CRM and your Brand

Chris Halsey
In the latest issue of our Dealership Innovation Guide (, their is an interesting article about CRMs and their impact on branding. Which begs the question: What innovative things are you doing to boost your brand awareness?
Michael Bilson
Chris: I am hoping for some insightful feedback on this post. The article was right on target. Mostly what I have seen is that once a lead is in the CRM tool that lead becomes Carpet Bombed with emails, many which have nothing to do whatsoever with the inquiry. The idea to stay in front of your customer is obviously the key. Most dealers rely on auto-replies sent out from the CRM tool on certain dates in the future. The problem is that these are static and commonly spammed since much of the stuff sent out from our CRM tool is loaded with attachments and hyperlinks. The truth is...most of this supposed follow up is never even seen by the customer because it never hits the inbox. Proper use of the CRM tool is what is critical. Too often sources are not logged correctly and we have Other, Unknown and Drive-by to choose from at our next budget meeting. Notes are not put into the CRM tool after a customer interaction or phone call or new phone numbers and email addresses are not obtained or inputted. If you are having any of the above issues with your current CRM tool......remember its not the tool. Its training and reinforcing the proper use of the tool to that will gain the most benefit and nothing innovative that you will do will reap the right results without using the CRM tool correctly.
Chris Halsey
Lots of really great insights Michael. Lets see who else chimes in on this hot topic.
mark rask
Michael, Great feedback. We are having to deal with those issues now
Krista Failey
I agree, Michael. We are currently in the process of addressing a handful of these issues (and then some). Sales Reps adding notes after a conversation is HIGHLY critical. Especially for someone in a BDC role, such as myself. It's very difficult for us to be on the same page when contacting a customer on a Reps day off, and can bring down the reputation of the dealership itself in the long run. In addition to the things you've mentioned, our biggest tackle for the past two weeks has been SPAM issues. We have an understanding that it is mainly the content of emails/templates and have been creating test email accounts for numerous email providers (Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, etc...). I'm emailing myself these templates from CRM, just like I would a customer, to see which go to spam and then attempting to change the content and repeating the process. Our reports from DSocket for the past two months have shown an average of 60% open rate for emails sent out and that seems ludicrous but we're told its normal. I find this report unacceptable and our team has been working at this for weeks with no end in sight so it would seem. (If anyone has input on spam issues and how they've overcome this problem, please add your insight!! I'm pulling my hair out on this topic...)
Hunter Swift
Thanks for reading my article! You guys are all bringing up some great points. One thing I would like to add... When you marketing to your prospects, the purpose should not be to sell them a car. It should instead be directed at progressing the customer to the next status (contact, visit, demo, write up, sold). Too often I see dealers with one campaign for all prospects with no purpose or call to action. I see dealers who email a condensed version of their webpage with banners, ads, pictures, links, and hope that customer clicks on something. Instead keep it simple with one specific call to action... "call me I think I can save you more money", "look at our new inventory since your last visit", etc. Then measure the calls, replies, clicks, visits, etc. I am more than happy to jump on a call with anyone looking for some more info on the matter. Hunter Swift 949-351-3036 cell @HunterSwift

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