Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the Contact Center: Maintaining Data Quality – Second in Series

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How do Contact Centers avoid the creation of duplicate data in their Microsoft CRM System, particularly when they have multiple Agents entering data and hundreds, or even thousands, of customers contacting them daily? The answer is to implement best practices and governance around maintaining your data.

It is impossible to avoid the human factor when discussing data entry.  A simple name like “Daniel Smith” could be entered four different ways by four different Agents. For example: D. Smith, Dan Smith, Daniel Smith or Dan Smithe.  Or worse, the same Daniel Smith could already exist in your system with more complete and accurate data and now you have a duplicate. Now multiply this by the hundreds of records created in your system on a daily basis and maintenance can seem extremely overwhelming. However, you can overcome many of these challenges by employing some simple techniques which include a combination of best practices and technology checkpoints.

 Most Contact Centers invest a considerable amount of effort building and maintaining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and robust Training Programs for employees.  Balancing training with both the "how" and "why" following specific guidelines are so critical to your business.  Weave the importance of complete and accurate data collection throughout all facets of training. For example: educate Agents to capture the customer’s phone number during the initial conversation. This will ensure when that same customer contacts you in the future the system can perform an automated database look up, by phone number, to retrieve the original record ultimately preventing the creation of a duplicate.

 Similarly, most Contact Centers have in place a well-defined Quality Monitoring Program , also known as call monitoring and recording. This program is typically leveraged to identify and highlight additional Agent training opportunities.  Consider including data quality capture in this process. Many Quality Monitoring software programs provide Agent screen flow and data capture in conjunction with voice. You can then use this metric as an additional incentive and Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

 Lastly, ensure that your CRM Administrator is taking a proactive role with data quality. They should be actively cleaning up records flagged for deletion as well as merging duplicate records on a frequent basis - weekly or monthly. You can also purchase lists or services to append your data from companies like Trillium, Dunn and Bradstreet or National Change of Address (NCOA).  These services allow you to match addresses on key demographics, data matches defined by confidence ratings (how many data fields match both their record and your record in CRM). You can also set thresholds where data automatically gets appended based on the confidence rating. To keep a history of all changes made in CRM, simply create a flag on the MS CRM record to indicate when the address was changed and by whom. In this case the "whom" would be your purchased list provider.

  by: Denise Henke, Customer Effective

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