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Top tips for effective data capture and management

Marketing Delivery, the operational marketing company, is offering its top tips to dealers to improve customer relationship management (CRM) through better data capture and database management.

Jeremy Evans, managing director of Marketing Delivery, said: “I’ve been working in the motor trade for 10 years now and the technology available to assist us with marketing has advanced considerably. But, of course, any clever IT system is only as good as the data you feed into it, so it’s crucial that dealership databases are clean, current and recording the right customer information.

“I’m still amazed to find dealers that don’t ask for email addresses and who don’t ever check that their data is up-to-date. By getting the basics right, CRM systems will operate much more effectively and produce the results all dealerships are looking for.”

Evans said the following 10 tips should act as a check list to general managers and sales managers to cross reference their existing systems against and to use as a training tool for staff:

1. Ensure there is a box on the service job card for an email address.
2. Ensure there is a box on the sales order form for an email address.
3. Insist that all customer email addresses collected get added to the dealership database as part of a process.
4. Make sure the mobile phone number goes into the correct phone number field in the database - not into the landline, work or fax fields.
5. Make sure "title", "forename", and "surname" data is entered into the correct fields to allow for personalisation of letters, emails and marketing materials.
6. You must have the correct data protection statements on your documents and record individual customer requirements on their records.
7. Ensure all key dates are correctly recorded e.g. delivery date, next service date, etc.
8. Plan to systematically cleanse, update and append your data at least every quarter.
9. Make sure you have a system in place for processing online enquires. Have a separate contact code for ‘online enquiry’ and have them filter into your diary management system so they can be followed up correctly. Ensure there’s also a way to capture any new or missing customer info that can be gleaned from the enquiry (tel no, email address, etc).
10. If you have several databases in use, you can save time and money by linking them all into one central hub, such as SmartMail. This will allow you to channel incoming and outgoing communications and control them all from one place.

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