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Here at Carloan.com, we live at the interesting intersection between the consumer experience with automotive online marketing and the way that dealers work with those consumers who raise their hands.
That means that we've not only seen enough over the years to put together best practices for dealers, we've fielded our fair share of consumer complaints. People who've applied for a loan at Carloan.com but didn't talk to a dealer before a hard credit pull hit their credit report.
Besides "make contact quickly" and "sell the appointment", the best thing you can do is "don't pull credit first."
Think about it from the consumer's perspective. If they are not actively engaged with you and see a hard credit pull on their report with your dealership's name on it – and many of them will – they will interpret that as a fraudulent action on your part and potentially sue you. As far as they know, their finance application was compromised, and you are responsible.
Might sound far-fetched, but we’ve seen it happen.
Protect yourselves -- make sure you have a process in place and your staff is trained...and then keep an eye on it.
What are you doing right now to ensure that your team is handling consumer information properly?