[Posted on 5 February 2014 by Car Research]
The auto dealership of the 21st century must rely on more than consumer capital in order to remain competitive and become successful. Selling cars to the public requires todays auto dealerships to understand how to effectively manage their inventory and meet the needs of their customers. Managing customer relationships equates to opportunities for repeat sales, referred leads, and increased profitability. A strong customer relationship management or CRM dealer is necessary if you want your car dealership to remain strong.
If you have not seen CRM software in action, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to grow your business. CRM is what drives successful auto dealerships, helping them manage customer expectations and meet their needs based on the buying habits and preferences. Before you consider an investment in a CRM platform, you need to consider what CRM dealer means for your auto dealership, the benefits derived from integrating CRM and why CRM is important to your auto dealership.
Why Consider CRM for Your Auto Dealership
CRM software is built around managing customers. The software automates the process of tracking customer orders, inquiries, service requests and other interactions that customers have with your auto dealership. Every interaction creates data that the software tracks and compiles into intelligence that you can use to make purchase recommendations, up-sell the customer and strengthen the relationship for future sales.
The Benefits Derived from an Integrated CRM Platform
There are several benefits that your auto dealership derives from integrating the CRM software platform as part of your customer relationship management process. These benefits include an increase in customer contact and satisfaction, better retention of your customers and a reduction in the expenses associated with marketing to your customers. You will have a database of your customers buying habits and preferences contained within the CRM software, which will allow you to pinpoint sales strategies for optimum success.
How do you know that your auto dealership will benefit from the CRM software? By use of the metrics built in the system that allows you to send customer satisfaction surveys and measure the success of marketing campaigns. Having a reporting and measurement function built in will not only help you justify the success of your CRM platform but will also help you understand what an important value-add component CRM can be to your sales and marketing efforts.
What to Consider Regarding a CRM Platform
One of the biggest considerations that you need to take into account regarding CRM is the culture you are looking to adopt for your business. CRM works well with those auto dealerships whose culture is focused around the needs of the customer. A customer centric focus has to be both top down and bottom up, meaning that every employee and every division (i.e. service, new car sales, used car sales, fleet, leasing, etc.) has to be indoctrinated in the notion that customer service is their responsibility.
The CRM software has to be user friendly and easy to train employees and other associates who will be responsible for executing the functions within the software. Additionally, the software has to be able to grow with your business and have all of the functions necessary for integrated web and social media campaigns. Strengthening your auto dealership requires a serious look into how CRM can help your business grow.