Here's why clean data is critical for your call center:
Dangers of Dirty Data
Dirty datasets can include duplicated, incomplete, outdated, and non-compliant information. Data might become "dirty" if you don't update call lists or databases or incorrectly move customer data from one location to another.
The biggest danger of dirty data is that it wastes agents' time. Imagine a rep uses a call list containing incomplete and out-of-date information. That rep might not be able to contact a customer — if the list has an old phone number, for example — which can slow down sales processes and result in lost revenue.
Now imagine a rep wants to build a profile about a customer and learn their interests, demographic information, and previous purchasing histories. If data is incomplete or inconsistent in a database, there's no way the rep can profile the customer before phoning them. The rep will waste time asking the customer to update their information, which can cause frustration and result in missed selling opportunities.
Another problem with dirty data is data governance. The accuracy of personal data is a tenant of GDPR, for example — a piece of legislation that governs outbound call centers that contact customers in the European Union, European Economic Area, and the United Kingdom. The GDPR states that businesses must take every reasonable step to erase or rectify incomplete and inaccurate data or face expensive penalties that could total up to 10 million Euros.
Other data governance frameworks like CCPA and HIPAA (for outbound marketing companies specializing in healthcare products) also emphasize the importance of clean and accurate data, making data hygiene more important than ever before.
How to Improve Data Hygiene in Your Call Center
You must remove dirty data from your call center for operations to run smoothly. Data hygiene helps you do this. It differs from data cleansing, which is more of a one-time fix for duplicated, inaccurate, and inconsistent data sets. Data hygiene is a long-term strategy that involves monitoring data sets for inaccuracies, inefficiencies, and anomalies.
Here are some specific ways to improve long-term data hygiene:
Scrub Call Lists
Scrubbing call lists means removing internal opt-out numbers and duplicated leads and numbers on the Do Not Call Registry (DNC). That provides agents with more reliable data when calling outbound numbers, helping them reach sales targets. Scrubbing lists also prevents agents from pestering uninterested consumers (by calling the wrong phone numbers, for example).
Reassign Number Database
When a consumer changes their number, the new number might end up in the Reassign Number Database (RND). You can check this database to ensure numbers on lists are accurate and not assigned to new customers. That helps agents reach the right customers and move them through their sales and marketing funnels.
You must comply with the DNC, which contains the names and numbers of consumers who don't want to be contacted by marketing companies. Companies that don't abide by DNC principles can receive fines of up to $43,792 per call — an expense most outbound call centers can't afford.
You should also adhere to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which lists various rules for call compliance for companies like yours. For example, you can't call a customer before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. in the customer's timezone.
Update Your CRM
Don't forget to update contacts on your CRM system. Your CRM and call lists should contain the same contact information to ensure seamless sales pipelines.
Also, apply data hygiene principles to other outbound marketing software, such as analytics tools and email marketing automation programs.
Integrate Software for Better Data Hygiene
One of the best ways to enhance data hygiene is by integrating software such as CRMs, predictive dialers, preview dialers, and other outbound marketing tools. Integration ensures agents have the most accurate and up-to-date information across all platforms.
Data integration tools can save you time when integrating data. Tools that use an integration process called Extract, Transfer, Load (ETL), for example, can move data between sources to a centralized location like a data warehouse, enabling you to store and analyze data in one place.
Work With Trusted Carriers
The FCC's STIR/SHAKEN principles stress the importance of working with compliant phone carriers. Your call center needs calls to receive the highest attestation rating (A) to compete with industry rivals, and working with STIR/SHAKEN-compliant carriers can help you achieve this goal.
Robocall Mitigation Database
You can also check the FCC's Robocall Mitigation Database to ensure voice service providers abide by the correct compliance practices. The database requires providers to certify whether and how they implement STIR/SHAKEN principles to protect consumers from illegal spam calls.
Do Not Originate Registry
Add inbound numbers to the Do Not Originate Registry. Doing so allows carriers to recognize discrepancies if scammers spoof those numbers, helping you maintain your business reputation. Carriers can identify spoofed business numbers and notify a company of potential threats.
Further Tips for Phone Number Hygiene
Dirty data can result in inaccurate and outdated phone numbers winding up on call lists. That can result in problems like calling the wrong consumers, receiving carriers flagging, or even blocking numbers. These steps will keep your numbers safe and improve your dialing reputation:
- Scan Numbers: Frequently scan numbers for flags.
- Identify Flags: Discover why and how numbers were flagged.
- Remediate Problems: Update dialing practices to ensure numbers do not receive flags in the future.
- Redress with Carriers: Contact carriers and/or analytics engines to redress flagged numbers.
Investing in Data Hygiene
Clean data is a critical concept for outbound call centers. Investing in data hygiene ensures all data in your organization is up-to-date, accurate, and compliant with data governance regulations. You can also guarantee agents reach the right consumers on the right phone numbers and improve day-to-day sales tasks.