Why Automotive Dealers Should Start Caring About Customer Engagement [After The Sale]

Data is becoming more of a hot topic within most industries. However, many small dealerships are still ignoring the practice of adopting a customer relationship management (CRM) platform and walking their buyers through the extended tail within the customer journey. Although some may already have a database to store customer information, updating your infrastructure could be the key to unlocking your sales departments true potential.

In this overview I’d like to go over a few key factors that’ll boost a small car dealership’s revenue by 30–40% per year.

Adopt A CRM Platform

Adopting a CRM platform can do more than just track potential buyers. A CRM platform can manage leads, organize referrals, organize data, and much more. Within the example of a car dealership a CRM can solve a few key problems. Most car dealerships have a higher employee turnover compared to other industries. Usually a dealership hires an individual, that individual sells cars to their network and then they become burned out and change professions. Implementing a proper CRM can not only manage all the sales that rep did not close, but also provide key information on why they didn’t close to the next employee who replaces the position. This alone can lead to a more organized and informed sales team. Second, a CRM can allow for you to collect contact information from the buyers of the previous sales rep. This will allow for the dealer to bait in existing clients by using “free oil changes”, “free tire rotations” and other “get them in the door” tactics. Third, the proper CRM can inform you of when those buyers return to your webpage. This can lead to your sales team gaining key insight to when a buyer is unhappy with their purchase or simply looking for a change. Knowing this information can prompt you to take action by reaching out to this person via email or snail mail with relative offers or surveys.

Software Integration Reveals All Inefficiencies

By updating your CRM’s capabilities you can now integrate multiple platforms to complete the customer information cycle. A new and improved CRM can integrate sales, social media, E-mail, and online advertising. When a company successfully integrates their marketing and sales departments onto one platform, they tend to experience a collaborative breakthrough unlike any previous hand-off between sales and marketing. When everyone understand the metrics and their personal contribution, the data makes progress transparent.

Email Automation

The proper CRM can be designed to trigger a number of actions. Starting with email automation. By simply creating a few call to actions and following up on those requests virtually, you can hold a customers attention for a longer period of time. For example, lets say a customer visits your webpage at 11pm on a saturday night, well most likely your dealership is closed on sundays so you wont reach out to that person until sometime monday morning (hopefully). With email automation, once a potential customer triggers a call to action they enter into a workflow that will reach out to them via email and send them relative information to keep them interested in your offering.

The Breakdown

Let’s say a customer is checking out a mid-sized sedan and fills in the form on your website requesting to speak with a sales rep. Well, with automation properly in sync, the customer will receive and email with information (content, white paper or video) relative to their request. If a customer requests information on the page containing mid-sized sedans, wouldn't it be nice if that customer received an email containing a 5 minute video about why your dealership or your brand and selection of sedans make for a better purchase compared to the competition? Of course it would. You could also place a survey requesting information about budget, color and much more. This will lead to a better customer experience once the sales rep finally contacts the customer.

Start Giving A Sh*t About Your Online Sales

It’s time we start taking our online marketing serious folks. This thing called the internet is here to stay. It’s proven its power and it’s proven it has a way of capitalizing on all human inefficiencies. Everyday new applications are going to market with a determination to disrupt the way buyers purchase things. Don’t get left in the dust. Allow the data to be a tool. Use it to your advantage. Empower your employees. Investments such as the ones mentioned above can generate large sums of return when properly orchestrated. If this is something you are struggling with as a business owner, feel free to reach out to me. I’ll do my best to work with you and make sure you understand the process.