Whether you’re running a small, local business or a national company, a customer database will be vital to your business operations. A neatly organised and well-maintained customer database will allow you to keep records of your customers’ contact information, help to encourage repeat customers and also allow you to check sales information and create bespoke offers and marketing campaigns targeted directly at them.

However, it’s important that your customer database is secure but also that it is kept up to date with the correct information. If a customer moves, gets a new phone or starts using a new email address and you’re still using their old information, you could be missing out on potential sales and future profit. We’ve put together a helpful little article on how data cleansing can be used to help your business. Take a look below at our advice.

What Is Data Cleansing?

Before we get stuck in, let’s take a quick look at what we mean by data cleansing. Data cleansing, which is also sometimes called data scrubbing, is the process of editing, deleting and updating information in a database. This is done using special data cleansing tools and software to identify and in some cases to update incorrect data. Using a data cleansing tool is a great way of saving your business time and money when it comes to updating your customer database.

Have You Got The Right Number?

If your business relies on telemarketing or contacting and keeping in touch with clients on the phone, then you’ll know how important it is to have the right telephone number. Having an incorrect number in your database could mean missed sales opportunities and losing touch with valuable customers. Worse still, you could end up on the phone with someone who is not a customer.

Whether you need to check mobile numbers or landlines, data cleansing services can be used to help you save time and money instead of calling dead or incorrect numbers. This is done by carrying out what is sometimes known as a “sniff test” which will check if the phone is active without disturbing the user. A good data cleansing service will then generate a detailed report of all numbers that have been checked. This will include information on which numbers are in service or have been changed.

Email Address Not Found?

If your emails aren’t getting sent or bounce back, data cleansing can also help you check whether the email information in your customer database is correct. This is usually done through a three-step process:

1 – Checking email formatting. This will check if the email addresses in your database are using the correct syntax. If an email address has been recorded incorrectly, this will be flagged up by the report at the end of the process.

2 – Configuration. Even if the email addresses in your database are using a correct format, they may not have been set up correctly. This step checks whether the email domain has been configured to accept emails. If not, this will be flagged up as an invalid address in the final report.

3 – An SMTP Check. An SMTP check tests the email address and email server for any issues and also checks if these exist. If not, this means that emails to these addresses in your database are undeliverable and will be marked as such in the report.

Once these checks have been completed for every address in your customer database, you should then receive a detailed report. This will include notes against all email addresses that are working correctly, as well as any that are invalid and undeliverable. You can then use this information to tidy up your customer database.

Enhance Your Data & Your Business

Data cleansing is a great way for identifying incorrect phone numbers, email addresses and other vital customer information. This is a helpful way of tidying up your customer database and identifying any incorrect information that may need updating or ignoring. This is just one benefit of data cleansing.

Having a professional company such as Selectabase carry out data cleansing on your customer database can also help save you time and money in other areas. You can use this to refine and enhance the information that you have. For example, having a clear and tidy customer database can make it easier to identify inactive or unresponsive customers. You can also use your freshly cleansed database to better identify repeat customers and create new marketing campaigns.