Make Your Automotive CRM Tools Work for Your Dealership
Every dealer wants to empower employees, engage customers and increase ROI. But a basic workflow as part of a standard installation isn’t enough to get you those results. A dynamic, multi-functional automotive CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) is an important pillar of your dealership's success.
If you're looking for maximum Sales and Service capacity and increased customer loyalty, optimize your CRM workflows. It's an opportunity to customize and fine-tune the software according to your unique business needs.
Primary areas where customization is highly recommended include:
- Creating automated lead follow-ups configured according to your dealership’s specifications
- Designing preferred reporting metrics
- Building individualized employee dashboards
You will also need to consider how long it’s been since your automotive CRM software was installed. The retail automotive space is changing so rapidly that aligning specifications with current customer behavior is essential.
Many dealership CRMs allow you to change your own workflows and processes. If yours does not, you may want to consider upgrading your system or at least submitting a tech support ticket to your provider so they can make changes on your behalf. Once you’ve determined how potential changes will be implemented, here are four areas in which fine-tuning your dealership’s CRM system will lead to increased usage and better results.
Customers want prompt and personal follow-up. Once they’ve reached out to you, it’s your turn to move that sale forward. Start by reviewing all automated messages and triggers, paying attention to the need for consistent customer contact. You’ll want to be able to respond to internet leads, walk-ins, text inquiries and phone calls promptly.
Every successful sale starts somewhere, but your first auto-response is only the beginning. Setting a schedule for follow-up, employee reminders and a calendar of continued communication is next. Be respectful of what your customers want. It’s an ebb and flow of how much you encourage and how much you allow them to make decisions in their own time.
Now that so many people shop online before contacting your store, tight integration between your CRM and your digital retailing tools is a must-have. When a potential buyer searches your inventory, configures a vehicle and fills out a credit application, they’ll expect your staff to know everything they’ve already done before their visit. Your CRM should be ready and able to fulfill that expectation.
Insightful CRM reporting is the key to ongoing growth and profitability for both Sales and Service. Check your CRM’s range and narrow it down to the ones you want to monitor daily. Typically, you’ll be reviewing productivity reports (user performance, user activity completion), opportunity reports and the Master Daily DOC.
In the automotive industry, every dealership is a reflection of its leadership. Processes and business practices may be similar when your store sells products from the same OEM using the provided marketing campaigns, but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to see generic reports. You should be able to add or remove fields, apply filters and add visualizations like charts and graphs. You might also want to review current staff activity and response rates to see where improvements should be made at your specific location.
From top-level management to BDC agents, every successful dealership has users with multiple roles accessing CRM data. Since every person in the system has different responsibilities and participates in a variety of activities, dashboards should be individually customized for each staff member.
A user-configured CRM would give Sales staff visibility into their tasks, including primary leads, hottest prospects and most recent opportunities. BDC agents should see appointments so they can make confirmation calls and complete assigned outbound marketing campaigns. General Managers and owners will want their favorite reports served hot and refreshed on demand.
It’s also a good idea for each user to have a personalized login and home screen, allowing them to drill down on their specific tasks, as well as limiting break-ins from unauthorized use.
A highly capable CRM has widgets displaying exactly what each user needs to see first thing every day. This type of customization also makes the CRM easier to use and the easier it is, the more buy-in you’ll get from employees.
Your CRM houses information that is unique to each customer. Delivering data that can be used for strategically targeted marketing campaigns to drive Sales and Service. Freed from the burden of bulk campaigns and forgettable generic messages, you can segment audiences, send out specific offers, do A/B testing and measure response rates.
Your dealership needs to capture and engage customers at every point in the ownership life cycle. To boost your ROI, it's essential to review and customize your data mining tools. They are invaluable in helping you find equity-positioned customers and can assist in generating custom offers.
The More You Use It
The technology your dealership uses every day can offer you far more impact and profit than you originally anticipated. If you can dream it, your CRM can be configured to do it. Once you recognize and harness the possibilities, exciting, effective campaigns and efficient workflows won’t be far behind.