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Most of us increasingly hear the term "business intelligence" thrown around in the automotive industry.  It sounds important, doesn't it?  But is it?  And what does it really mean for your dealership? 

In general (after you strip away all the jargon and BS), business intelligence simply means that you are not only collecting relevant data about prospects and customers as they move around your website, but also accurately analyzing and using that data to personalize your communication and interaction with those shoppers.  In its broadest sense, it's as simple as that.  While the definition may be easy, what needs to happen behind the scenes to collect business intelligence data is by no means child's play.  Further, successful incorporation of that information into real-life communication with consumers can also present challenges.  Let's talk here more about properly using the data, rather than properly collecting the data.  (The technology behind the scenes is highly specialized and best left to highly trained IT professionals.  Plus it can be really boring!) 

Current technology allows us to gather almost unlimited data about consumers.  We can (or should be able to) see where they were before they came to our website.  We can see what search terms they used to find us.  We can see the links that they clicked on to reach the website.  We see can what pages they view at our site, and for how long.  The list goes on and on and expands continuously as technology advances.  So what?  Merely collecting this data will do absolutely nothing to increase your dealership's business.  In fact, without proper analysis and use, the data is meaningless.  The data itself is not business intelligence.  The data + the analysis + the proper use = business intelligence = increased business. 

We can use a simple live chat business intelligence example to discuss what this means in real life for your dealership.  So, a consumer is on your website.  You can see the consumer there and watch their behavior for what brought them to you, both before they arrived at your site and while they are on your site.  You know for example, that they found you from a Google search for the term "2009 Nissan Altima Coupe Orlando."  They then clicked on your ad that appeared from the search.  Once they arrived on your site, they configured three of these new vehicles and also viewed details for three 2008 Nissan Altima Coupes.  Armed with this data, you can now proactively approach them while they are shopping on your site, with a customized offer to help them based on their needs. 

This is a much more effective way to convert the shopper into a lead (and ultimately a sale) than merely greeting them with a generic message such as, "Hello, I am here to assist you if you have any questions or need any help."  You can now greet them with a personalized message such as, "Hello.  I noticed that you are interested in Altima Coupes.  Did you know that we currently have a special offer for our remaining 2009 models?  Here are the details about the special and the vehicles we have in stock…"  And it's not just about pushing the page to them.  You can also redirect their current browser to show them more detailed vehicle information, thereby creating a personalized, concierge shopping experience.     

This communication takes advantage of true business intelligence and will generate infinitely more leads than a generic message.  Using business intelligence allows you to demonstrate that you understand their needs and that you are attempting genuinely assist them (and save them money!), rather than merely bother them on your site.  This is the power of combining the data and the proper usage of the data, technology plus a trained human being!  This is what increases business.  

This is just one example of leveraging business intelligence, similar to the Black Book example I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.  What similar examples can you share?  Please comment! 

You can also learn more about live chat business intelligence by downloading the new Live Chat Buyers' Guide.  It's free and unbiased!  

Todd Smith
www.activengage.com
P: (800) 775-7358 x9200  
F: (877) 900-7222
C: 321-662-7800
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todd@activEngage.com
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