In today’s world there is no shortage of data. In our personal lives we track anything from the number of steps we take to the quality of sleep we get, and our likes on that social media post, of course. In business it seems like we track everything. Every tool we use is automated, every system promises improved analytics.
There is a high degree of value to be obtained from all this information, but it also comes with inherent problems. One of the most obvious: how do you know if the data is even accurate? Another: what do you do with it all? How do you put it into action and use it to drive your business forward?
A prime example of this data chaos and confusion for dealerships is traffic counts. There has never been a way to accurately track this information. It is usually almost anecdotal. “That was a crazy Tuesday. We were so busy.” Might be a common thing you hear.
But what does that mean? What is it based on?
Feeling busy does not necessarily mean you are busy. What about the CRM? Is every up or other customer interaction actually being logged? Well, you are relying on people who already feel like they are too busy, so probably not.
Traffic may be the most important piece of data to track accurately because it affects so many other pieces of your dealership’s business.
Are you adequately staffed to handle the customers coming in? Are you setting appropriate goals? Are you spending enough on leads to attract enough customers to achieve your goals? How do you know if your advertising is effective if you do not know how many people are coming in?
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, how does your team perform with the buyers who do come in?
Not knowing the answers to these questions could be devastating, or, at the very least, costly to your business. You must first evaluate and validate your data sources, then find a way to compile the information so it is actionable and helps you achieve your business goals.
Historically, many decisions in the automotive retail industry have been made on gut feelings or with cursory attention paid to historical trends. In today’s world where so much information is accessible, this is no longer a fiscally responsible way to run the business. Just as your favorite sports teams are becoming increasingly reliant on analytics to predict individual and team success, the time has come to make decisions based on what the numbers say.
That said, it is more important than ever to trust your data and be able to interact with it in a way that it can tell you what you need it to. You may or may not be at that point, but it is crucial that you get there quickly. Using your business tools to drive success should be as important to you as hitting your daily step goal.
If you are not sure where to begin, ABN will be sharing technologies that help you accurately measure traffic counts and use that information to accurately measure performance here in our blog. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date data.
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