In the past couple of years, customer buying behavior has changed significantly. Customers research online extensively about the products they want to buy. They shortlist specific companies offering those products and then visit their showrooms. It holds even in the case of the automobile industry. Hence, it is critical for a car dealership business to be present in front of customers across multiple channels.

Once you start doing this, there are high chances of increased customer interactions. As a business, you have to invest in customer relationship management a.k.a. CRM, to effectively manage it as it can be very beneficial to your business.

Let us look at 9 significant benefits CRM offers to a car dealership business.

1. Organized leads and clients database

A CRM allows the business to store and organize all the leads in a centralized system. The employees can quickly access the information when required and with relative ease.

If you are running successful ad campaigns across different mediums, you might receive numerous leads in a day. If there is no system to capture and store these leads, it causes lead leakage. An interested buyer remains uncontacted, and the marketing resources used to generate leads are wasted. It results in revenue loss.

CRM will be a centralized system for all the leads generated. CRMs can also perform auto-allocation, i.e. once there is an inquiry, it is automatically assigned to an executive to take further action. The employee and the manager can track the progress of every lead using a CRM. It ensures that the employees contact all the interested buyers within a specific timeframe.

2. Tracking customer communication across different stages

An interested car buyer will interact multiple times with the company for various purposes. The buyer would like to take a test drive, evaluate other options available within their budget, compare the car you offer with other competitors’ cars, understand various financing options, know more about after-sales services, negotiate, etc.

At each of these stages, you should be able to track their progress. Also, all the interactions during these stages have to be stored to assist the sales personnel. CRM will help you do so in just a few clicks.

The companies also need to ensure that all the employees follow company policies and procedures and adhere to the specified service-level agreements (SLA).

With a CRM application, decision-makers can easily monitor the SLAs and take action to develop business efficiency whenever team members fill in the information about the specific activity. If required, the authorities can take corrective action on time.

3. Personalized marketing campaigns

A CRM can help identify multiple market segments. The marketing teams can create personalized campaigns for each of these different segments. As a result, the right campaign reaches the right customer at the right time. Such highly targeted and personalized campaigns always provide better results.

4. Boost employee productivity

A car dealership executive focuses primarily on two objectives – increasing sales and giving better client service. From a sales perspective, the employees should contact the prospective buyer as quickly as possible.

Also, they should have all the necessary information provided by the lead to understand their requirements. All this should be available to them easily and quickly. It will enable them to effectively advance the inquiry to the next stage, which could be a test drive or any other process, as requested by the buyer. CRM captures all this information, makes it available to the user quickly, and enables them to take the right actions.

In the case of enhancing customer service, a CRM can be very beneficial. The employee can access all the historical data in a couple of clicks. It allows the customer service executive to find the best possible solution to the problem and offer them the right solution at the right time.

It increases customer delight and creates a positive after-sales service experience.

The modern CRMs come with AI capabilities that provide insights to the sales personnel based on customer interaction. It helps them prioritize their sales funnel and contact those more interested first. It also enables them to focus more on the clients who are more likely to buy from them and allocate their time more efficiently.

5. Identify resell, cross-sell, and upsell opportunities

The CRM system consists of historical records of the customers. Car dealership executives can use this to sell multiple products to their customers.

They may use it to offer them annual maintenance car services. If the customers have had a positive experience, they are more likely to buy it from you. You can periodically share information about new accessories or any upgrades to the existing model that they have bought. If interested, they may connect with your team to know more about these products.

Also, a customer would typically buy 2-3 cars in their lifetime. If you are constantly in touch with them, they might sell their old car and buy a new model from you. They will also connect with you if they want to purchase additional cars for other family members.

6. Customer feedback

A happy customer would buy more from you, whereas a disgruntled one will dissuade others from doing business with you. Hence gathering customer feedback is crucial.

The customers use your products every day and can suggest ideas or improvements that may benefit your business or enhance the product quality.

CRM can capture and collate customer feedback and analyze it.

7. Loyalty and Referral Program

References are the most cost-effective way to increase a business. A car dealership can introduce a referral program for its customers. If they refer people who buy a car from you, the referrer gets some rewards. A CRM helps in tracking referrals too.

Also, the dealership can start a loyalty program for such customers wherein they can get loyalty points for references which they can avail of later for car servicing or while buying a new car. Several dealerships provide attractive buyback offers to their existing customers when they return to buy a car from them. All these can be managed effectively with the help of a CRM.

8. Task Automation

The new-age modern CRMs come with the capability to automate various tasks. These could be automatically sending timely reminders to leads about the next steps in the purchase process, reminders about annual service contract renewals, upcoming car servicing schedules, insurance renewal, new offers, etc.

CRM also helps in automating the data entry process across different phases.

It also saves a lot of time and resources an employee spends identifying and rectifying such errors.

The employees can set reminders to follow up with the clients. It ensures timely follow-ups.

9. Real-time insights and reports

CRMs allow users to create reports with negligible technical support. They can also share them with the various stakeholders. The modern cloud-based CRMs enable users to create reports based on real-time data, thus providing accurate and updated insights to the concerned stakeholders. These insights help stakeholders to make timely decisions and provide them with a competitive edge in the market.

The management can view the cars sold, revenue earned, car models which are more popular, least selling car models, etc., and use such highly informative data to make data-driven decisions.

CRMs offer numerous benefits and are an investment that is worth considering if you are a car dealership. If you are interested in evaluating a CRM for your business, connect with experts at Direction Software. We are a Microsoft Gold partner since 2002 and offer Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM to various businesses across different industries.

Direction Software is a multicultural Information Technology Solutions and Business consulting company with Indo-German Management, headquartered in Mumbai, India.

We offer Bespoke solutions on .Net, Java & open-source platforms, E-Business consulting, Back Office Support, Business Intelligence, and Mobility Solutions.

About the author:
Chirag Thakkar – Sr. Digital Marketing Consultant

At Direction Software LLP, Chirag works with the Marketing Team to enhance the Digital Marketing presence and Lead Generation.