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Engaging Customers With Automotive CRM

Posted on October 7, 2014 by Car Research

In sales, people often think about CRM in relation to their existing customers– it maximizes their client base interests as well as help dealers know when clients are ready for potential up-selling and value added enhancements. What a busy sales force often forgets is the customer that walked out the door without buying: lead building is sometimes the “ugly” part of sales, the drudgery of collecting data on clients that didn’t buy on the first try. For many salespeople, it’s a bit of a chore, but in the automotive industry, it’s a substantial part of the job, and automotive CRM can take all the headaches of it, making it a pleasure to pinpoint the client’s needs and eventually negotiate those needs into sales.


Gauging Customer Needs Through Automation

Before that client walks out the door, getting his or her email address can help change someone leaving into a warm lead. By adding that customer’s name and email into a CRM, a salesperson has an open line to the client that extends past the sales floor experience. Automotive CRM programs like CAR-Research XRM’s Drive CRM software use real-time email acquisition to get salespeople precisely that access. A salesperson armed with a customer email has a direct, always open-line to the client: whereas a sales-floor experience can have one or both parties pressed for valuable time, email communication has the effect of further determining client needs on their own terms. Because of this, personalized email campaigns that start by finding out what the client actually wants and offering resources can turn a customer who’s walked away into a warm lead to close perhaps a week, even a month later.


Guessing Games Versus Real Customer Relationships

While salesmen often assume that client communications end with a sale, that’s such a mistake. Take as an example a parent buying herself a new car and giving the old car to the kids.  In a non-committed dealer-customer relationship, there’s no way to guess such a thing. But a salesperson who knows a little more about the use of the car (whether it goes on family trips, et cetera)– who sends those cute holiday cards– usually has deeper access to a client’s life and knows in advance the purpose of said parent’s visit when she says she’s looking to buy a new car. Creating that sort of relationship with your customers can in some cases exceed the length of a generation.


Open-Ended Communication

Ultimately, what’s truly important in the collection of re-targeting data is improving the customer-dealer relationship. Having an open line to the customer works both ways, and customers will stay loyal to dealers who show genuine concern for their needs. Not only does re-targeting and maximizing the revenue of the existing client base help the dealer– it helps the customer as well. Often the “stock product” isn’t 100% of what a client wants; they often have needs that dealers can neither assume nor ignore. By keeping a line of communication open between dealer and customer, such relationships often lead to tie-in sales as well as a better cemented long-term relationship, which will evolve over time.

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