CRM. We will proceed to reveal and discuss 7 of these common mistakes. They are outlined below:

  1. Poor Integration in CRMs: This is a major mistake that leads to duplicate data in CRM tools. Often times, CRM tools need to be integrated with other software in the company, and this can lead to duplicate data in the CRM. It is a common mistake not to consider the type and characteristics of other software tools in a business before bringing them on board. Considering all of this will help with a good knowledge of integration and synchronization with the CRM tool. Also, sometimes a business can decide to use multiple CRM tools, and integrating them frequently leads to duplicate data. It is a good idea to employ proper technical know-how in the integration of CRM tools as this will reduce the possibility of repetitive data.
  2. Improper importation of data: Data is important in businesses and it is often gotten from multiple sources. Businesses scour for customers’ data from various parts of their operations and even from external sources. This often gets clumsy and messy, leading to duplicated data. There is no doubt that importation and sourcing of data is important in any business, however it needs to be done right. Importing from the wrong sources can lead to spams and duplicated data, and this is one very popular mistakes made in the CRM of several businesses.
  3. Improper Creation of subsidiary accounts: Whenever one is dealing with customer data, several accounts often need to be created. This helps in effectively understanding the customer and grouping them. One such accounts is the subsidiary account. The creation of this account is important, but getting it wrong often leads to duplicate data. When creating subsidiary accounts, there is often a common case of repeating existing customer information and saving them as a totally new customer. It is very paramount that people who are skilled with the CRM create these subsidiary accounts, as this process is one of the leading causes of duplicate data in the CRM of a business.
  4. Poor setup of CRM tools: As with many things, once you get the start all wrong, you will most likely bump into challenges later. This is no different in CRM tools, as poor setup often leads to duplicate data. It is important that you follow the instructions laid out by the developers of the CRM tools, otherwise one might get the setup totally wrong. Setting up CRM tools includes other processes such as setting of duplicate alerts. If the setup is bad, then the duplicate alerts could be affected, leading to an abundance of duplicate data without any way of detecting them.
  5. Infrequent Duplicate checks and not setting Duplicate alerts: There is a need to be proactive if one is looking to eliminate duplicate data in the CRM of a business. One such way of being proactive is by performing regular duplicate checks on data in your CRM tool. There is a reason why many CRM tools have duplicate checks and detectors. All of these are put in place for these software to automatically detect duplicate customer data. As a result, it is essential to perform duplicate checks at least once in a week, depending on the rate of new customer addition. Also, duplicate alerts will help notify your CRM team about the presence of duplications, and failure to set this up will definitely lead to the abundance of duplicate customer data.
  6. Poor arrangement and classification of data: A good arrangement and grouping of customer data in your CRM often reduces the possibility of data duplication. One very prevalent mistake that businesses make is the poor grouping of stored data. When data is clumsy, it is difficult to detect duplications. This means that it is important to have a standard method of storing, arranging and classifying customer data in CRM in order to reduce duplications.
  7. Lack of clean data policy in company: If a company does not take it upon itself to preach the need for clean data, then there is bound to be messy and duplicate data. Everyone in the company needs to be aware of the negative consequences of having duplicates, as well as trained on how to avoid them.

 

Conclusion

The penalties resulting from duplicates in CRM are often too severe for a business to bear. As can be seen, there are several widespread mistakes that lead to duplications in CRM. We have discussed seven of them here, helping you understand how they cause these duplications. With the insight provided here, you should be able to effectively avoid duplications in the CRM of your business.

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development company that builds custom mobile and web apps for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

Dedupely Vs. Five Alternatives For Deduping Your CRM

on December 31, 2017

We don’t have many competitors. That is, there aren’t too many other companies out there specializing in data deduplication.

However, we still do compete. I once heard a smart entrepreneur say “Your competition is the process your market uses outside of software”. We don’t compete with other companies or focus much on what they do. We do however have to compete against the rather old, outdated processes our customers use before using Dedupely.

Let’s cover a few data deduplication alternatives and why I’m convinced Dedupely is the best:

1. Google Sheets & CSVs (Export-Clean-Import)

You can remove duplicates with Google Sheets. This takes a bit of doing, but you can eventually end up with a cleaner CSV to import back into your CRM.

Pros

  • Totally free.
  • 100% power over match calculations.

Cons

  • May or may not be easy to merge multiple duplicates into one line, rather just removes the other duplicates.
  • You lose references to Notes, Tasks, Deals, Companies, etc. when importing back in.
  • Exporting and importing again takes a lot of extra time and work and often messes with your data.

2. Coders

Getting a coder to write deduplication scripts is one alternative I’ve seen a few companies use.

Access to powerful programming languages is abundant in this day and age. Hiring coders from Fiverr or UpWork can be fairly easy and inexpensive. You can even do this yourself if you are a tech-savvy person.

Pros

  • Get more control over your unique situation
  • Tweak and change things over time
  • Direct access to the API to avoid CSV imports/exports

Cons

  • Anything close to big data (more than a few thousand contacts) begins to require more computational power. You might need to invest in a better computer or server stack.
  • You need to get the coder to update things on a continual basis when you want to tweak how the deduplication scan works.
  • Building a deduplication script is not always simple, and paying a programmer can cost you > $20 an hour (especially programmers who know how to write powerful algorithms).

3. VAs (You outsource data deduping to)

Using a VA (Virtual Assistant) to manually dedupe is probably the most common alternative. Our first customer (back in 2014) did this before he switched to Dedupely.

Pros

  • Relatively cheap depending on your duplicates situation.
  • You don’t have to do it yourself.

Cons

  • Moral killer for the VA (I can safely say, no one likes spending hours deduplication contacts)
  • Can be costly depending how many duplicates you have and how often they enter your CRM
  • Can be very very slow. It takes time for humans to hunt down duplicates.

4. Other Data Cleansing Companies & Consultants

Yes, there are other companies out there that specialize in data cleansing and deduplication. They are few and in-between but you will find a few if you look hard enough.

I’ve noticed that most CRM deduplication companies only focus on the enterprise. Smaller cloud-CRMs are usually left in the dark. As such, pricing is much higher than smaller businesses or businesses, in general, can justify paying.

I’ve also noticed we are the only ones that cache your CRM data for faster results. Other software out there tends to only dedupe and scan via the API or CSVs, which can take months vs. taking a few hours.

One more point. I’ve seen a few companies who integrate deduplication features in their software. But it’s usually and afterthought and these companies don’t specialize, so it’s usually not very effective (at least from what I’ve heard from customers who have used these products)

So far, Dedupely is the only company solving this issue with a modern web model and giving access to the customer at a price that reflects the value.

5. DIY Manual Merges

The most mundane and hair-pulling method of deduplication is doing it yourself. This works great for small databases. But later, once you get integrated with forms, and other services, building a team, importing from other sources, this will drive you and your team absolutely nuts!

Searching for duplicates is the worst part. It takes hours to detect duplicates, then later find the matching duplicates. Some CRMs will only allow you to match two duplicates at a time. So this can take way more time and effort than you really care to put into it. Not to mention, you can’t say much about your productivity after you’ve spent 12 hours deduplicating your CRM instead of talking to customers or doing pretty much anything else in your business.

Now imagine you have hundreds of duplicates. A very quick task in Dedupely. One that takes possibly a few hours by hand. Not only that, what if you’re 3rd party integrations are causing duplicates on a daily basis? Do you really want to spend hours a week merging all that? Thousands of duplicates takes this eternal suffering to a whole new level. Now, you might as well just forget about it.

Doing it yourself is a possible alternative to Dedupely if you don’t have much data. We know that you probably don’t need Dedupely in that case. Once you grow, and your data starts taking on a life of its own, we’re here to help you handle that.

Why We Believe We’re Numer One

Before you start, think about the total investment. Most of these methods will cost you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and 10-20 hours plus of your time. Dedupely is made to save you time, and only starts at $29/mo (and goes up to a few hundred depending on the amount of data in your CRM). We estimate that you can save from 5x to 10x, in resources invested.

This shameless plug is to show you why we are convinced about what we do. Why we think our product is a 10x improvement over everything else out there. We’re sold, and we want your business.

Our team constantly keeps focused on the customer. This is why we added hundreds of new improvements and around a dozen new small features in 2017. We’re obsessed with serving our customer so our product is always a no-brainer.

If you do find a better alternative than Dedupely, tell us!