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How to Get the Most Out of Your Automotive CRM

[Posted on 11 December 2013 by Car Research]

CRM or customer relationship management software is a new improvement in software suites for automotive dealerships. Automotive CRM software makes it easier to manage all aspects of customer relationships and turn browsers into new customers as well as transforming new customers into faithful return buyers.

What Does CRM Software Do?

Automotive CRM software manages every aspect of the customer experience, from the moment a potential buyer sees an advertisement to the moment he or she decides it is time to sell the current vehicle and buy a new one. CRM software includes components that manage every stage of the vehicle’s life cycle, including:

Shoppers and Potential Buyers

CRM software includes components that manage the dissemination of sale and vehicle information to targeted groups of customers as well as those who visit via websites. From mailings to phone calls to Internet web sites, CRM software manages huge databases of potential unrealized customers.

Current Owners

One of the most critical aspects of CRM software is its ability to manage the current customer base through targeted advertising and handling of complaints, questions or comments. Current owners can be managed through several types of CRM software, including components that schedule and remind customers of servicing, advertise service specials and suggest trade-ins, upgrades or more favorable financing options.

Ready-To-Trade Customers

When it comes time to trade, CRM software can prove invaluable by leading customers back to the dealership and handling communication about potential trades and upgrades. Many customers often begin to think about trading-in their vehicles due to the suggestion of CRM-software-based communication.

How Does CRM Software Help Retain Customers?

While CRM software is invaluable for finding, identifying and targeting potential buyers with customized marketing, its real value lies in the management of the current customer base to ensure that these owners remain faithful to the brand and dealership. CRM software accomplishes this formidable goal in several ways.

First, CRM software allows dealerships to easily manage large databases of customer information. CRM software can group current customers by several types of demographics including age, income level, driving habits and types of vehicles currently owned. This information can be very useful in targeting specific programs to certain age groups or vehicle owners.

Next, CRM software helps dealerships handle the huge volume of calls and emails that come in on any given day regarding service or other questions. Many customers will make their decision about whom they will give their business to based on their four- or five-year experience of dealing with the company regarding maintenance and service, so it is important to have software than handles these customers the right way.

Finally, CRM software can help dealerships organize outgoing communication to get it to customers quickly and simply and in the way that they prefer. Customers who choose email communications will receive them, while those who prefer mailers or phone calls can be grouped to receive those as well.

By using CRM software, dealerships can increase their bottom line revenue. CRM software helps dealerships transform casual shoppers into enthusiastic and loyal return customers who will purchase new vehicles from the same dealership due to their positive experiences over the life of car ownership.

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