soffit installation siding companies hoffman estates hardie plank siding antioch james hardie siding fox lake vinyl siding installation .. Chicago Drug testing

How To Create A Data Capture Procedure Checklist For Your Small Business CRM Software

Fortunately one of the most common reasons cited for the high failure rate of CRM systems - poor data quality - is also one of the easiest to avoid. Your CRM software is only as good as the information it contains. As the old programmers motto goes 'garbage in, garbage out'.

So how can you avoid incomplete, incorrect, irrelevant or out-of-date and generally unfit-for-use data from permeating your CRM software?

You need to gather your key CRM users together and thrash out a DATA CAPTURE PROCEDURE document, defining the rules of use.

Spell out:

? Who has what rights to the system; who can Create, Insert, Modify or Delete records, assuming your software supports all these functions? Forward this information to your system administrator to action.

? Decide on a procedure to check for any duplicates before creating a record. Depending on what 'de-duping' or 'data scrubbing' features your system has, this might require some simple searches before starting a new record.

? Do you allow abbreviations or acronyms? For example: IBM, or I.B.M, or International Business Machines Inc. or Incorporated and so on. A policy on ensuring consistency of input will help to avoid duplications in future.

? Are records going to be created in Upper and Lower case and when are CAPS acceptable?

? By when do you expect records, notes and so on to be created or updated? Same day, on return to the office?

? Check to see whether your Postal Services have specific requirements. Ensure your data meets these criteria.

? Is the primary address of clients to be created as a postal or a physical address?

? Make sure everyone checks spellings if they are unsure and do not trust spellchecker! When in doubt, ask the client ? they'll respect that. Is it Clark with an 'e'; Shawn, Sean or Shaun? One certain way to get your mail binned is to spell someone's name incorrectly.

? Also confirm the kind of corporation e.g. LLC, Inc, PTY Ltd. and so on.

? Make rules for creating new profiles or User Definable Fields (UDF) (or whatever your specific CRM software calls them.) Place a lot of emphasis on this. Every time a new UDF is needed, it should first be approved. Otherwise duplicates will permeate your database e.g. Lead Source: Yellow Pages, YP, yelo pages.

? Ensure that email addresses are put in correctly. Basic but common mistake!

? Set up procedures, if not supported by your software, of how to create records from inbound emails.

? If applicable, are you going to use Mandatory/Forced fields?

You might as well address the issue of Backups while you are about it.

? Who is the responsible person for backing up your databases/s? Who covers for them when they are absent or unavailable?

? How frequently are backups to be done? Diarise!

? How are backups done e.g. by the Grandfather, Father, Son method.

? Ensure backups are made on good quality CD's or whatever format you are using. It's no good doing a backup, then finding on attempting a Restore that it doesn't work! It is also a good idea to copy backups onto more than one data format.

? Where are the backups to be stored?

? Are the backups secure? This is important for both security and practical reasons.

Once your Data Capture Procedure Document is finished, get everyone to sign it off as READ! As standard practice, ensure that document is handed to all new employees at your company. Refer back to this document for possible revision every three months or so.

Try this: select a couple of records - both good and bad - every week, to put on the overhead at staff meetings. Make sure you don't unduly embarrass anybody but watch this become the light-relief highlight of your meetings! People learn best when having fun!

What if your database is in one unholy mess?

Has the rot set in so deeply that your database needs a complete overhaul? Turn this seemingly insurmountable task into an opportunity to you. This is an excellent excuse to re-establish contact with your clients and let them know you care. You can always put lapses down to data crashes but tell them you have fixed the problem!

Importantly, help your staff understand what you need from the data to facilitate more accurate marketing and reporting and hence the success of your business and their careers.

By creating a sense of pride and ownership in the company database, you are nurturing the essential process of buy-in, necessary for the success of your CRM initiative. Don't compromise this critical tool by allowing your CRM software to be infected by inferior data.

About the Author: Perry Norgarb has specialized in Small Business CRM solutions for the last 15 years.

Contact him or find out more about CRM, Contact Management and other Sales Tracking software tips and solutions for small businesses at: http://www.smallbizcrm.com

You are free to re-publish this article as long as this bio box and copyright remain intact. ? 9 March, 2004.

In The News:

IT Strategy for Midsize Business: Microsoft vs. Java, Great Plains & CRM

Midsize business or non-profit organization should decide if one-vendor solution... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Furniture & Fixtures ? Implementation & Customization Highlights

Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Software Dynamics / eEnterprise... Read More

The True Meaning of Freeware

The vast majority of us will have, at some point,... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Customization and Development ? Overview for Programmer

When Great Plains Software was designing and developing Great Plains... Read More

Twelve Things You Should Know to Save on Computer Software

Do you want to get quality software at a reasonable... Read More

Groove Network. Are you in it?

If you are in a business that passes documents around... Read More

Change Your Word Docs in Record Time!

Anyone who has ever used Microsoft Word knows that it... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains - Typical Problems And Fixes ? Overview For IT Administrators

How to delete the user? This is the first problem... Read More

Adware and Spyware Blockers

The most important things you can do for your computer... Read More

Five Reasons for Using an O/R Mapping Tool

So, why should you use any O/R mapping tool? I... Read More

Best Practices In Choosing Network Monitoring Software

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Hawaii (HMSA) found itself... Read More

25 Things Mapping Software Can Do For You

1. With mapping software you can create a report that... Read More

Lowering The Risks In Developing Do-It-Yourself Software Projects

Mike Dunville* had a decision to make. As the new... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Middle East - Arabic Language Support

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is marketed for mid-size companies... Read More

Information Products: A Business Owners Best Friend

We live in a post-industrial age where information is the... Read More

Linux Dual Boot-How To Format

Just the thought of a duel-boot scares many people away,... Read More

C++ Tutorials: 3, Program Flow (If, Else, While, For)

Program Flow is what you think it is. How the... Read More

Managing Stress in the Computer Industry - Five Steps to a Stress-free Life

It would be easy to think, like most people apparently... Read More

20 Extra Hours Per Week: What Would You Do?

While I was in college, if you would have asked... Read More

Groupware and Online Collaboration: Collaboration Series #4

This article is the fourth of a series of articles... Read More

IT Department Skills to Support Microsoft Great Plains and Microsoft CRM

Microsoft Great Plains as ERP and Microsoft CRM as... Read More

SyncUp ? A File/Folder Synchronizer For Windows

SyncUp, a file synchronizer is designed to assist the home... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Integration Manager ? Advanced Techniques

Great Plains Integration Manager scripting and translation - overview for... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Upgrade ? Things to Consider and FAQ

If you have Microsoft Great Plains and support it for... Read More

Linux vs Windows Operating Systems

With so many Microsoft Windows related viruses, errors, and other... Read More

led bulbs street lights design Pete's produce ..
led bulbs street lights design Pete's produce ..