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The final keynote speaker at the 2012 Automotive Boot Camp was Patrick Kelly, President and COO of CAR-Research. Prior to this event, I never had the pleasure to see Patrick speak. I've attended many conferences and it is an understatement that I was blown away with his passion and knowledge of the car business.
I was already familiar with the CAR-Research CRM product called "XRM", which won the Dealer Satisfaction Award for CRM software presented by DrivingSales.
What I did not know is that CAR-Research has a full-time call center and research center that dealers can leverage to ensure that sales and customer service processes are being followed.
We all have read statistics on how poorly leads, phone-ups, and existing customer follow-up is handled in the automotive industry. If you haven't seen the stats, take a peek at this study published by Dealix.
Every dealership employee knows that there are times when too many leads, calls, or ups flood the dealership and processes go out the window.
Do you work at a dealership? Are staffing and training levels at your dealership insufficient to handle the current lead volume?
What inspired me about Patrick's presentation is that he showed the "lift" is sales and service performance when dealers recognized their human resource weakness and leveraged a process "backstop" service like CAR-Research.
The improvements in net profits was so impressive that I was compelled to share my excitement here on DrivingSales.
I don't sell CAR-Research products or services. I am sharing my excitement based on a simple observation. The more I visit dealerships across the US and Canada, everyone is struggling with finding good people to work at their dealership. Most every GM admits to having leaks in process and procedure. They recognize that they are losing sales each day and are working hard to improve sales however the 30-day sales clock is ticking.
Leveraging a call-center and research center ensures that Dealer Principals and General Managers can know if their processes are being followed. They can leverage on-demand resources to pick-up leads, calls, or follow-up when the dealership staff drops the ball.
I recently visited a dealership that was so overwhelmed with sales leads that they admitted that they NEVER call back existing customers for service or to "data mine" in equity owners for new sales opportunities. Imagine if this dealership hired a call center as a back-stop until more staff could be hired and while their new facility was being completed.
This is a no-brainer to me, but each dealership has to come to that realization on their own. While each dealership works toward building stronger processes and investing in staff training, why not get some help; on demand.
Here is a video that Patrick recorded at Boot Camp that I thought would connect with members of DrivingSales. It is clear that he is passionate for our industry and wants to help car dealers succeed. If you have an opportunity to meet Patrick or hear him speak, don't miss it!