The DMS is the main house that stores all of your customer's information. Information that is used by all of the vendors you work with. Yet, the most important tool - the DMS - is mostly managed and left to the devices of your employees. It is essential that they understand what their role is in managing, and updating customer accounts. Here are some tips and suggestions in how your service advisors might actually be hurting your lifeline, the DMS!
Updating Customers Accounts & Duplicate Accounts - You Already Have my Email or You Don’t Need my Email
We have all been there. Standing in line ready to check out and the cashier or service advisor asks to update your email. Where the customer kindly says “you already have it.” To which we nod politely, and move on. It is also a widely known fact that many customers will give us their spam email.
So instead of caving in - we might say; instead, I understand I just want to confirm as we would then be able to send you advance notice on recalls versus having to wait for a letter in the mail. In addition to more coupons from our store.
Not saying it will work every time, but if you are able to give a reason with value - an added benefit to the customer - s/he may feel more obliged in giving/confirming their email.
The other thing your advisors need to be aware of is ensuring that if VIN is brought in by a spouse, etc. - they do not add a second profile for the customer in the DMS. That is not to say, however, that the advisor cannot still collect an email for the individual. As creating a second profile for the database skew the actual amount of customers there are.
Not Scrubbing Data
People move, sell their vehicles, or have opted out of your emails. However, we still keep them on the email list. It is always best practice to scrub your data quarterly working with a vendor that manages your email campaigns. In doing so, not only will you have an accurate count of emails, but you will also save yourself from getting flagged as being spam.
Data is precious, but data that is invalid such as an email that bounces or has opted out is junk. Junk that slows down your DMS. Giving you an inaccurate count. Not to mention, getting hundreds of kick-backs will undoubtedly flag you for spam. Another reason to update the email.
Several vendors actually have the ability to append data for a small fee. If they do not, it is worth asking your marketing company (if you are in-house you can easily find one) what the cost is to append your data quarterly.
Manually Adding Appointments to the DMS
Service Appointments are different than sales appointments. Namely, a service customer is often viewed as being “captive” vs. the selling of a sales appointment. Nonetheless, the advisors might not be aware of the damage they are doing by “manually” adding appointments to the DMS when the customer did not actually have an appointment or called into the store for appointments.
Unless the appointments that are manually being added into the DMS are able to be sourced, then it is best practice to use the appointment scheduling tool. Adding the source if possible. This is essential when reviewing and understanding what the conversion is and was for service appointments booked online. In particular for OEMs that offer “express” services where the foot traffic may not be counted as accurately if in fact there were a manual appointment added.
Do you manage your DMS? What are some best practices that you follow?