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Jared Hamilton
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Who is perhaps the most important person in any business? The customer. Understanding your customer's needs at each step in their life cycle with you is crucial to the success of your dealership. Using an integrated system for marketing, sales, service and CSI allows you to pinpoint these customer needs, which leads to increased profit and satisfaction. An integrated system for all of your dealership's departments provides better customer service, increased productivity and highly efficient marketing. It gives you a complete view of the customer, plus it allows employees from all departments to easily access customer information prioritize communications and create relationships effectively. Deals can be made in less time, and customers leave satisfied with their experience. Besides increasing customer satisfaction, an integrated system sharply reduces the marketing and advertising dollars spent. For example, when a customer returns a negative email survey, you wouldn't want to market future products or sales to that customer until their complaint is resolved. This would compromise the relationship with the customer who is still awaiting a resolution to a problem, and the effort would be a waste of time and money. Having a complaint resolution process and supporting technology embedded within a CRM system is critical because it defines and enables a process to efficiently handle every concern in a timely manner. With one system in place, complete information on any customer at any time is at your fingertips. And employees are able to make informed decisions on a customer-by-customer basis. Using separate applications may appear to work initially for your different dealership departments, but this is simply not the best long term solution. Information that has to be collected from separate systems and departments not only slows productivity, but increases operating costs and limits selling between departments (a key to retention). To sum it up, it hinders the ideal customer service experience that you want your customers to have every time they visit. Here's an example of how separate applications can work against your business. A customer searches the internet for a vehicle they intend to purchase and initially they deal with an internet lead manager. Then the customer walks into a dealership showroom and deals with a showroom salesman, creating an internal competition for the customer. This isn't fair to the customer or to the employees. If your data isn't working together effectively, you're compromising every department. The bottom line is, customers and prospects expect you to know about them. With disconnected solutions that don't cover every interaction that happens, customers feel orphaned and abandoned. They are more likely to head elsewhere next time they need their car serviced or are in the market for their next vehicle. Exceptional customer service adds value to the customer the most important person. An integrated solution provides a solid understanding of your customer. And that information is vital to the success of your business. It allows you to streamline your day-to-day processes so you can offer your customers an exceptional customer service experience every time and without fail. It's a win-win situation for the dealership and the customer.

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