Just about all companies rely on electronic data these days, but not all companies can quickly and easily access their data. Here are a few of the common mistakes that I see frequently.
Some companies keep their data in text documents, overwriting the existing data each time something changes. This is fast and convenient, but doesn’t allow you to view historical information. What if the customer says that you previously offered them a lower price – can you prove that, or do you have to take their word for it?
Some companies keep their historical data, but don’t have an effective system for retrieving that data. They may have database tools that don’t allow easy searching and filtering, or they might store their data in folders without a consistent naming scheme. Can you find the information you need when you need it?
Some companies have FABULOUS employees who know EVERYTHING! But key pieces of the puzzle are kept in their heads instead of being written down somewhere. Do you have a panic attack when someone announces they are leaving the company? What if someone has to take a sudden and unexpected medical leave – can someone else do the job?
If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, you are not effectively managing your data. We live in a fast-paced society today where people expect you to have information available at the touch of a button. Only a few years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to tell a caller that you’d gather information and call them back the next day. But today, your callers expect you to nearly always have details available at your fingertips.
You might be thinking:
Can’t people just be more patient? Well, they could be. But the problem is: they don’t have to be. If you can’t provide the information they want immediately, you open the door for them to think: maybe someone else can do the job, and maybe they can get me faster answers. Do you want them sniffing around to see what other options they have?
The heart of the matter is trust. When your customers call and you can quickly and confidently provide the answers they are looking for, it builds confidence in your company and your staff. When you can’t, it makes them wonder if you’re really on top of your game. That’s why you need to have effective systems for storing and retrieving your data. That’s why you need to protect the integrity of your data, making sure it’s accurate and up-to-date.
Where are the holes in your systems? Maintaining accurate and easily accessible data needs to be a priority for any business that is dependent on satisfied customers. If your systems aren’t flowing smoothly and consistently, it might be time to rethink them. That’s where we come in. We can analyze your systems, suggest procedures to improve the flow, document your processes, and design or revise your databases to support your business.
Not sure where to start? North Port Solutions can provide you with a free evaluation to get the ball rolling. Email me at email@example.com, or call 978-582-9550.
About the Author
Kimberlee Martin is the owner of North Port Solutions and has 30 years of business experience. She's worked with several programming languages and database tools over the years, with her favorites being Microsoft Excel VBA, SQL Server, and Visual C#. Her passion is helping small businesses gain insights into their business with effective reporting and data management.
Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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