Some company scandals are like rolling thunder — they don't just end with profit losses, legal troubles and terminated staff. The shock waves can be felt for years, causing incalculable damage resulting from tarnished reputation and trust.
Fraud, such as identity theft or breached data, "could ruin the reputation of the dealership," staff and management, points out Zoriy Birenboym, founder of online car leasing platform eAutoLease.
Indeed, a survey released by Total Dealer Compliance in 2016 found that nearly 84 percent of consumers said they would not go back to buy another vehicle from a dealership if their data had been compromised there. The data was gathered from 200 dealerships in five states.
If a dealership needs to repair a damaged reputation, the first step is be truthful, Birenboym said. "Honesty with customers is the most important thing there is in this entire business," he said.
George Avetisov, CEO of the biometric security company HYPR, said admitting responsibility is an important part of equity recovery, and denying the lapse is a bad look. "The longer the company waits, the more fallout you can expect from the attack," he said. "It's better to deal with it immediately rather than hide it or sweep it under the rug."