Current technology is geared toward mobility, convenience, easy accessibility of information, and staying connected. I can still recall a time when a cell phone was something of luxury; a commodity that only a few select considered a need. Today, according to Erin Touponse, President of the ElmGroup Consulting, “92% of adults in the U.S. own smart phones.” Society has gone mobile! This is something of a phenomenon when you consider how dependent we have become to our mobile devices. If you’ve ever gone a day without your mobile device, then you must know the anxiety that begins to set in from feeling a sense of disconnection from “the world.” Technology has also empowered consumers by allowing them the amenity of information at all times. With such a shift in the buying process, naturally, businesses must adapt to their customer’s buying habits and mimic the way in which a customer prefers to communicate. For these reasons, dealerships cannot help but to implement a mobile CRM tool, that enables them to mobilize their reps, add convenience to the buying process, empower them with product information, and maintain a connection with their customers.
Utilizing a Mobile CRM application is helping dealers capture 39% more fresh ups. It also helps creates a transparent and convenient customer experience. One dealer, after implementing a Mobile CRM app, noted that “customers seem more comfortable giving their information to staff when they are standing in front of them with an iPad or smart phone, rather than the employee needing to run to a computer. This allows the dealership to capture more data, more quickly, which leads to better follow-up by the salespeople.” Putting the customer in a comfortable situation to make a buying decision is fundamental, seeing as how people can research to the point of exhaustion when buying a car. Touponse states that “individuals will spend a total of 19 hours researching a car purchase.” A convenient customer experience should minimize the time it takes to complete a vehicle purchase, something a Mobile CRM app can help achieve by enabling the sales representative to easily log in information on the lot or on a demo. With more data captured, the follow-up process becomes very effective and allows for improvement by measuring sales results from marketing processes.
The Hawthorne Effect which says that “what gets measured gets improved,” rings true in an industry where measuring ROI is a key factor to success and maintaining business doors open. By fully integrating the Mobile app with the core CRM, the CRM tool is able to track inbound and outbound calls, linking customer records to such calls and logging in completed activities. A sales representative can also respond to inbound leads and “stop the clock.” By putting a stop to the “clock” sooner with the Mobile CRM app, the dealership can better qualify for special manufacturer incentives and bonuses, which is based on the response time to a lead. Because the Mobile app enables its users the ability to access key functionalities 24/7, it increases the capacity to measure and improve employee and dealership performance. Such key functionalities like: inventory searchability, VIN barcode scanning, quick sales event creation, the ability to receive and respond to new lead alerts and to-dos, the ability to email or text electronic vehicle brochures, and usability of email templates when responding or sending a new email. Sales reps should be excited at the fact that they can do what they do best; engage with customers on the lot in a more personable fashion and not be bogged down behind the desk.
A Mobile CRM app also assists the needs of managers. With a Mobile app, managers are able to not only manage multiple dealerships with a mobile sales dashboard, but also oversee the activity of the dealership, even to the point of knowing what an individual sales person has pending or up-and-coming on their plate. In so many ways, a Mobile app enables dealerships to track and measure multiple actions that are then reflected back on the actual desktop CRM. With a Mobile app, the power of the desktop CRM is now at the palm of the user’s hand.
A Mobile CRM should also enable its user to communicate with a customer via phone, email, and text without the need of a computer. Text messaging specifically is something that is not too often considered as a means to improve the customer’s buying experience. Having all three modes of communication puts the dealership in a position to give the customer choices to be communicated with in the manner that fits with their lifestyle. It is plain to see, when people have the choice to communicate using their mobile device, that some people prefer texting, some are more email inclined, and others opt for a simple phone call. According to a poll taken by Nielsen in 2012 to 2013, 94.4% of smartphone users send text messages on their devices, while 87% of US smartphone owners regularly send and receive texts on their devices. The same poll noted that US women text on their mobile phones 14% more than men. With such staggering statistics on texting, it behooves a dealership to leverage this technology on their Mobile CRM app for their sales and service departments.
Staying with the times and adapting to the communicative trends of consumers is key to, what Ron Willingham, author of “Integrity Selling For The 21st Century,” says is “selling the way people want to buy.” A mobile application that gives dealerships the edge in enabling fluid communication, sales, and marketing processes, is the turnkey solution that differentiates “old school” from “new school.” With a reliable Mobile CRM app dealerships can expect to have mobility, convenience, easy accessibility of information, and stay connected with their customers to be a part of their social network.
Do you have a reliable Mobile app that ingrates with your CRM?
Is it downloadable now on iTunes and Android?
What success stories have you experienced with Mobile CRM?
Hunter Swift is the Manager of Market Development at DealerSocket and has been with the company since 2005. In addition to his current role he has fulfilled the responsibilities of customer support, consulting, training, and sales. He specializes in helping dealerships improve processes through the use of CRM technology. Prior to DealerSocket he sold cars and is a graduate of Pepperdine University.
Follow him: @HunterSwift