The automotive industry is a competitive vertical. And, with customer expectations on the rise, it is not easy for businesses to manage their customers without the help of technology. But there is one tool that helps businesses tide over most of the customer relationship problems, and its name is customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Yes, an automotive CRM can help manage your customers more efficiently. CRM for automotive professionals cannot just manage your customer relationships, but it can also help improve your sales.
Let us find out why businesses in the automotive industry need CRM, how it improves sales and how to develop a CRM plan of action.
Why would someone in the automotive industry need a CRM?
Due to changing customer expectations, automotive retail dealers are gradually shifting their focus from a product-driven strategy to a customer-centric approach. And, thanks to CRM software, dealers can now identify opportunities proactively and build customer loyalty. Automotive CRM is set to integrate customer data for dealers across multiple retail channels by 2025.
According to the PRNewswire report that quotes Dorothy Amy, a senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, “CRM vendors incorporating smart messaging tools, social media integration, and a predictive analytics engine in their solutions will be best poised to make the most of the emerging opportunities in the market. Cloud-based CRM solutions such as Dominion Vision are gaining prominence due to their benefits of reduced capital costs and lower maintenance overheads. Globally, cloud CRM will gain traction among smaller dealerships and increase penetration to 35 percent by 2025.”
A CRM solution provides sharp customer insights. It helps car dealers understand the buying patterns of their prospects and customers, their interests and factors that are important to them. It helps auto dealers identify their prospective customers, and gives your sales team the information to start a relevant conversation with them.
With a CRM system in place, you can better segment your customers, as well as proactively initiate sales and service processes. Initiating the sales process at the right time helps close the deal more effectively. Streamlining your business processes improves coordination between your sales and marketing teams.
How does it improve sales?
To improve sales, automotive CRM vendors need to understand how to “embrace” CRM. For the CRM to be embraceable, it is important to know that the database is not just about the base, but it is the data itself. To sell vehicles, you need to understand your customers long before they’re ready to buy. But it is not an easy process, as interaction between customers and the dealership occurs on average only 1.2 times annually. The result is that you don’t have sufficient data to devise a marketing plan geared toward individual customers.
Your approach to CRM should be such that it becomes easy for marketers and customers to embrace it. To tackle customer issues, you need to make sure that the relationship programs are based on the following two principals:
You cannot wait until the first purchase is made to understand your customers. You need to understand customer interests, desires, concerns, and habits well in advance. You have to realize that each customer follows a different purchase path. For the CRM system to be effective, it must provide insights on the purchase decision in advance.
You also need to understand that every customer follows a different ownership path. For the CRM system to be effective, it must broadly track each customer’s ownership experience. It means the CRM should follow the customer’s journey with the vehicle throughout the ownership period.
Keeping these two principles in mind, car dealers should bring separate technology programs together for a complementary effect. For example, use internet-enabled communication systems to gather valuable consumer insights during the purchase journey of their customers – or establish interactive kiosks at places like malls to initiate consumer dialogue. Also focus on online activity and social media engagement. This can help the dealers bridge the communication gap between them and their customers.
So, how should you go about doing this?
Shoppers are clearly multi-channel. They’re also multi-device. In the age of convenience, we have multiple devices to choose from at any given moment to help us best perform our intended goal. That might make shoppers harder to pin down and market to, but it also creates more opportunities.
For automotive digital marketing, it is key to remember that car shopping experiences take place across multiple devices. Here’s the multi-device situation broken down:
- People love having multiple devices. In the US, 213 million adults are accessing the internet with four different devices.
- People switch between devices regularly. In the Research from Google reveals that 90% of people who own multiple devices switch between them an average of three times per day in the course of completing a single task.
- When researching online, 46% of car shoppers use multiple devices — with an average of 1.7 devices per shopper.
In the course of gathering the information they need, car shoppers switch back and forth from their smartphone to a desktop, laptop, or tablet. It comes down to convenience — they can’t browse cars on their desktop in line at the grocery store.
Dealerships that recognize the fluidity of the car shopping process are poised to make better use of their automotive digital marketing. As shoppers shift between goals and tasked based on decisions and whims, effective dealership marketing isn’t just following, but being there to meet the shopper.
Without a doubt, the more information and insight you have about your existing and future customers, the better it is for your sales team to deal with the prospects. And that is how a CRM can help improve your sales.
Develop a CRM plan of action
Saves you deals that were almost lost – An automotive CRM provides all the tools for your salespeople to connect with their existing and future customers. Many sales don’t close because the proper process isn’t followed. But when you have an automotive CRM system in place, you can create a definitive sales plan for your sales team.
Streamlines your internal operations – Following leads from your website can be challenging. A CRM system allows you to assign each lead to a specific sales rep, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any of your prospects – as well as distributing leads evenly among your team members. A CRM system also ensures better coordination between your sales and marketing teams.
You can automate and schedule tasks as and when you want – Automation is one of the most important aspects of CRM software. Scheduling tasks is not just a big help for the sales reps, but it is also a major relief to those in the management.
Helps you improve customer engagement – Extremely helpful if your prospect is actively in the decision-making process, automotive CRMs are mobile-responsive, which allows your team members to remain in touch with their customers on the go from anywhere, at any time. It is possible to connect with customers in real time with relevant communications because your sales reps have access to the central database.
You can personalize your customer engagement – Trust is the mainstay of customer retention in the automotive sector. Trust can only develop if you engage with your customers and offer them honest input. Personalization also allows you to cultivate trust. With an automotive CRM, you can personalize your emails, send targeted campaigns and set birthday and holiday reminders to connect with your customers at the right time. It is also possible to set personalized reminders so that you don’t miss out on a follow-up email or call.
If you are an auto dealer and haven’t started using a CRM, learn what eZnet CRM has to offer. eZnet CRM is a cloud-based CRM that is mobile-responsive and scalable. With eZnet CRM, you don’t have to worry about leads going back and forth. It helps improve coordination between your sales and marketing teams.
Also, with eZnet CRM, you don’t have to worry about disruptions in your daily workflow, as it offers a high uptime guarantee. It also allows you to develop a stronger relationship with your customers. With inventory and ticket modules, you can improve your customer service and streamline your supply chain. It also manages your sales processes, forecast profitable ventures, strategize your marketing campaigns, and helps you focus on your target markets and reduces your overall costs. Contact us today for a free trial offer.