How Does Privacy Apply to Automotive Dealers?

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Think about your online experiences recently. 

You’re on an automaker’s website and a popup makes you accept their policy on cookies before you can proceed. Browsing on Google, ads are displayed that have an uncanny resemblance to items you’ve searched before.

Or, you may have had to fill out more detail in a contact form than you thought necessary when you bought concert tickets. 


It can seem like a small thing in this digital age, but customers are easily frustrated when it comes to privacy concerns. In a recent study by Kantar TNS, 60 percent of Americans “are concerned about the amount of personal information companies know about them.” 

That changes slightly if the company requesting information gives something in return. 

The Kantar TNS study goes on to give five recommendations to build trust with your customers and their data. 

•    Be transparent with why you need their information. It helps reassure the customer that your request is legitimate. 
•    Overstate your safety. Be clear that the information provided will be kept secure and confidential according to your privacy policy. 
•    Stagger your data requests. Spread out the information requests over several interactions. It’s known as a ‘drip feed’. Start with innocuous info and progress to more delicate details after. 
•    Give a benefit. State why giving you their info provides value to the customer. It could be a bonus or freebie, or enrolment in a program, etc.
•    Share collected data. Eventually, people will want to know what their data helped you attain. Be prepared to state the results of your data collection down the road. 


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How Does It Apply to Customers?

Whether you’re a manufacturer, indirect lender, vendor, or dealer, you’re always looking for an edge. If you’re like everyone else, simply collecting information for an email blast or snail mail list, your prospects are getting wary.


First and foremost, give your customers assurance that their information is secure. It has to be spelled out whenever you ask for their particulars. 

Secondly, let them know WHY you need their information. It might seem clear to you, but you can never communicate TOO well. 

Thirdly, be prepared to give back. Enter them for a draw, send a bonus in the mail, or give a coupon towards vehicle accessories. Do something that will entice customers to provide their details. 

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