Modern customer relation management (CRM) systems both gather and process customer information, making data sharing between auto makers and dealers all the more important.
So says Kevin Nix, group vice president-industry applications for Siebel Systems, a CRM provider.
He says auto maker-dealer data sharing can become “mildly antagonistic,” depending on what one thinks the other might do with such information or if one thinks the sharing is only one-way.
“We see dealers more open to sharing information about leads and showroom traffic when the auto makers share in return,” Nix tells the E.N.G. 2004 CRM Conference in Los Angeles.
For auto makers, “like it or not, today's dealers are the (customer information) channel and the channel is important,” he says.
Auto maker-dealer collaboration offers great opportunities, yet it's subject to break down if it lacks coordination, according to Nix.
He tells of shopping for a car when a dealership salesperson asked if he had received a letter from the manufacturer offering $5,000 off. “I said no. He said, ‘I can't give you the $5,000 off without the letter.’ So how did I feel? Not good.”
Nix learned 60,000 of the letters went out in an untargeted mailing. Only six people went to the dealership with them.
“That's not a good market campaign, and not one coordinated with dealers,” he says. “CRM is not a slam dunk.”