There’s no doubt that customer relationship management (CRM) software can improve a waste management company’s performance. The software makes valuable customer data much more accessible, and CRM software is a proven driver of growth and customer satisfaction. Still, if the data entered into the system is disordered or incomplete, it can make a great solution less effective. Let’s examine how problems might arise and how you can keep your CRM data clean and relevant.

What Are The Essential Data Fields?

When setting up customer profiles, you’ll need to decide which data fields are essential. In most cases this means – at a minimum – their name, company name, address, email and phone number. Does your environmental waste service model require any other pertinent information? If so, make sure any imported data includes these fields as well.

Verify that sign up forms on your site include essential fields before implementing the forms. You can design forms that require complete information in order to be accepted and saved. This nearly eliminates new signups missing key data. Don’t overwhelm them with the number of essential fields, however, as this may discourage sign up.

Use Caution When Importing Data

CRM data import should be done with the utmost care. If you have a questionable data source, perform a quick audit before importing. For instance, if the import source fields do not match well with your CRM’s fields, it could lead to data being entered into inappropriate fields. The best fix in these situations is to trim the imported data down to essential elements. Don’t try to cut corners and force the import.

Data Format Matters

Besides the type of data, the format in which the data is delivered matters as well. In most cases, exporting and importing data is done via a .csv spreadsheet. Just because it’s in a .csv file doesn’t mean it will import correctly automatically. The file must align with your CRM requirements or else the data won’t match well.

For example, columns and headers must carry identical titles and the data must be presented in the same format, such as numbers, dates, plain text, percentages, dollar amounts, etc. Confirm this match before importing to avoid errors.

More Formatting Issues

When data is entered manually by staff, you want to be as consistent as possible. Even items like name capitalization, abbreviations and other punctuation/grammar issues can make a difference. It’s important to train your staff and keep everyone on the same page to keep the data uniform.

One good practice is to use long form address entries as people may abbreviate differently (e.g. is Avenue abbreviated Av. or Ave.?) If everything is consistent, it makes pulling out or exporting data easier in the future.

Filter Out Non-Valid Sign Ups

For a variety of reasons, people may create false accounts on your CRM platform. Perhaps they want to get free content, or they aren’t sure about subscribing. In any case, these ghost accounts produce clutter and reduce efficiency. The solution is to implement email or phone number validation measures to reduce the number of false signups. Also, it might be a good idea to add in reCAPTHCA authentication on your forms to prevent bot sign up activity.

Get Rid Of Duplicate and Inactive Accounts

It’s not uncommon for customers to have duplicate accounts. They might have changed their address, email or telephone, but instead of updating a primary account, a new one was added. This leads to confusion and wasted resources, so it pays to weed out duplicates.

If a customer account has gone inactive, maybe they are no longer a customer. If messages and emails are bouncing, they may have unsubscribed. Again, this dead data load leads to system inefficiencies. Make sure you verify then delete inactive accounts.

Use Notes, But Don’t Rely On Them

Many CRM platforms allow for notes to be added to a task or account. Although these fields can be helpful, use them sparingly. Make sure essential field data never gets put into the notes section. One way to avoid this error is proper training for those who enter/edit data in the system.

If someone hasn’t had prior training, they shouldn’t be touching the database. On the other hand, don’t go overboard with required fields as this discourages CRM use or invites people to look for messy shortcuts.

Task Consistently

If you’re using your CRM to manage tasks, make sure you keep task names the same. For example, on the sales dashboard, are you calling potential clients “Leads”, “Prospects”, or “Potential Clients”? This consistency keeps all team members on the same page. It also makes searching for results and following up easier.

Get A Waste Management Industry Specific CRM

If you subscribe to a one-size-fits-all CRM tool, you may discover that the functions don’t match your company needs. For instance, a waste industry CRM solution should be able to process:

  • New waste removal orders
  • Regulatory and OSHA documentation
  • Job status reports
  • Quote building
  • EPA reports and audits
  • Service life cycles
  • Waste Stream information
  • Waste profile generation
  • e-Manifest creation

If the CRM can’t address these needs, then you may end up cobbling together something that creates a chaotic database. If the CRM is designed from the start to meet industry needs, however, chances are the data will remain clean and orderly.

Make It Clear

As mentioned previously, training is important to maintain orderly CRM data. If needed, written manuals or digital presentations should be prepared. These materials also come in handy for on-boarding new employees. Clearly defined user workflows and data management processes can accelerate and improve the capture of information in a CRM.

It’s clear that a well prepared CRM training not only increases platform adoption, but it also improves data quality. Also, it’s important to schedule regular re-training sessions to remind users of best practices.

Looking for a world-class CRM platform for your environmental services company? Check out the PegEx Platform, CRM and business management software built specifically for the needs and workflow of waste management companies. Click here to request a FREE demo.

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