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Practical Projects for Pandemic Downtime: Database Cleanup and Maintenance

Category: Best Practices
Best Practices header

For some a crisis may result in incredibly busy periods; for others it may mean they actually have more time than usual. If you are currently working from home due to COVID-19, you may find yourself in both of these positions throughout the course of a week. Your clients may be more in need of your time than usual; at the same time, you’re likely engaged in fewer extracurricular activities and spending little to no time commuting.

If you do find that you currently have extra time that you would like to spend in an effort to improve the quality of your work life, your processes, etc., we’re offering this as the first in a series of posts we hope you’ll find useful. Maybe all of these ideas won’t apply to you; maybe you already practice some of them. Either way, if we can help you bolster any area of your business through any of these suggestions, that will be pandemic downtime well spent.

In this first post, we’ll offer some thoughts on database cleanup and maintenance.

Put Someone In Charge

Clean data and data consistency lie at the heart of your database’s integrity. That said, you need someone in your office who is primarily responsible for determining what your data best practices are.

database cleanup

One strategy we have worked with offices to institute is assigning a specific staff member as Database Director. A Database Director ensures consistency and thoroughness for all data being entered into the database. They enforce a style guide to ensure that database lists such as Note Categories are being used appropriately. They routinely monitor the Notes Dashboard to make sure notes are recorded accurately and consistently. Overall, they take a proactive rather than a reactive approach against bad data entry within the CRM.

In short, it’s common when we are always in motion to fall into some bad CRM habits when it comes to data. Over time, this will inevitably result in inconsistent, incorrect, or incomplete data. That might come in the form of outdated contact information, uncompleted activities that clutter up your calendar, or any number of other mistakes or oversights that keep us from utilizing Redtail CRM efficiently. Putting someone in charge to stay on top of the situation can help build good CRM habits that pay dividends both in terms of data integrity and time saved on clean up down the line.

Put Processes in Place to Facilitate Database Cleanup and Maintenance

  • Workflows

This may fall largely on the individual you’ve appointed as Database Director. Fortunately, there are tools they might use within Redtail to track and monitor those processes. Workflows can be used both to schedule routine database maintenance and cleanup as well as to spell out all of the specific steps involved.

Better yet, individual tasks within a Workflow can be assigned to other database users; this might prove useful if you have “repeat offenders” for specific types of data errors that need to be cleaned up. Cleaning up multiple instances of something that has been done incorrectly often has the desired effect of focusing the mind of those doing the cleanup on how to do something properly the first time.

  • Custom Exports

Some database cleanup projects can be best managed through the use of Custom Exports. These allow you to export the fields of your choice into a spreadsheet, where you can make any necessary edits, additions, or deletions. Then, you can send the spreadsheet to our Support Team, who can then take care of incorporating those changes into your CRM.

  • No Contact Report Review

This standard report within Redtail allows you to easily monitor which of your  contacts you’ve been in contact with, based upon either completed activities or notes entered for their record (or both), and filtered by the number of days of no contact you specify. This then presents you an opportunity to reach out to prospects who may not have heard from you in a while, but may now be more interested in your services.

Times of upheaval also sometimes open up natural opportunities for cross-selling. Your wealth management client may be more open to discussing insurance options now that we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic if they realize they have been under-insured.

The No Contact Report allows filtering by Contact Status and Category, as well as a handful of other filtering methods, which should make it easy both to find your prospects  who may now be amenable to your outreach as well as your clients who may need to explore other services you offer.

While the No Contact Report isn’t exactly a Database Cleanup tool in and of itself, it can serve as a great tool for one of the most satisfying database cleanup items you can undertake: changing a contact’s Status from “Prospect” to “Client.”

Put Your Cleanup Goals Into Practice

The upheaval that has resulted from COVID-19 may have had only a tiny effect on how you spend your work time, or it may have dramatically reshaped your days. In either case, seeking out ways to improve your practice is a good idea even when the world is humming along normally. If you’re interested in learning more about our recommendations for database cleanup, please visit the links below for further ideas:

How To Tackle Database Clean Up [34:58] – one of our recorded webinars on the topic

Custom Exporting documentation

No Contact Report documentation

Redtail Essentials: Reports [45:19] – one of our recorded webinars that dives deep on reports and conveys the importance of maintaining good data

How to Handle Contact Cleanup – a detailed look at multiple approaches for handling contact cleanup within Redtail CRM

Redtail dog with a headset

Posted by: Redtail Technology
About: Redtail Technology, Inc. is a leader in web-based Client Relationship Management solutions for financial advisors.