Tag Archives: Customer relationship management

Automotive Sales: 4 Means to a More Efficient CRM

It’s a new year, and the automotive marketplace is now more data-centric than ever before. Customer Relationship Management is one of the most essential tools you and your dealership can use to organize, track and store this data and ultimately close more deals. Regardless of the size of your store, or how many rooftops there are in your group, the implementation of a CRM has been shown to increase productivity by as much as 30% when used efficiently.

The only way to ensure effective CRM use and increased productivity is to insist on standardization, accuracy and consistency. You must gain your entire team’s “buy in” first. Once you have established these attributes amongst your team, you may utilize the four points below to streamline your efficiency in its use. In turn, this will increase your closings, and improve your rate on return, specifically as it pertains to your investment in the CRM.

1.  Using CRMSuite ActivityFocus or a Lead Scoring System:

For More About ActivityFocus

For More About ActivityFocus

CRMSuite takes the guess work out of creating an effective algorithm, which will determine which leads are the “hottest”, within your CRM’s database. How often are your salespeople interacting with an individual? How frequently is that prospect engaging with your store? What time of day do they appear to engage with you more often? What medium (email, phone, text) do they respond to best? These are just some of the factors which the system takes into consideration when scoring leads.

A lead score is nothing but a score which is assigned to every lead entered in your CRM database. The higher the score, which is based on a proprietary algorithm that defines your ideal customer, the “hotter” the lead. By utilizing this feature of the CRM, the leads which are most likely to convert, are bubbled to the top, in real-time, for your sales people to contact. Giving sales people the deals which they will most likely be able to close, right now.

No need to fumble through hundreds of leads and make ill received calls. Most sales professionals spend nearly a quarter of their time simply searching for information. With a lead scoring system in place, they are able to target those leads, which are most likely conversions, with little to no effort. In turn you will see your number of closed deals increase each month. You’re not just closing more deals in less time. You are engaging those leads at the time that they are most likely to be willing to hear your message.

2.  Current Lead Social Data:

Social Data in Real Time

Social Media is here to stay. Now more than ever, people are sharing every aspect of their lives online. Though 45% of your customers interact with brands on social platforms; this isn’t as much about having a presence for your brand on social media, as it is about collecting your prospects social data for your own purposes.

CRMSuite “scrapes” all of the publicly available social data from your prospects profiles to aid your sales team in their efforts to close potential customers. Social Media data is an excellent source of up to the minute information… and it’s free of cost to you. This includes profile pictures and most recent updates which help you to better understand, and ultimately pitch prospects.

CRMSuite is “thee” most Social CRM on the market today. It collects everything from the leads most recent tweet to their alternate phone numbers as they have provided them to various social platforms throughout the years. It not only pulls all social data on your customer when the lead is created, but also automatically refreshes this information to keep the lead social data current. This means never missing the latest Updates and Profiles images on your customer. The proper implementation of a Social CRM system, such as this, has been shown to increase sales productivity by as much as 12% over time.

3.  Updating Lead Data in One Place: 

Desk the deal from anywhere

The background systems in CRMSuite can refresh social data automatically, sure, but interactions, contacts made, meeting notes and preferred phone numbers and addresses etc. are all manually input by your sales people. Inputting this data in a timely fashion, keeping it accurate and all in one place, is vital to the system and it’s ability to score leads. As well as being essential to your staff, for their future appointments and contact with this lead.

Most CRMs today are wonderfully equipped to allow all the relevant information to be input into the system, no matter what device you use to input it. CRMSuite is not to be out done with a user interface which lend itself incredibly well to Mobile devices as well as Mobile applications designed specifically to allow Sales People the freedom to conduct deals and engage with prospects anywhere. While keeping their data as up-to-date in the system as possible.

You can type the meeting notes, appointments, or other vital information in your tablet or mobile phone, and your CRM system will sync it across all devices instantly. This means no repetitive data entry, and tons of time saved, which can then be used to make that next contact due and schedule future appointments.

Management also greatly benefits from these features. Updating this information in the CRM provides visibility of work from each member of your team and management. Imagine never having to ask your rep the date of their next appointment, or how many calls they have made today. Imagine never having to deal with the nightmare of transferring leads and accounts with incomplete information to a new rep.

The ability to access and update data anywhere, anytime means reps are more likely to do it… which saves everyone time in the end.

4.  Smart Dashboards and Analysis:

Reporting and Analytics possibilities are limitless with CRMSuite

Limitless Analytics

Most CRMs come with a package of predefined reports. The way your store works and the way you measure your successes may not be the same as the dealership across the street. With truly customizable reporting, on a dashboard which is updated in real time, CRMSuite gives you all the tools you need to track and measure the metrics which matter to you most.

A top performer’s report can be a sales driver across the dealer group. A daily appointment report can be a productivity tool for management. A sales rep’s performance report can be a motivator. Custom reports can be a powerful tools to motivate and push sales people to close more deals. They provide the individual reps with a way to measure their own goals and for management to measure daily, weekly and monthly sales goals without pestering or micro-managing subordinates. At the executive level reporting can be more broad and provide the big picture store-by-store for the group, and month over month while assessing annual sales numbers.

The MyDay page has the ability to create multiple pages, with various customizable Apps, which can be tailored to suit any individual in the store. Smart reporting and real time analysis of the numbers, gives the entire team the power to model behaviors after what works. The better you define what is working at your store, or for a certain rep, the more efficient they (and you) ultimately become.

In Conclusion

It’s estimated that with proper CRM implementation throughout an organization there is the potential to gain as much as $6 in revenue for every $1 spent on CRM.

Are you utilizing your Customer Relationship Management tools to their fullest potential within your dealer group? What CRM efficiency tips do you implement within your team?

Set More Appointments: Videos Alone Will Not Sell Cars

Elise Desktop

Branding yourself on Youtube is no simple task. Elise Kephart has managed to make her videos so popular amongst those in the auto industry that some stores are using them for training purposes. The Youtube Diva is on the cutting edge as far as incorporating the technology available to us today into her sales process. She’s also become quite good at it; being recognized by the likes of Jim Zigler as far back as 2010. She’s now sharing a lot of her insights at automotive industry conferences and of course, via her YouTube channel.

In the beginning Elise’s videos were very focused on the vehicle, which the customer had stated they were interested in. The vehicle on the lead, whether that was received via email or form filled out on the dealer website set the tone for the entire video. Her videos struggled to hold the attention of the prospect in todays busy world. They contained loads of information up front and rounded out at about 5 minutes run time a piece. Elise found that by pairing these videos down, to focus on starting that relationship with the customer, she had a lot more success and better customer response. Focus on the customer experience and the personal relationship, more than the vehicle and sales pitch right off the bat. You want to put the customer at ease, show them you are a real person and begin a friendship. Including video clip referrals from her past customers has also become a trademark of Elise’s videos which she send out to prospective new buyers.

This process has been tried and tested with exceptional success by Elise. Below is her process for contacting new internet leads step-by-step:

1. From your Office Line, Call the customer at about 9am.
a. Tell the customer that you have “Some Great News” and ask for a return call
b. Keep it short and non-specific but give your hours and contact information
c. Let the customer know that if you don’t hear back from them you WILL try them again later today
2. Send your Video email message immediately after your first call attempt.
a. Introduce yourself and your store
b. Tell the customer briefly what you discussed if you got ahold of them and thank them for speaking with you
c. If you left a voicemail, then give them your vehicle options that match the customer enquiry e.g. “We have the 2013 Honda Accord available in the red or white today”
d. Give the customer your direct contact information clearly and your On Hours in store
e. Make it Personal. Use the customers name and be casual and conversational
f. Keep your video under 90 seconds and under 60 seconds is optimal
g. Ask for the Call back and let the customer know that you WILL contact them again if you don’t hear from them.
3. From your Mobile Phone, Call the customer at about 11am.
a. Do NOT leave a message
4. From your Mobile Phone, Call the customer at about 2pm.
a. Again Do NOT leave a message
5. From your Office Line, Call the customer at about 5pm.
a. Leave a Message again with your contact details and hours in store today
b. Ask for the call back and explain that you WILL call the customer back again tomorrow if you do not hear from them before then

Some people may call this borderline harassment, but the simple fact is that the customer has requested this information, about a car that interested them, from your store. You may get some negative feedback on occasion, however for the most part it is your job to reply to these leads. Furthermore, you aren’t doing your job, if you don’t get in touch with the customer.

The goal is to Set an Appointment. You can’t sell a car if you don’t get that customer on the lot. How you begin your relationship with each lead will determine if you get that appointment set. Treat each lead as Elise suggests above and I bet you set more appointments. It’s our job to sell cars and put the numbers on the board sure, but giving the customer the most wonderful car buying experience should also be high on your personal agenda. Once you get the customer on the lot they can fall in love with the car. Videos and that personal touch will build trust and help the customer to fall in love with your store. It also removes the awkward from your first appointment as the customer feels that they have already met you and you can get straight down to business as soon as they arrive.

What’s your Follow Up Process? Are you utilizing Videos to Prospects? How are you accomplishing this while using CRM? Let us know in the comments below and share this article using the social buttons below 🙂

Original article published on Dealer20.com in late October 2013
Special Thanks to: Elise Kephart for allowing us to interview her and share her follow-up process within this article. Follow Elise on Twitter @theyoutubediva 

5 Ways to Create Happy Automotive Customers

In an age when you understand that your customer can price shop you in the five minutes you walked away to talk to the desk manager, simply by pulling out their mobile phone, how do you set your store and yourself apart? When price and availability of the vehicles on your lot can be so easily matched or beaten how will you set up not only repeat purchases but referrals from future prospects?

CRMSuite can Help:

  1. Excellent Customer Support –

    You already have the sincere enthusiasm, firm handshake and winning smile locked up. Use CRMSuite to help you respond to Leads, Follow up with Prospects and Make contact with each sold customer long after the vehicle has been driven off the lot.

  2. Transparency & Responsibility –

    You already own your sold customers and make sure that your store is with them from the initial receipt of the lead, through the sale and service, and back to their next vehicle. AutoPencil allows for total transparency during the desking process. Give your customer all of the numbers up front and in a clearly formatted, beautiful template which automatically calculates the payments etc. during the negotiating process. Never leave your customers side to go to the desk, and have your customer sign the deal right from the driver’s seat of the vehicle they love.

  3. Incentives & Rewards –

    OEM Incentives are great, but you want to give your customers a little something extra. Offer rewards for referral leads and use CRMSuite to track the lead sources and note customer rewards.

  4. Engage & Personalize –

    CRMSuite is thee most Social CRM on the Market. Using proprietary algorithms and public information we match customer profiles with your customer records within CRMSuite. View your customer latest activities and recent profile photo right on their record. Link back to customer profiles so you can be prepared to greet them with your common interests and useful information to build value once you’ve set that all important appointment.

  5. Measure & Analyze Satisfaction –

    Make goals for your team and implement ways to measure your customers satisfaction with them. Use the wide variety of reporting and MyDay modules to see all your numbers at a glance, updated in real time and drill down for detail right from your dashboard.

Happy Customer Infographic

Is Great Customer Service Enough to Set your Store Apart?

Recently, I had a decent, but incomplete, customer service experience with a large corporation. Were they polite, yes. Were they able to resolve my problem, yes. Would I recommend their company to my friends and family members? Hmm, would I? I mean, really think about that.

Your cousin casually mentions that they are looking for a new car, or a new wireless carrier or a new dry cleaner for that matter. Is there a company that you are so passionate about, that you would speak up and say “Hey, I know just the folks you need to call to take care of you!” I was HAPPY with my customer service experience, by the end of the interaction. However, I can honestly say that if someone I cared about, asked me if they should go to this corporation for their products and services, I’d be on the fence with regards to recommending them.

What does this mean?

This means you can have customers who leave your store happy. They feel like they received a fair deal and they love their new car. They received adequate service and overall they were pleased with the way they were treated. But when their Mom mentions that she is looking for a new car, they could NOT recommend you or your store to her. Their mother may even bring it up herself, “Didn’t you just buy a new car? Where did you go to get yours?” Your customer could even name your store and still their Mother won’t be convinced that that is the place for her to purchase her new vehicle.

How do you set your store apart, and set yourself up for referral business?

There is absolutely no substitute for sincerity and passion about your brand. You can’t just say “Thank you” or “We appreciate your business” or “We care about your experience with us today.” In fact, if you say it and don’t mean it, you’re actually doing damage. I recently had a CSR answer the phone with “Thank you for calling <XYZ Company>, where we appreciate our customers” and I almost laughed out loud… the woman on the other end of the phone sounded less than enthusiastic to help me and just the tone of her voice convinced me otherwise.

You can’t make people care about your brand or store. You have to find, and hire people who are passionate about helping your customers. If you are the salesperson in this case, and you are passionate about helping your customers, as well as sincere when you thank them for their business. I promise you’ll be more successful at gaining referrals than your less enthusiastic counterparts.

Learn how to create relationships that will stand the test of time

Your enthusiasm in contagious. If you are in management, this will trickle down to your reps. And if you are a rep this will be passed on to your customers. Have you ever had a day that was just like six mondays smashed together? We all have, right? Do you remember having an interaction with a stranger, on a day such as that, and it turning your whole day around? It could have been the grocery store or buying a new pair of shoes. Whatever the case, that person had a positive impact on your day, and subsequently you. This may have changed your perception of their Brand as well. In the same way that a negative experience would change your perception of a particular Brand.

The difference is that, to create a real impact with a positive experience, you have to work a LOT harder. The experience must be truly exceptional, and above and beyond the call of duty of your basic job requirements. within the company. There is a saying “People never remember a clean house, but they always remember a dirty one.” And the same can be said for Customer Service. People will remember the bad over the good nearly 1000 to 1. Your job is to figure out how to make your customer service excellent, exceptional and consistently awesome. And therefore how to create lasting relationships with your customers. Fostering a sense of brand loyalty and going to extra mile to ensure future business via referral.

The attached infographic has some tips on what makes for excellent customer service. How realistic do you think are these customer expectations or your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

++ Click Image to Enlarge ++
Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?
Source: Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?

Sales and Service within DealerCRM

woeurieHow many dealerships utilize their Service Department? I mean REALLY utilize their Service Department. The answer, not too many. If you do not have a marketing tool for Service clients within your current CRM, you are missing out on already loyal customers who have chosen your dealership to service their vehicles.

DealerCRM is different. We can utilize your Service records so you can put them to good use. You can see who, of your past customers, uses your Service department to maintain their vehicles. You can also see who services their cars with you, but never purchased from you. How beneficial is it to your store to be able to market to those clients on an individual basis? Not just one mass email stating “Stop in for an oil change!” Instead something more strategic for just those owners and service clients who own a 2007-2010 Ford Focus, with less than 100,000 miles. Alternatively you could offer a free Market Analysis on their vehicle, while it is in the Service Department, during routine maintenance. We all know how nice it is to have an unexpected customer walk in to our showroom, from our service department, and end up leaving in a brand new vehicle!  What if it could happen for your dealership on a more regular basis?

Steering Wheel Vintage Ford

How important is CSI to your Service Department? I receive follow up emails regarding my service experience all of the time. My email address is included in the contact information for my parent’s vehicles, my sister’s vehicles, and a few of my client’s vehicles. I like nothing more than to receive an email from where I service my vehicle. If there is an issue, it can be corrected prior to the OEM survey being received by the customer. If it was a pleasant experience, maybe a request for a customer review online would be the next step. CSI isn’t just important for OEM manufacturer statistics, it is a great way to market your dealership on a public level. Free advertising from happy customers is better than the best paid advertising.

Who has ever had a customer that wanted more money off of their new car? I think that is just about everyone who has ever tried to sell a vehicle. What is nice about DealerCRM is that you can clearly see the Closed RO information within the client record. So that customer that wants an additional $250 off of the sale price might be justified in asking for it, especially if they average $250 per Closed RO. It also goes the other way when that person has never serviced their vehicle with your dealership but wants a deep discount. DealerCRM allows you to make more informed decisions when considering additional discounting for customers.

These are just a few ways that Service Integration within DealerCRM can help your dealership retain your customers… and sell more vehicles.  Can you see the benefits? What aspect of the Sales and Service integration has been most useful in your store?

CRM Tools for Salespeople within DealerCRM

blue_gray_shadow_outline

I have held many jobs in my short lifetime.  By far, my most successful to date has been selling cars.  I wasn’t your typical sales rep.  While others were smoking, gathering in various corners, or dodging ups, I was waiting at the door for the next person to walk in.  I would walk the lot every morning, checking out trade row, seeing what the truck dropped off the night before.  I took my job very seriously, and did everything I could to make sure my 50-60 hour work weeks were not wasted on people in the dealership, who didn’t make me any money.  My biggest ally, my CRM.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.35.32 AM

DealerCRM holds you to a standard of Excellence.  It provides you with an organized view of your daily contacts on your MyDay screen.  DealerCRM empowers you with a search tool, called DealMagic, to dig deeper for your Sold clients.  It provides you all of those prospects from last year, who are interested in that used vehicle which just showed up in inventory, with the Pre-Owned Vehicle Alerts. DealerCRM allows you to send emails, text messages, and record phone calls within the customer record, all from one location with iCallClick and emails.  It also provides you with a variety of reports to check your own progress and for managers to view your Daily Activity.

MyDay

With your MyDay screen, you have a variety of resources at your fingertips.  Emails from your clients are displayed right at the top.  When you click on the customer name, it opens up the whole customer profile in plain view.  Not only can you see the email your client sent, you can also see every contact ever made.  You can see every service the client had in your service department.  You can see every vehicle your client was ever interested in.  You have a complete customer history, right down to the email sent 4 years ago, without having to go to 4 different areas within the CRM to find it.  Hotwatches will also populate on your MyDay view, these are like little sticky notes right in the CRM to provide you with reminders.  You also  have an organized view of your phone calls by level of priority.  What is better than that?

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.40.31 AM

 

DealMagic

With DealerCRM, you have a search tool directly at your fingertips.  DealMagic provides you with infinite ways to search for your clients, both Sold customers and Prospects.  With DealMagic you can data mine.  You can also send email campaigns directly from the tool, specifically for your customer in a matter of minutes.  Instead of contacting a marketing company and spending money to have an email sent or a Call Campaign completed, you have the ability to do so yourself, right at your fingertips.  I mentioned searches, this tool has infinite possibilities for search criteria.  You can search for Sold clients, Prospects, Internet Leads, even Bad or Lost customers!

Daily Activity Report

Ever feel like your manager is riding you for no reason?  There are over 50 reports in DealerCRM that your manager can view with a push of a button.  My personal favorite, the Daily Activity Report.  This report allows you to change the dates to reflect the time period you want to view.  It allows you to filter by sales rep, by team, by ad source, etc.  The Daily Activity Report shows you everything for the dealership, including Service Department Activities!  No more having managers wasting 5 minutes of your life asking what you have completed for the day.  They can click on the report, drill down into, and see every call you have made, every email sent, every note entered, etc.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.09.15 AM

Follow Up

What’s so great about the follow up process in DealerCRM?  We make it easy!  You want to send a customer an email, do so right from the client profile.  Instead of clicking between your CRM profile and your Outlook email, do it all from one place.  When the client replies, it stays directly in your client history, you do not have to copy and paste it into the notes after the fact.  Do you want to text your customer?  Again, DealerCRM makes this possible, right from the client record.  When that client replies, you don’t need to save it in your phone forever, it stays within the client record to review 5 years down the road.  In addition to this, with iCallClick, you can call directly from your computer, work phone, cell phone, even your home phone.  If your dealership has allowed for recording calls, that recording will stay in the client history for 60 days for review at a later time.

DealerCRM has infinite possibilities when it comes to follow up  and client records!  It is forever changing, and constantly improving, to bring our dealers valuable tools which allow you to  sell cars and leave the difficult follow up schedules to us!

iMagicLab CRM – Training & Support

Are you seeking Training for DealerCRM from iMagicLab
but you seem to have arrived at our Blog instead?

Have no fear!  
We have just the place for you to find the answers you need.

Check out the DealerCRM Support Center from iMagicLab

Link to DealerCRM Support Center

DealerCRM Support Center

You can also find all the Training materials you need right inside DealerCRM. Check out the iML University via the button on the right hand side of your MyDay Screen. All of the Trainings relevant to your position within your store will be right there and we even track your progress through the training for you so you can pick right up where you left off. If you still have questions once you’ve reviewed the training hit us up via the DealerCRM Support Center for one on one assistance with your concerns. View this quick video for tips on how to use the DealerCRM Support Center.