Crucial Contact Details Lacking In 34% Of Customer Records

Over a third (34%) of sales and service records held by franchised car dealerships lack accurate details relating to the customer and their vehicle, according to new analysis from Marketing Delivery.

Evaluating over 200,000 customer records during Q2 (April to June) of 2017, the company found that the customer’s email address was the individual detail most commonly absent, in 18% of all cases. The problem is one that affects the entire sector – even the best-performing dealership had email addresses missing in 8% of its records.

The Marketing Delivery analysis, which encompassed dealerships throughout the UK representing prestige and volume brands, also found that 13% of customer records lacked a mobile number. The best-performing dealership still had 7% of records without a mobile number.

“Without crucial contact details, dealerships are inevitably limited in their ability to interact with customers and prospects,” explains Jeremy Evans, Managing Director at Marketing Delivery. “With the new car market starting to lose momentum, dealers can’t let potential leads slip between the cracks. Comprehensive customer data underpins agile and responsive marketing, engaging with customers in the most effective ways at optimal points in the buying and ownership cycles.”

In an average of 9% of cases, the service-due date is either missing or it is in the past (i.e. the record has not been updated by the service department after work was completed). For MOT-due dates the figure for absent or overdue details is 8%. In both cases the dealership will not be able to include those customers in their aftersales marketing campaigns. “These numbers are relatively small but they can make a big difference to an overall aftersales marketing effort,” adds Evans.

“A lot of attention is rightly paid to levels of response from dealer marketing campaigns, but if you don’t have accurate records you aren’t even getting out of the starting blocks. With increasingly intense competition from independents and fast-fits, dealers can’t afford to squander opportunities.”

Marketing Delivery conducted the analysis as part of its quarterly Data Quality Report, which also identified some year-on-year trends. Significantly, there appears to be a modest improvement in the accuracy of customer records held by most dealerships compared to Q2 2016. For example, an average of 39% of records had absent or inaccurate details in Q2 2016 (versus 34% in Q2 2017). The proportion of records lacking an email address was higher last year (20%, versus 18% in 2017), and a greater proportion lacked a mobile number (17%, versus 13% in 2017).