A Halloween haunted house isn’t the only place you might find frightening. Something scary lingers in a dealership operation: double entry.
Data double entry can be ghostlike. Many dealers understand it is haunting their business. Maybe software platforms aren’t integrated or processes aren’t quite right.
But many dealers fail to recognize how double entry is wreaking havoc on all areas of their business, including processes, culture and customers. The time wasted reentering and correcting customer data in dealership software platforms is downright scary.
Bad data costs the U.S. economy more than $3.1 trillion a year, and on average, 12% of revenue is lost due to inaccurate data. For dealerships, that cost comes in the form of both money wasted (think sending two mailers to the same person) and opportunity lost.
Marketing often is hard-hit by bad data. Nearly a third of sales and marketing data is unusable. If a third of the contacts in a marketing database is incorrect, a third of your marketing spend essentially is going down the drain.
Solving the Problem
There’s good news, though. Double-entry issues can be fixed. But it requires a commitment to being proactive. In today’s post-peak market, dealers can no longer put a bandage on problems that bubble up.
Today’s most successful dealers are proactively identifying and eliminating barriers to efficiency, such as double entry, and they’re seeing bottom-line results.
Get started with these three steps.
First, identify the specific moments in the dealership processes where time-consuming double entry is taking place. It can feel overwhelming to attack such a widespread issue, but once you identify the specific problem areas, solutions often present themselves.
One way to identify these issues is to track the amount of time spent entering data across the dealership. Those numbers often will highlight problem areas.
The gaps causing the most impact usually involve software integration and processes.
With every additional data entry point comes the possibility for errors, some costly. Choosing software platforms that speak to each other – or even just activating the integrations available in the platforms in use already – can eliminate most of those chances for error.
By eliminating entry points with integration, you’re also streamlining processes, giving salespeople more time to do other things.
Customers also benefit from software integration. The top car-buyer frustration is the time it takes to make the purchase. More than 40% customers are frustrated by that, according to IHS Automotive’s Buyer Influence Study. Eliminating double entry decreases the buying time. With only 90 minutes before customer satisfaction begins to nosedive, 20 minutes saved by implementing integrated software makes a big difference.
Sometimes double entry is the result of imperfect processes, whether overly complicated, unclear or inconsistent. Employees may not even know they are doing extra work and accordingly causing a poor customer experience.
Providing clear and consistent processes will point out inefficiencies – such as asking customers for the same information over and over again – and empower employees to correct them.
Standardizing the process for collecting customer data, including what you collect and how you collect it, will foster overall database accuracy.
Standardization of processes makes it easier for employees to follow them. When employees know what to expect and what is expected of them, they can more easily fall into a routine that results in time savings and increased accuracy.
Take these three steps and you’ll be on your way to escaping death by double entry and enjoying a happy Halloween.
Mo Zahabi is the director of sales and product consulting at VinSolutions, a Cox Automotive brand, which integrates systems and tools to deliver a single view of the customer across a dealership.