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The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Customer Database

By Paula Schleider

The customer database of your mechanic shop or car dealership is without a doubt one of its most valuable assets. Your client’s list, together with their information stored within your CRM is vital for the customer service, marketing, and sales teams, and as your business grows, this list does too every year. However, in order for this data to be a healthy customer database that is useful and trustworthy, it needs to be of high quality and up to date. Unfortunately, according to Gartner, more than 25% of the data within companies is flawed or outdated. 

You might be asking yourself, why should I care about maintaining a healthy database? The easiest answer to this question is: because it will save your mechanic shop or car dealership a lot of time and money, and it can even increase your income.

How can it affect my business? Let’s go over some important aspects that can get affected by an unhealthy database.

 

Marketing

The first inconvenience that we find in having an unhealthy database is that you may experience an increase in bouncing and in emails going to the spam folder. This may not seem like a big issue at first, but if this keeps on happening, it is likely that your email sender reputation score will decrease together with your email deliverability. Therefore, the likelihood of Internet Service Providers (ISP) delivering your emails will be lower, and the reach of your email campaigns will decrease. This will cause people to ignore or delete your emails, and make your click-through rates drop and your unsubscribe rate rise. Overall, your email marketing metrics will become worse if you do nothing to prevent it.

Having a clean email database can also help you target your clients on Social Media. It can even help you find new potential clients by using the look-alike tool available on Facebook Ads.

Additionally, having their correct phone numbers can help you to reach out to them when a service is upcoming, or when you have a special offer or for other purposes such as letting them know when you are closed during the holidays.

Business and operations

Outdated or incorrect phone numbers and addresses can also represent a big problem for businesses in the car industry. Deliveries and pick-ups made to wrong addresses, as well as wasted time in unreachable calls due to wrong phone numbers, represent a considerable cost and waste of resources. 

In addition, if your finance department is also relying on this database, it could also represent a problem to them, as they may require information to send them invoices or other payment messages.

 

After-sales services

You can offer a better service and target them better through a cleaned database. Having an organized database where you have absolutely all the details of your client’s car, such as car type, last service date, details of the service, mileage, etc., can change the way your after-sales department interacts with clients, and can notably improve retention rates.

All of these issues may start to sound a little alarming, but the good news is that there are simple measures that you can take to prevent them.

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We recommend the following tips to have a healthy customers’ database:

  1. Buy an existing or customized CRM software to create a new and organized database.
  2. Start with training your team to understand the importance of a healthy database. Create a checklist of important client details and contact information so they can go over it every time a new client is added or an existing client visits. To complete information of existing clients that are not visiting during this process, we recommend you to send a Google Form and offer them a discount or a promotion in exchange for filling it in. 
  3. It is likely that at least some of your clients will change their addresses or contact information after a certain amount of time. You should check periodically that their information is still valid, otherwise, you may find yourself calling the wrong numbers, making deliveries to outdated addresses and not being able to expose your offers to them or communicate with them when needed. So, when your business is facing a low seasonality, get some help from your team to contact them and update their contact details into the new and organized database.
  4. We definitely recommend you to delete obsolete contacts, such as the ones from people that have moved out of the city or country, or business contacts that are no longer relevant. A lot of companies have a hard time doing this, fearing that their database may shrink, but this action will help in various ways, for example, it could improve your emails’ reach and open rates. 
  5. Speaking of emails, in case your email database is not organized, the first thing you can do to improve it is to use one of the numerous email verifying tools available online, such as DeBounce, Verias, Bounceless or ZeroBounce. These tools are not very pricey or complicated to use, and they are able to identify and remove incorrect and duplicate emails as well as unwanted bounces, improving your mailing rates.

 

All in all, maintaining a healthy database is key for mechanic shops and car dealerships to generate engagement with their customers and to increase the income of the after-sales services. By using a retention platform like Engie Connect, you will be able to maintain your clients’ contact list well organized, as well as keeping in touch with them through its built-in message and campaign system. Feel free to reach out to us for more information or guidance in this matter. 

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