The auto industry requires strong relationships, as customers often return to their dealers for help with car troubles. Many customers are anxious to get the most for their money and their time, so you need to build trusting relationships with your customers, getting them in their cars and on the road smoothly. A good experience can also lead customers to recommend a particular dealer over others to friends and family considering a new vehicle.
Through a CRM solution, you can build those trusting, friendly relationships and sell more cars. CRM software for the automotive industry can be tailored to meet your needs, letting you gather sales and marketing information, build rapport with clients, and track leads. CRM saves time, trouble, and money, and this guide will walk you through industry-specific needs, questions to ask when considering
“We’d used the features that came with our dealership management software for decades, despite old terminals and an ancient interface. It was bad enough to cost us sales, as walk-ups got fed up waiting for a lease quote. Prophet set us up with a new system, running on modern computers, and helped us organize training events for the sales staff. They love it! The new system also helped us clear our client records of a bunch of duplicate file entries. We haven’t had a single failure of service (we’re using the Cloud option) in the last three months, and our closing rate has gone from 7% to 10%. Any auto dealer owes it to themselves to check Prophet out.”
Sales Director, Andressen Motors
Why Does the Automotive Industry have Different CRM Needs?
Car dealerships face unique challenges in the modern economy. Nearly all new cars are sold through traditional dealerships, but strong competition exists between new and used car markets, and increasingly, direct sales, and these different methods necessitate different CRM solutions. Consumers have incredible information available to them, through the Internet, review systems, social media and more, so building relationships requires more effort. Tighter credit and new financing regulations all place even more pressure on small business owners, so CRM that gives you information on customer financing can help a great deal.
A successful car dealership must remain focused on its customers, now more than ever. Customer relationship management software for dealers can improve customer service and help you project a customer-friendly atmosphere. The McKinsey & Company study “How to build top-performing auto dealerships” found that half the difference in net profit between a top-performing dealership and the average came from internal factors, rather than the greater marketplace, so helping customers feel secure improves business.
What Customer Relationship Functionalities are Important to a Car Dealership?
Automotive CRM software can help build regular customer contact, provide service and parts options, and free your staff to focus on development and training. Most forms of CRM for car dealers serve as tools for gathering marketing information and maintaining contact lists.
“Our company focuses on used car sales and service for European models, so we had never given any car dealer CRM solutions much thought. However, our service business was going downhill and we were having a hard time turning over inventory, even though we had radio and billboard ads going. In the new year I decided to look for ways to improve business; I found Prophet, called them up, and got everything in order. I host the server at my lot with the on-site service, and it’s great. My salesmen get data on which ads got people interested, and the garage is collecting a database on regular clients. It’s been three months and we’ve got a 22% increase in service business; I’ve also saved over $2,000 I was wasting on ads nobody saw. Prophet’s made me a believer!”
A Plus Automotive
CRM software can help you send regular updates to customers, encouraging regular use of your service and maintenance options. It lets you inform your customers about manufacturer updates, special offers, and more, as well as building databases of leads and prospective customers. Automotive CRM software can also aid you in determining what marketing channels and campaigns work best for improving your sales, allowing you to keep the campaigns that produce results and cut those that don’t.
3 Ways to Know You’re Ready for a CRM Solution
1. Are your current systems fully effective? You may already have some form of car dealership CRM software, possibly in dealership management software. If you aren’t getting what you want out of your current solution, you should investigate why. If your staff are dedicated to customer service, but find using your current CRM solution to be a hassle, you will either waste time using the wrong product for your needs, or get less than you should from your CRM software solutions.
2. Do you wish you had more information? If you have wondered just how effective your marketing strategy is, or what percentage of your walk-ups turn into sales, then you already need a CRM solution. CRM software for the automotive industry focuses on providing a unified set of records, which allow your sales and support staff to keep track of new customers’ interests and current customers’ needs.
3. Do you have a technology plan? Technology is a powerful tool, but in order to get the most out of it, you need to know what your business demands. Consider how technology can help your firm, both now and in the future, and any special needs your firm has. A single-site used car dealer CRM solution will differ from what a city-wide dealership with multiple service centers needs. Examine your needs and other businesses’ CRM usage to determine what works best for you.
How Prophet Can Help Car Dealers Succeed
Prophet’s CRM software for the automotive industry can be tailored to your dealership’s specific needs. Using Prophet, you can track email contacts, schedule meetings and showroom invitations, prepare daily dashboards of leads for your sales team, and more. Prophet integrates seamlessly into Outlook, which lets you import your current contact lists and service schedules with no hassle. Prophet synchronizes contact lists across multiple devices and makes it easy to check for duplicates, keeping you from wasting time and money.
Need a basic CRM solution with technical support? Prophet offers full support and near-instant service. Need a system for an entire dealership? Prophet includes training, on-site hosting options and more. Finally, Prophet can even tie together an entire family of dealerships and service centers, letting the same system handle service calls, walk-up sales and inventory on the lot.