4 Min Read • February 1, 2024
The Game-Changing Value of an Automotive CRM
The automotive industry is known for its love of acronyms and buzzwords. Most of the time we see dealers change from one focus to another without taking the time to vet or track the effectiveness of each move.
Word of mouth can be very powerful and even influence dealers to change their processes with the hope of gaining revenue and success at a faster rate. It can get overwhelming trying to decide what’s worth the investment and what’s simply a fad that’ll be gone by the next year.
A Dealership CRM Is a Game-Changing Investment Here to Stay
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the one application that dealers can be assured is here to stay. It houses personal information for your sold customers as well as your unsold prospects. This unified repository for customer data and engagement can help your dealership improve customer service, increase sales and streamline operations.
Here are some of the key benefits of using a CRM for automotive dealerships.
1. Better Customer Service
Automotive CRM software allows dealerships to centralize customer data and track all customer interactions. This provides a 360-degree view of the customer, enabling dealerships to provide more personalized and proactive service. CRM software can help dealerships
- Track customer communication history
- Identify and personalize customer preferences and interests
- Offer timely reminders for vehicle maintenance and service
2. Improved Lead Management
CRM software can effectively manage leads throughout the sales pipeline from initial contact to conversion. This helps dealerships
- Capture and organize leads from various sources and up types, such as phone calls, internet leads and showroom visits
- Assign leads to sales reps based on their expertise or other criteria
- Track the progress of leads through the sales funnel
- Nurture leads with targeted marketing campaigns
3. Increased Sales
By improving customer service and lead management, a CRM can help dealerships increase sales as well as
- Convert more leads into customers
- Increase customer lifetime value
- Upsell and cross-sell additional products and services
- Retain existing customers through loyalty programs
4. Streamlined Operations
A CRM can automate many tasks and workflows, freeing up dealership staff to focus on more strategic work that can
- Reduce management and administrative time
- Improve communication and collaboration within and across departments
- Enhance efficiency and productivity
5. Data-Driven Decision-Making
A CRM can provide your dealership with valuable insights into customer behavior, sales trends and marketing effectiveness. This data can be used to make informed decisions about
- Product and service offerings
- Marketing campaigns
- Sales strategies
- Customer service initiatives
Even if you’re aware that you need a CRM and why, do you know how to use it effectively? A CRM can unlock the potential opportunities inside your store and deliver an overall better experience your customers are expecting. Without it, it’s virtually impossible to gauge the effectiveness of your follow-up processes, success of advertising spend, or the effectiveness of your staff collectively and individually.
Three Ways to Evaluate the Effectiveness of a CRM
When you begin digging into the effectiveness of a CRM, there are a few key items you should focus on first.
- Establish a workflow for each up type. An internet lead isn’t going to need the same follow-up as someone who came in to test drive but left without purchasing. Make sure each workflow is customized for your business needs and adjust if they no longer serve you.
- Determine your benchmarks and expectations. Start by establishing your appointment set and sold ratios for each up type. Once you decide the expectations for your store, pick one or two reports for your leaders to monitor daily.
- Set up a cadence of regular meetings. Check in with your leadership team to ensure the processes put in place are being adhered to and adjusted as needed to reach your sales goals.
By utilizing a robust CRM, you can create workflows that fit your customer and brand and by each up type. You can begin to track sales and revenue by advertising source and set benchmarks for your team. A CRM can go beyond a repository of information once you harness all of the tools available.
When you evaluate your partners and your business needs, it’s imperative to choose a CRM that meets the expectations of your dealership. The basics of follow-up and accountability will always be key to generating sales and success for your dealership. A CRM can provide your automotive dealership with a variety of benefits to improve customer service, increase sales, streamline operations and make data-driven decisions. Implement a CRM so your dealership can achieve a competitive advantage and long-term success.
Amber is responsible for the implementation and go-to-market strategies for current and new CRM offerings for CDK Global. With over 16 years of experience in the automotive industry,she’s excited to highlight dealership needs and support them with innovative solutions.