Is Bias a Concern at Your Dealership?


AutoAlert Blog - Dealership Bias

Is Bias a Concern at Your Dealership?

Biases are important for businesses to address but are often hard to catch. An unconscious bias, by definition, is unknown to the person with the prejudiced belief, but can guide their behavior and cause them to take unfair actions.

With long-standing inequalities in all areas of society a focus lately, implementing better ways to provide fair treatment for customers has never been so important.

Real-time data tools tied to actions customers take provide a new starting point for engaging customers – one that not only is more successful but also may help remove hidden biases.

Discriminations Highlighted

Maybe one good thing that came from this past year is that it brought all of us together in a common goal. Due to its somewhat indiscriminatory nature, COVID united us in our efforts to protect our neighbor’s health as well as our own.

It also put the spotlight on inequalities that exist within our communities, like access to uncrowded, affordable housing.

Looking back just a couple of years ago, the powerful #MeToo Movement brought new awareness to all forms of gender discrimination.

Reverberations from these events and movements are being felt in all areas of society, including commerce.

Brands are being more vocal about their values, both internally and externally … and it’s paying off. During the pandemic, 40% of young Americans named “seeking brands that match with their values” as a reason for switching brands, according to a McKinsey & Company study earlier this year.

Even before the pandemic, 64% of consumers said they would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on a social or political issue, a 2019 survey by Edelman found.

This doesn’t mean that your dealership needs to announce its collective beliefs to the world. What will speak volumes about your brand is an emphasis on ensuring that the actions your team takes every day are as fair as possible.

How Data Helps Fight Biases

Data can help dealerships strengthen their customer relationships through growing their efforts at equality.

When it comes to employee biases, data can be what tells your team when to reach out to a customer, creating opportunities based on more neutral factors like statistics and actions taken by the customer.

For example, the analytics might discover that customers who previously bought used are more likely to buy new if their payment stays the same, especially if they’re currently shopping new vehicles. This has nothing to do with their age, their background, their race, etc.

With AutoAlert’s Activate, your dealership can automate tasks and give your employees proven conversations that reflect data-backed opportunities. Then, track what works and what doesn’t to continue learning and growing.

Visibility into your team’s efforts provides extra protection against “window qualifying” – judging a customer’s likelihood of buying based on something like their name, rather than on what the analytics and their actions show.

Activate comes with strategies for increasing customer engagement, and notifies the right team member any time engagement occurs. This allows your team to take the right action at the right time, missing fewer opportunities.

Being Proactive

Data can’t correct all of society’s biases. But it does open the door to providing more equal treatment – both of customers and employees.

Dealerships using data-backed strategies rely on factors like aggregate data and actions taken to determine opportunities, not socio-demographics like gender, age, or race. The AutoAlert platform streamlines processes around what the numbers show, providing a baseline for more equal treatment for your customers.

Data provides a great starting point for taking a proactive approach to fighting bias. Tell your team that it’s important to you – you’ll be less likely to miss out on sales that bias may have prevented you from seeing, and your team will feel supported in treating everyone as fairly and equally as possible!