No matter which CRM you use, duplicate contacts are always a common problem. One that’s not very easy to solve. At least, not without extra time and effort.
Bad data is bad for business. Studies show that businesses are leaking 20% of their revenue due to poor data.
Almost all CRM users run into this problem at some point. I want to cover a few points that uncover the hidden costs of duplicate contact data on your business.
Incomplete Contact Profiles, Missed Opportunities & Woops!
With teams of sales reps, duplicates are much more dangerous.
If you have one contact with a note about a sales call, and the next sales rep pulls up the contact later, but instead of the original, clicks on one of its duplicates, the previous sales call isn’t seen in the duplicate.
At this point, the sales team members are no longer in sync with each other. This can get tricky, even if you have one person in your sales team. Forgetting who you just contacted can be embarising. You might end up looking really silly for following up with the same lead twice, after realizing you contacted them, and they told you to call them in a month. You would have known this by reading the notes. Only problem being, that the note was attached to another duplicate.
Another example of this is incorrectly tagging contacts. If you use tags to track where your leads are in the funnel you might be calling to sell a duplicate lead with the tag “Signed up for trial” where another duplicate has the tag “Paid customer”. Same person, two different records with conflicting, critical, information.
At the end of the day, you don’t want these scenarios to happen. They not only make your company look bad, but they totally undermined your customer and make them feel like your company doesn’t care or isn’t paying attention.
With all of this data parted through multiple duplicates, opportunities are hard to keep on top of without spending much more time hunting and searching through all the data. For some companies with 10s of thousands of contacts, this can be virtually impossible.
Duplicate Data Means Everyone’s Wastes More Time
Not only does duplicate records hurt your company image and your relationship with customers, it also poses a productivity issue.
You’ve probably trained your team on how to prevent and handle duplicate data when they run into it. The problem is, this extra work slows down the entire team and makes them do work they’re not getting paid to do: data entry.
The team has to constantly be alert for duplicates, hurting their performance in what they should really be focusing on, delivering for your customer.
They have to eventually spend hours searching, merging and fixing broken data in the CRM. After months, this could result in tens of hours of lost productivity.
This affects employees jobs, and the level of ability they can bring to the table every day.
A Problem Few Solve
Why is such a simple problem so hard to solve? Why don’t CRMs include contact de-duping natively?
This is a question a lot of people ask. The answer is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that works well enough to make this completely go away.
Nimble does it’s best to de-dupe contact data on imports. And when you add a new contact, it will find the closest match. However, less obvious duplicates still slip in through social media syncs, manual updates and in incorrect CSV imports.
Most CRMs, including Nimble, can’t reliably de-dupe your contacts 100% and give you the same kind of flexibility it currently does.
For larger businesses, duplicate customer data is an invitable loss. One that can only be reduced to the point where it costs too much, or takes too much time, to continue.
For smaller businesses it’s easier to fix. However, it will still take some doing and everyone’s cooperation to reduce and prevent bad data.
A Solution Fixing The Problem
I’ve been developing Dedupely, a platform to de-duplicate Nimble contacts in bulk. This won’t completely free you of duplicate data forever, but it will reduce the number of duplicates you have by a great deal.
Dedupely runs processes in the background twice and hour to analyze your contact data and find duplicates. Once is finds the duplicates, it runs a merge, saving you and your team a ton of work and time.
Dedupely also shows you a list of all your contacts that were merged, so you get an idea of which duplicates were found.
Go here to the Nimble App Marketplace to integrate Dedupely with your Nimble account.