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Narrow Your Focus: Three Key Action Items for Dealerships

Narrow Your Focus: Three Key Action Items for Dealerships

I get it – it’s hard to stay focused. Keeping the unread emails to double-digits is a feat, and social media notifications never stop rolling in. There’s a shiny new technology available every week, and the amount of content to read and listen to online is endless.

In the midst of all these distractions, it is more important than ever to stay focused on what really matters in making your dealership run. Your customers are shopping in a completely different way than they used to; they are surrounded by these distractions, too. So staying focused on what is important to them – and in turn, your dealership – will help you cut through the clutter and improve the customer shopping experience.

We’re all guilty of overcomplicating things, but in reality, most dealers can benefit from focusing on three key action items.

Enter Your Data in Your CRM
The amount of data available to us can be a blessing and curse. There is value in knowing how your customers are shopping, how they are shopping and what they are interested in. The curse can come about if you’re not making the most of the availability of customer data (because your competitors are)!

The solution to the potential problem is simple: Enter information for every single customer you talk to into the CRM. Take advantage of the database you’re creating.

This is still a challenge; your staff is often being pulled in a million different directions at once. But to make your dealership run most efficiently, customer data entry has to be a focus. Entering every phone call made, every person visited with – not just internet leads – has to be a priority.

Communicate with Your Customers Correctly
So you’ve prioritized entering customer data into your CRM – you also have to use it, and use it well. We, as an industry, still struggle with how to communicate with customers. Sure, it’s easy to send one email to every customer in your database. But is that what customers want? (Spoiler alert: In the majority of cases, the answer is no.)

Dealers need to be focused on sending the right messages, to the right customers, at the right time. It’s a little bit more effort to send a targeted message to a select number of email addresses. But when customers are receiving messages that are engaging and relevant to them, that extra effort will pay returns. And with the help of your CRM, that targeting can be easier than you’d think. Give the CRM the chance to work for you, and it can tell you what and when to send to your customers – instead of you telling the CRM what and when to send.

Take Advantage of the Technology Available
You’re likely equipped with a lot of great tools; are you using them? Some tools take a lot of training, but many don’t. For example, Connect CRM is equipped with a mobile scanner that can capture complicated data (customer IDs, trade-in values, VIN numbers) and input them into the system with the snap of a smartphone photo. Tools like this, which are easy to integrate into day-to-day routines, provide great opportunities to save time and maximize customer connections.

Learn more on strategies for success from my recent interview on the Auto Remarketing Podcast.


Mark Vickery, Senior Director of Performance ManagementMark Vickery is the senior director of performance management at VinSolutions. He is an expert on the retail car business, with a focus on customer retention and leading and establishing teams. Have a question for Mark? Connect with him on LinkedIn or shoot him a note.

Posted: 7/25/2017 8:00:00 AM by Mark Vickery
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