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Service department is good place to collect customer information.

New Twist on Car Dealership Sales ‘Conquesting’

automotiveMastermind works with dealers to turn service-department customers into showroom buyers, too.

Automotive shoppers sometimes buy a vehicle from one dealer but end up going to another for service and maintenance work.

Those service customers sometimes are ripe for “conquesting” efforts to get them to buy their next vehicle at the dealership that’s doing the service work, says Matt Niess, director-business development at automotiveMastermind, a predictive analytics company that scores dealership prospects on their likelihood of buying.

It does that through its MarketEyeQ platform that includes a conquest tool for so-called service-not-sold customers.  

“For most dealers, focusing on a service customer who didn’t buy from you in the first place is a blind effort,” Niess says of basic buy-here marketing campaigns.

But analyzed customer data from the service department and outside sources can enhance the effort.

“Now, you can market to them in a personalized way,” Niess says. “It opens it up and feeds the sales side of the dealership.”  

Information collected in the service department includes vehicle age, mileage and warranty status.

Market EyeQ’s Service Conquest can do a “soft credit pull” to learn various things, such as a service customer’s vehicle-equity situation and lease-expiration dates.

Credit tracker TransUnion is a partner in that data collecting that ultimately helps dealers craft customized modern marketing messages, Niess says.

Marketing changed dramatically when businesses discovered they could use aggregated data about consumers to identify and predict which ones are the best prospects for a product or service, and target-market to them accordingly.

IHS Markit, automotiveMastermind’s parent company, holds demographic data from 197 million households, 3 billion ownership records and 650 million vehicle records. IHS Markit analyzes vehicle registration data to create statistical reports on global markets and trends.

Using artificial intelligence to aggregate all that data into to actionable information leads to powerful analysis-based marketing, Niess says.

He adds that automotiveMastermind is working closely with dealers on how they can conquest showroom sales from service customers who bought their vehicles elsewhere.

But it’s a two-way street.

For instance, software provider DealerSocket has recommended to dealers that if their customer-relationship-management system shows they lose a vehicle sale to a competitor, they should follow up with an email urging the buyer to consider them for service work.

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