Dealers sometimes fail to see the value of customer-relationship management systems because they are looking for return on investment when they should focus on the return on effort, says Paul Pont, an accounts manager for ADP.
During purchase considerations, there is often discussion of what a strong CRM system can do for a dealership in terms of increasing customer retention, databases, satisfaction scores and gross profits.
“But amidst the ether, fireworks and dedication to make the new tool work, there is rarely a plan of action to accomplish all the process changes that will be needed at the dealership level,” says Pont, who weekly works onsite at dealerships helping to implement CRM processes.
Systems often are under-utilized, because dealerships are not aware of all that is available to them, he says.
Good CRM providers recognize the need for continuous support and onsite training from a specialist, Pont says. In his case, areas of assistance at dealerships include:
- Database hygiene.
- Salespersons' best practices in capturing and utilizing customer data.
- Drafting personalized e-mail, postcard and letter communications from the dealership to customers.
- Designing campaigns that harmonize and complement the market strategy of the dealership.
- Creating and tracking sold and unsold prospects; and service follow-up programs to keep the messages from the dealership fresh while consistent to that dealership image.
- Tools and process tips to help any dealership dramatically increase the e-mails they capture from their prospects and customers.
- Training and coaching system administration and business development center personnel and managers to not only understand the possibilities of CRM systems, but help them implement the tools they're interested in using.