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Over the past few years, automotive CRM (customer relationship management) software has become an essential part of the car sales industry. Companies like CAR-Research XRM provide systems that manage dealerships’ interactions with potential and future customers, using technology to integrate sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.

Increasing Sales

Within the past decade, the Internet has become the premier place for generating sales leads. In fact, according to many automotive industry experts, it is estimated that 90 percent of car buyers start their search online. Automotive CRM software suites typically have an Internet lead manager tool that quickly notifies the dealership of online inquiries. Sales associates at the showroom or customer service representatives (CSR) at the business development center (BDC) can then use an auto response email template (which they can edit to meet the interest of the potential buyer) or make a call.

Some CRM software packages add the ability to shoot a response via text or using a smartphone, instead of just relying on a computer and email; these features can speed up the response time of the car dealership. CSRs can set up appointments for potential buyers to visit the dealership regarding their vehicle interests and sit with a sales associate, thus greatly facilitating the sales process.

Promotional Marketing

CRM software can be used as a promotional tool. Dealerships run a variety of incentives, which include lower interest rates, specials on certain car models, trade-in deals, or holiday sales. Managers or sales associates send weekly or monthly email messages with details on these incentives, drawing from robust databases containing the names of current and potential buyers. CRM marketing also targets people with expiring finance contracts or are up for lease renewals.

Superior Customer Service

More than just a sales device, CRM software suites also ensure that dealerships deliver the absolute best customer service. Right from the time potential buyers contact the dealership, the system alerts the sales associates or CSRs to respond in a timely manner. The quicker the response, the less likely the would-be customer ends up going somewhere else. Upon contact, the dealership staff relies on customized call phone scripts and email templates for the most appropriate way to address customers’ needs. Also, the dealership can follow-up with people who have yet to buy a vehicle or missed their appointments, and send thank-you notifications for purchases and car servicing.

Providing Technical Support

Interactions with customers are not always positive. There are moments when a client might have a complaint or issue that needs to be promptly addressed. For instance, there might be a requested accessory missing in a new car purchase, the vehicle might have unexpected mechanical problems, or the servicing might not be satisfactory. CRM software systems provide dealerships the ability to keep track of all purchase and servicing records, and escalate any issues to the appropriate department.

By focusing on improving on all aspects of the car sales business, dealers can increase their customer satisfaction (CSI) and service satisfaction (SSI) indexes. The more pleased customers are with their car purchase and servicing experiences, the more likely they are to give positive feedback. Overall, the reliance on a CRM software suite boosts the reputation of dealerships.

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