There are two kinds of data people – those who love it and those who mostly ignore it. I’m on the “data love train.” I absolutely love it. In some respects, it’s kind of like a superpower, wanting to know everything, and having a desire to use the power of data for good. I urge you to join the ride.

We’ve all had a conversation with someone who conjured data to make themselves sound smarter. Fortunately, there’s only a small sector who manufacture data. Now that data influences most of our lives, we’ve moved past the “impressions” phase of deceptive data.

So, What Data Matters?

There is some game-changing data out there! Understanding this fact is vital. What matters most
is attracting quality customers to your service drive, delivering excellent service, and following up with each customer. You want to build trust, reinforce a positive message with great experiences, and ultimately achieve that all-important loyalty. Data for data’s sake is useless and a waste of time. However, data that drives business and builds loyalty? Now that’s the stuff that hits the financial statement.

We need data that matters. Is it important to know how many people viewed your ad on a website? No, if that’s all there is. Rather, what if you could specifically target nearly every person who drives your brand within 10 miles (or more) of your dealership? What if you could get hundreds of people to click on a link to set a service appointment, and have over 95% of those actually set an appointment? What if over 70% of those who made an appointment actually showed up? What if all this data could be easily tracked and measured? Yes, that’s the kind of intel we can use. That’s the kind of data we can build our service drive on.

“I urge you to join the ride.”

The service and parts business is a billion-dollar industry, and that’s because a growing number
of vehicles are on the road more than 10 years. More people genuinely want to build long-term relationships with those with whom they do business. And, they WILL be buying another car. Don’t you want to get them and keep them in your service drive?

Using the Data the Right Way

We know there’s a wealth of information out there. We just have to ask ourselves, “What do I wish I knew?” Data gives everyone the same competitive edge. Every dealer in the U.S. has access to the same data you do. So it’s not about having the data – it’s more about knowing what data to access and using it in a way that grows your business.

For some people, it will be important to find someone to help them take that dive into data – someone who knows how to fish that pond and who can be trusted to throw in the right bait.

If that’s you, here’s your action item: Find another fellow “data geek” at your dealership or hire someone in-house to make this happen. You might have to find a vendor for the job, someone who knows their stuff and whom you can trust. It doesn’t matter – what’s important is to get a data slayer on board to help.

If you choose the right person, you will be impressed with the results, even if you just grin, ever so slightly and play it cool. Make sure you have some affirmative words for the data master you were so smart to hire.

Once you’ve done that, equip your team for success by setting reasonable budgets, give them focus points (i.e., growing service appointments, etc.), make sure you train them extensively, give them room to work, and then let them show you what they can do.

“It takes people to connect with other people.”

Never forget that data is just a “thing” – it takes people to connect with other people. It is vitally important to have exceptional customer service, and good, honest help in the service drive. Processes to follow up with and retain your customers also really matters.

Data influences the service drive, not just from the first greeting (the digital one where they check your Facebook page for reviews) but through the physical reception, too. All of this combines to create a loyal lifetime of servicing and purchasing vehicles from your dealership.