Robert Grant
| 9 December 2019

Are you making the most of your customers?

Recently, I came across a study conducted by the CDK Lightspeed Data Services team. We compared dealers that employed a full range of CRM tools with dealers that do not use a CRM. The details behind the study were based on the following:

  • 660 dealerships that were not using a CRM
  • 200 dealerships that were using a CRM
  • 315,000 units purchased in previous year
  • 64,000 Service transactions from return customers
  • 81,000 Parts purchases from return customers

When we looked at the percentage of customers that returned to dealers using a CRM vs. dealers not using a CRM, we found that dealers using a CRM had five more customers out of 100, or almost a 20 percent increase in return traffic than dealers that were not using a CRM.

What does this mean for the dealers that weren’t using a CRM?

When we applied the returning customer rates of the CRM dealers against the transactions of the non-CRM dealers, we found that it could equal an additional 6,600 Service transactions and an additional 11,100 Parts & Accessories transactions for our non-CRM using dealer sample.

On average, a Service customer visits the store twice a year, with an average $479 per year spend. Parts customers visit stores an average of five times, with a $322 per year spend. When those numbers are applied for our dealer sample of 660 against the possible increase in return visit transaction for CRM users, it comes out to almost $6.8 million or an additional increase of $10,300 a year per dealer.

Beyond extra revenue, additional return traffic provides you with opportunities to upsell those customers. In summary, using a CRM not only helps your Sales department, but it also leads to happier customers — and improves repeat business for your store.

How does your dealership compare? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Are you using a CRM to ensure your customers are returning?
    • You should be able to see the buying history in one single system that works with all departments.
  • Are you able to capture incoming leads and quickly follow up on them?
    • Sales leads should feed directly in to the system you work with without having to jump in or out of different systems.
  • Are you able to effectively build — and quote— a boat?
    • Building a boat with a customer needs to be quick and easy. It should allow manufacturer specs and pricing details so you can make decisions on the fly.
  • Do you have the ability to track and see all customer communications, email, and text message interactions?
    • You should be able to use the most effective technology —texting— while tracking all other communications. Ninety-eight percent of text messages are opened, 95 percent of text messages are read within three minutes, 50 percent of email communication is spam, and 31 percent of dealership employees rarely use voicemail.
  • Are all departments consistently following up with customers?
    • Communicate quickly and effectively with customers to ensure a positive experience.
  • Do you receive notifications when you have a unit in the store that could match a customer request?
    • Easily match buyers and sellers while retaining them as a customer.
  • Do you and your staff have visibility into the accountability of each team member?
    • Allow salespeople and management to measure performance and foster a competitive environment.

If you’re missing out on any of these, then you’re not alone. Many dealers do not capitalize on each of their existing customers. Take action today and put a CRM with the right processes in place.

Robert Grant
Robert Grant

Robert B. Grant has over 18 years of RV, Marine and Powersports industry experience. He got his start managing the parts and service departments at local dealerships in Salt Lake City, UT. He attended the University of Utah where he received a BA in Finance. He has been employed by CDK Global Lightspeed, previously known as ADP Dealer Services, for 17 years and has worked in many different capacities in the company which provides the Lightspeed dealer management software and services for the Marine, RV and Powersports industries. He currently works as a business development engineer.