Imagine this: you walk into a clothing store and instead of browsing the shop’s neatly stacked shelves and displays, you now have to sort through a giant pile of clothing to explore the store’s inventory.

Now, imagine that same level of chaos and disarray taking over your dealership’s first-party data. Instead of being able to easily sort and filter your data, you are forced to dig through piles of messy, unsorted, outdated information to try and find what you are looking for. It’s easy enough to imagine how that level of disarray can cause confusion, slow down processes, and even lead to costly mistakes.

With the right data governance and hygiene practices in place at your dealership, you can keep your first-party customer data clean, organized, and accurate, allowing you to confidently use your data in building customer loyalty and improving dealership operations.

Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can create and maintain data hygiene at your dealership.

Implement Data Governance Policies and Procedures

The best way to get started is to implement a set of rules and policies around how your dealership handles its data.

A comprehensive data governance policy should include:

  • Policies and procedures for maintaining your data quality and hygiene including data entry protocols.
  • A clear outline of who at your dealership can and should have access to customer data. By limiting who can access the data, you can reduce the number of errors made.
  • A strict data retention policy that specifies how long data should be kept and for what purposes, and to dispose of data that is no longer needed.
  • A comprehensive plan of action in case any unauthorized access is detected at your dealership.

Once you have a clear policy in place, you can then train your team on those procedures to ensure everyone is on the same page. It is highly recommended to have regular check-ins and training sessions to ensure policy is being followed across the board in order to fully maintain data hygiene.

Create a Cross-Departmental Data Maintenance Team

Creating and implementing a comprehensive data governance policy takes time and effort but, for many dealerships, the most difficult part is maintaining it. You may want to consider forming a data governance team within your staff and to have them build, implement and enforce the data policies at your dealership.

Ideally the team should be composed of employees from different departments, for example, your marketing, sales, and service teams. By creating a dedicated data maintenance team across departments, you can improve internal communication and collaboration and ensure the entirety of your team is aligned on the necessity of data hygiene.

The team would be responsible for:

  • Creating a cross-departmental data maintenance policy at your dealership.
  • Implementing the policy and ensuring it is followed by all team members with data access.
  • Ensuring your dealership has the right tools in place to maintain the required levels of data security.
  • Educating all staff with data access on the protocols and procedures of data entry and maintenance.
  • Creating a calendar for regular review sessions of the implemented policies.

Good data hygiene requires everyone to get onboard. Cross-departmental collaboration and education is a good way to motivate and encourage people to comply with procedure.

Stay Up to Date on Data Privacy Regulations

One of the most important things you need to do when maintaining your dealership data is to ensure your policies are closely adhering to the rules and regulations put in place by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

If your dealership, like most, handles any sort of financing or leasing options for your customers, you are considered a financial institution by the FTC and are required to comply with their Safeguard Rules. This essentially means that dealerships must communicate to their customers how they share and store sensitive data, inform customers of their right to opt-out if they prefer that their personal data not be shared with third parties, and apply specific protections to private customer data in accordance with a written information security plan created by the dealership.

While it may feel overwhelming, compliance with governmental data security and privacy laws is an absolute must for your dealership. Failing to comply with these regulations could land your dealership in hot water with the FTC and may result in hefty fines. Read more about the FTC regulations and requirements here.

Regularly Audit and Clean Your Data

In order to ensure your data stays clean, you need to implement a regular review process where you update your customer information. This includes making sure all customer contact information, such as email addresses and phone numbers, is accurate and up-to-date. This process, while somewhat tedious, will help ensure that your dealership can effectively reach out to customers and that communications are not sent to incorrect or outdated contact information.

Additionally, you will need to implement a process for regularly checking for and removing duplicate customer records from your CRM to ensure that your dealership’s customer database is as accurate and complete as possible.

Select the Right Data Management Tools

You likely have multiple data management tools in place at your dealership including your DMS, CRM, website data, and third-party analytic tools. If you are looking to create and maintain excellent data hygiene, you may want to consider incorporating a Customer Data Platform (CDP) or a Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP) at your dealership.

Rather than rely on human intervention, CDXPs use powerful AI technology to consolidate your dealership’s siloed data sources, eliminate duplicate information, and build clear pictures of your customers so you can then orchestrate your data to create effective marketing campaigns and make data backed business decisions for your dealership.

CDXPs also assume the role of data hygiene maintenance at your dealership, eliminating the need for manual or human intervention. CDXPs use identity resolution technology to track your customers across all digital contact points and identify multiple leads as the same person. The technology then takes the duplicate leads and combines their information in order to create a singular, 360° view of your customer so you can properly track their customer journey.

Maintaining Dealership Data Hygiene with AutoLeadStar’s CDXP

If the process of cleaning and maintaining your data sounds overwhelming, we have good news for you: AutoLeadStar’s CDXP can take care of it for you.

AutoLeadStar’s CDXP provides dealers with best-in-class AI powered technology to unify and normalize first-party dealership data, eliminating duplicate leads to create clear, consolidated shopper journeys in real time. After unifying and normalizing your first-party data sources, AutoLeadStar’s CDXP layers AI-powered marketing technology on top of your clean data layer to orchestrate hyper-personalized shopper experiences and marketing campaigns that drive leads and increase dealership revenues.

Ready to implement the top standards of data maintenance and security at your dealership? Reach out to us at get.started@autoleadstar.com.