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What is your process for salespeople entering duplicate customers?

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,942
1,622
First Name
Alex
It seems that no matter which technology you use, people are going to enter the same customer twice. I've found that most of the time the employee believes he or she is saving time, and very rarely is it done to try to take something from another employee. No matter what the reason is, it muddies our database and needs to be managed by company policy (with technology backing).

What are the consequences of logging the same customer twice in your dealership?
 
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mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
Here are a couple ways to police it via CRM software:

1. Your CRM should prevent the ability to add a customer that matches another customer that already exists without manager override.

2. But that only works if the salespeople enter the customers information in correct. It is easy to fake someones name to beat the system and skate someone. So anytime a customer is modified, the CRM could run the customers through the same duplicate matching logic and send a "skate" alert potentially to the managers and other salespeople who had matching customers.

The skate alerts are great because no matter what you do you can't fake out the system. When it comes to write up the deal you have to put in the customers correct information and it will match the other now duplicate customers. I don't know what all CRMs support this, but it is a great feature.

Anyone have any other ideas on how to prevent duplicate customers?
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,942
1,622
First Name
Alex
AutoBase was the first to employ skate alerts and iMagicLab has a "peer pressure" function, and I'm pretty sure VinSolutions has the same type of duplicate checking...but I'm not sure about the others.

We have been waiting for a particular report from iMagicLab that counts potential duplicates to each user (instead of just listing the customers), and that report went live today. I'm going to evaluate each user at the end of April to see how they stacked up. I'm also going to dive into customer records to see what is causing it:

1. Salesperson perceives it to be easier to enter a new (data-manipulated) lead rather than get a salesmanager to override the system....training issue
2. Salesmanager told the salesperson to manipulate the data because the salesmanager was too busy to change customer ownership....very poor excuse by the way
3. Salesperson is truly trying to skate another agent....taking pay away or firing one or two will stop this
4. Other excuses I've heard....all :bs:

At the end of the day, the technology can only account for human error to a point. It is beyond that point where Executive management has to determine the penalties for manipulating the data. This is what I'm inquiring about with this thread - what is a dealership's policy for penalizing excessive duplicate customer entries?
 

ejyoder

Rust & Dust
Apr 15, 2009
29
10
First Name
Eric
As it can be with many technology related issues, a big obstacle can be getting the buy-in from management. For example, sales managers don't want the sales staff to "interrupt" the flow of the sales process to have the manager check on a possible skate alert. They would rather have a possible duplicate record and hope that someone else (BDC) will catch it and fix it later.
 

bpreston

Grease Monkey
Apr 29, 2009
67
5
First Name
Bobby
Alex,

I share in your frustration, but our store doesn't have a policy. For us our sales managers use the license scanner w/ iMagic in order to log customers. We communicate to the managers in every way possible (dashboard appt. board, IM, and morning email) to inform about incoming appointments so that they are prepared. However, time after time they must completely ignore the potential duplicates and enter them new.

What do you guys do or what are you thinking about doing?
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,942
1,622
First Name
Alex
What do you guys do or what are you thinking about doing?
I'm planning to use the #1 System Utilization report in iMagicLab to ding each salesperson with a duplicate, $100 per duplicate against their commission. My favorite part about doing that paired with the report is that both agents get the duplicate ping so the peer pressure will be very high to not make anymore duplicates, and enter customers correctly.

I would ding everyone at the end of the month, so they've got all month to watch it and fix things - no excuses.
 

bpreston

Grease Monkey
Apr 29, 2009
67
5
First Name
Bobby
As it can be with many technology related issues, a big obstacle can be getting the buy-in from management. For example, sales managers don't want the sales staff to "interrupt" the flow of the sales process to have the manager check on a possible skate alert. They would rather have a possible duplicate record and hope that someone else (BDC) will catch it and fix it later.
This is exactly the problem we have at our store... I like the idea of hitting up both for peer pressure purposes, but we could have some angry managers if they are the ones that are being penalized.

Obviously the alternative of following up with my managers for these duplicates can be tedious, obviously the eventual goal is to get buyin, but as I'm sure you know it's a lot easier said than done.
 
Apr 28, 2009
1,175
366
First Name
Jerry
I have found that most duplication happens when the first salesperson has not done a proper job with follow-up. If they we're following up with their customers on a regular basis, this wouldn't be happening as often.

Having a well defined protection and reassignment policy helps salespeople understand what is expected of them. I love it when a salesperson comes to me and says; "hey that's my customer." I then look at the CRM and see that they have not entered any notes or made any calls in over a month. I then tell them; "while you may have helped that customer on behalf of the dealership at one point in time, I don't see where you have done anything in over a month, so I am afraid that customer now resides with your peer." Now of course that can go the other way when a salesperson has done an excellent job with follow-up.

Alex, I think you're on the right path with making sure your system stays free of duplicates. $100 sounds a little stiff! A person might end up owing the dealership more than he/she makes. Here’s a thought for you; start off by letting them know that there’s going to be a penalty for duplicate customers and customers with no future follow-up. In our system we call these “Black Hole†customers. The first month I would give each rep three strikes. So if they have more than three combined “Black Hole†or “Duplicates†in the system, they get penalized. Me personally, I’d ding their commission percentage by a few points for the next month. Then as your salespeople start to achieve success, I’d lower the bar to 2 strikes per month with the eventual goal of zero tolerance.

By the way, you can also find dups on report #5 "Daily Activity Report" which can be run for the month. You can find "Black Hole" customers on the "System Utilization" report as well as on the "Daily Activity" report. Oh and any "Black Hole" customers I find, they would get transferred to a new salesperson.

Jerry Thibeau
National Sales Trainer
iMagicLab
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,942
1,622
First Name
Alex
Thanks Jerry - we don't have too much of an issue with salespeople skating other salespeople. Our problem is due to sales agents entering new customers instead of using the one already created by the Internet Department. If you go into our account I think you'll quickly realize this. The real issue is laziness on the part of the sales agent and the sales manager, and lazy is not an excuse, so they're going to start paying for it. Usually when you're lazy you lose your job, I'm only looking to ding them for $100 - I think I'm being extremely generous.
 

shudson

Sled Master
Apr 13, 2009
37
0
First Name
Stephanie
This is a huge problem at our dealership as well. Here its a matter of laziness and down right skating from each other. If we find its deliberate, the whole deal is taken from the salesperson and becomes HOUSE. Even such drastic actions measures does not stop the skating. Elead has a skate alert feature but by the time the desk manager get to it its too late. Brings me to my last point is there a real solution to this issue???