or LinkedIn here uk.linkedin.com/pub/tony-smith-bsc-hons-acih/a/979/351/
On compiling some functional requirements for a CRM module, one request was, a means of preventing duplicate entry of contacts. Isn't that the holy grail?
Everyone I know is plagued by duplicate contacts in their systems. Some are converted there, when a an independent lettings waiting list meets rent account households, in a new system. In a general sense many are just plugged in there without thought by your customer service team.
I have heard some people say, "Why does that matter to me". Why is it a problem?
Well, it's bad for your organisation, clearly wasting time and money in a whole number of hidden ways. There might be a whole raft of contact numbers, but is that on the most recent or most accurate contact? How much time might it take an arrears team member to try all five numbers, to locate the only half decent one, on the third version of the contact? Are you feeling my pain yet?
Duplicate contacts cause incorrect communication and makes your organisation look unprofessional. As the problem gets worse, it becomes an even bigger mountain to climb. How much time must be set aside for sorting out such a problem? It's not surprising that so many organisations just live with it.
Shouldn't suppliers be helping us on two fronts. One to stop us getting those duplicates in, at the front of the process and helping us de-duplicate them, once muppets have managed to get them in? Some CRM systems allow restrictions to empower only certain users to be able to add contacts. That puts a gate-keeper at the door, but would that work practically? Well it would slow a lot of people down.
De-dup tools are frequently on supplier roadmaps but rarely seem to effectively surface in reality. Tools to restrict new contacts by comparing surname, DOB and initial, with cross-checks possible on NI Number or other data, seem to be the best we can do. Managers obviously need to enforce these checks too.
I have done quite a few pieces of work to help people track and address poor and duplicate data. In many cases, once a great deal of data cleansing has taken place, it helps focus minds if some exception reports are created, that take the errors, straight back to the source. If a user is entering tenant or joint tenant contacts who are aged under 16, give it back to them to correct.
They won't like it, but after they have had a few hundred to fix, they will be 'on the bus', I promise you.
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Related Post: Is your organisation superfly? Have they discovered the power of drones yet?
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Ian Hunter - Seeing Double.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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