White Paper - Reaping Your CRM

Top Ten Tips to Reap all Your CRM Can Sow

The most important aspect of your CRM is not your CRM, but your ability to properly leverage all it can do for your dealership. Almost as important is being sure your employees know how to use it, and that they actually do use it.

The auto dealership customer lifecycle is intricate, and there are many CRM tricks that can be learned along the way. We've highlighted the top ten, saving you a lifetime of note–taking!

1. Who's Got the Power?

Designate a CRM point person

Determine who will become the CRM expert within your dealership. This person will learn the system and become your store CRM ambassador. Often referred
to as a power user or technology specialist, this person does not need to be an MIT graduate. Your point person will be familiar with the daily ins and outs of the CRM technology and will serve as a go–to when there is a question about using the system.

2. Integration: Bringing Together the Acronyms

Properly integrate information from your DMS to your CRM

Your data is worthless if it is not integrating to your CRM software. All too often, sales and service departments do not communicate with each other. The loss in potential sales and service revenue is staggering. Be sure your CRM solution serves all of your departments. Streamline your processes by using CRM software that includes live phone support, monthly conference calls and quarterly site visits.

3. Keep'em Accountable

Establish systems of accountability for your employees

Your CRM is only as good as its users. Managers, sales and service staff should all be familiar with the CRM and be using it daily. Managers should be proactively using the CRM to strategically drive business, while sales and service staff should be able to quickly and easily navigate the system. An efficient dashboard allows for proper accountability. Be sure your CRM allows you to assess employees' daily performances. Ideally, you can review an employee's productivity before the person leaves the premises. Setting goals, creating incentives and providing plans for success will decrease employee turnover and increase productivity, resulting in increased revenue.

The ability to create personalized marketing campaigns that are easy to initiate and maintain are part of the genius of CRM technology.

4. Market on Target

Target marketing is all the rage

Are you tired of hearing about the three R's: right person, right message, right time? Cliche?s be darned, the importance cannot be emphasized enough. The ability to create personalized marketing campaigns that are easy to initiate and maintain are part of the genius of CRM technology. Build customized marketing campaigns, and target market away.

5. Avoid the Mediocrity Trap

Convert successful lists into ongoing processes

Many dealers fall into the trap of building a list at the end of every month
to generate more sales and service business. While this may suffice, it is not optimal. Maximize your business by automating processes targeted at Key Customer Segments within your database. Be vigilant about automating processes every day, without failóno exceptions! Plant these automated seeds and enjoy consistent business growth.

6. Stay Alert

Create Alerts in your CRM for Time Sensitive Tasks

It is common for internet leads, reassigned leads, recently received and recently opened emails to fail to be responded to or followed up with due to lack of awareness. Create alerts in your CRM that notify your employees of these time– sensitive tasks through push alerts to mobile devices or notifications within the CRM. No more excuses!

7. Down With Unconverted Ups

Hold sales people accountable to leads not lead

When it comes to sales people manually logging information into your CRM,
it's garbage in, garbage out. Make it a best practice to track those people that don't get put in your CRM. You spend valuable marketing dollars attracting prospects to your lot; if they're not logged, you risk losing them to another dealership that performs proper follow–up. Start tracking unconverted ups by inputting notes referring to a prospect's memorable key physical attributes, such as "guy in red shirt" or "woman with pink shoes." You can then hold each salesman accountable to the people they failed to log via your daily checkout process.

When it comes to sales people manually logging information into your CRM, it's garbage in, garbage out.

8. Duplicate Deletion

Setup your CRM to automatically remove duplicate data received from
third parties
Increasing amounts of information steadily becomes available and is able to be integrated into your CRM from social networks, DMS providers, internet and phone lead providers, just to name a few. Ensure your CRM isn't treating each import from these third–party tools as new opportunities. Some prospects arriving from third–party vendors may already exist in your system. If so,

your CRM should integrate the new information into the existing customer profile. Having all of a person's information in one place is true customer relationship management.

9. Let the Updated Update

Allow your customers to easily update their own profiles

Allow customers to tell you more about themselves through your website, email communication or service appointment scheduling processes. If you send a customer a service reminder for a vehicle the customer no longer owns, provide the customer with the ability to tell you she no longer owns the vehicle through a simple click of a button. Your email opt–outs will significantly decrease. Customers will appreciate that you are making an effort to customize your messaging according to their situations.

10. Manage the Unmanageable

It's all about CSI (not the TV show!)

You're probably aware that many people like to complain. With the advent
of social media, complainers now have a virtual megaphone. Customers who
tell you they are unhappy are your friends. The majority don't. They go to
their favorite online soapbox and announce their dissatisfaction. This can be detrimental to your customer satisfaction index (CSI). Your CRM should provide a remedy. Establish a follow–up process where your customers are sent e–surveys gauging their satisfaction, or lack thereof. Customers who respond positively should receive an automated email requesting they post a positive review on leading consumer sites, such as Yelp, Google and DealerRater. If a customer responds negatively to the survey, your CRM should alert you immediately, providing you the chance to remedy the situation.

An eleventh tip unrelated to your CRM software is to encourage continuing education and training of your employees. Provide them with videos and literature you "strongly suggest" they study. You can then gather your employees for pep talks and review the educational and training materials provided.

Where to find such materials? Start here!

Forward this white paper to your team, ask them to read it, and set a time to gather and discuss!

Happy CRM-ing!



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