CRM Maintenance Needs

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: February 23, 2011

Most businesses have implemented a professional system for customer relationship management. They use it to provide customer support, as well as organize their sales and marketing departments. The system needs to be continually maintained, however, in order to properly ensure quality of service. If a major server should go down or important piece of software fail to run, the company could lose its ability to interact with the public.

Maintaining your CRM

Data Backup

You will want to back up your data at least once a week (daily is generally considered a better choice). This can be done in-house, though transferring the data to an off-site location will provide your business with additional protection from fire, floods, and natural disasters. This may even be a good idea if you are using a web-based vendor - there is always the possibility the company will go out of business and take your data with them.

Authentication

You should also have multiple levels of authentication that change on a regular basis. The administrator will want to distribute new logins and passwords at set intervals and make sure they are not written down anywhere. A role-based login verification system is also suggested. This will help to protect the security of your CRM system and prevent a hacker or cyber-criminal from compromising any data.

Software Updates

Another important part of CRM maintenance is making sure all of the computer software is up to date. You will want to run any recent patches that have come out and update the drivers to their latest versions. You should also keep a constant look out for security fixes to the operating system. Failure to do so could result in the computers crashing at an inopportune time and data being lost.

Technical Maintenance

Technical maintenance will be necessary if the hardware for your CRM system is located on the premises. Your company will need to regularly examine the computer equipment, switch out old wiring, and remove any dust that has accumulated. You may also want to run stress tests on the computers each week. If your business is using a web-based solution, this type of maintenance is generally left for the hosting company to perform.

Data Cleanup

You will also want to perform data cleanup on your computers whenever possible. Corrupt records in the CRM database can slow down your system and provide inaccurate information to employees. You should parse the data for syntax errors, normalize numeric values, and remove any duplicate files that exist. It’s additionally a good idea to optimize the database indexes.

Overall, the most important thing is to make sure that the maintenance is performed on a regular basis. Customer relationship management is a major part of the business world, and all it takes is one piece of equipment to malfunction for the whole system to be compromised. Proper maintenance can help to reduce this danger and ensure that your data is kept safe.

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