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It’ Complicated: Understanding Your Love-Hate Relationship With Data

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You’ve heard all the arguments. You’ve probably even joined in at times.

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Customer data is too overwhelming. It’s complicated. It’s too confusing, time-consuming and expensive.

If you’ve been a little hesitant to dive headfirst into piles of data, you’re not alone. Many dealership professionals see data as a frenemy — both friend and enemy. It all depends on the perceived level of complication and how that balances with the benefits they’ll gain in shopper insights, increased sales and happier customers. Most dealers know data will help them get to know their customers and better understand their needs but, without a strategy, data seems daunting.

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A Win-Win Opportunity

When you leverage the right information at the right time, you’ll make more sales and have more satisfied customers; it’s as simple as that. Transactions will be smoother, and you’ll be able to deliver exactly what shoppers are looking for — turning every interaction into an opportunity for shoppers and your dealership.Sure, the real-time information you leverage will help you make more sales. The added benefit, however, is that it also enhances the customer experience. You could decide to do any number of things to let customers know you’re focused on them, but why not first turn to the data you already have?

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Approach Data With Confidence

It’s time to kick your love-hate relationship with data to the curb. You need customer data to thrive in the modern marketplace, so it’s time to square your shoulders and confidently wrangle the data you have at your fingertips. Be sure to focus on individualized needs and zero in on intelligent insights that will help you provide targeted solutions for every customer:

Catch and release. In other words, only keep what you need. You have access to vast amounts of information, so don’t get distracted by things like shoe sizes, political affiliations or other non-essential tidbits about your customers. Sticking to what’s relevant will help your dealership sell more cars.

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Build existing relationships. You have a wealth of data on your already-existing customers. New leads are great, but don’t forget about those who’ve already chosen your dealership! Leverage the insights you have and IT’S COMPLICATED: Understanding Your Love-Hate Relationship With Data “Most dealers know data will help them get to know their customers and better understand their needs but, without a strategy, data seems daunting.” stay in touch with shoppers who may be back in market or looking to upgrade soon.

Don’t bury your head. Big data is here to stay, and if you haven’t been leveraging shopper intelligence to its fullest potential, it’s time to take the leap. It may seem like a big step, but you’ll soon see the impactful results of a data-driven approach.

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Build your toolbox. Invest in tools that facilitate collecting, organizing and accessing consumer data. Not only will you be empowering your team to make sales, you’ll ensure you have the most up-to-date and insightful information to help you reach customers when they’re in the best positions to buy. The future payoff is worth the investment.

Analyze and understand. Once you’ve gathered the data, it’s important to take time to figure out exactly what it means. What are consumers telling you with their behaviors? By aligning shopper needs with the objectives and goals of your dealership, you’ll ensure a positive outcome for everyone involved.

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It’s not as complicated as it seems. Data is there for you. It tells you the truth, never forgets the important stuff and always backs you up. It’s your friend, not your enemy. And when it comes down to it, successful dealerships know it’s here to stay. So go ahead and leverage valuable consumer insights to help you have the right conversations at precisely the right times. You’ll end up with happier customers and a healthier bottom line.

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