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I was recently talking to a dealer about how to handle his "No longer owned" vehicles in his CRM. I was surprised to learn that his CRM didn't have this feature. In my opinion, having a CRM with the ability to automatically Inactivate Vehicles, is one of those features that is a must have.
DealerSocket has 4 ways we recognize a vehicle as “No longer owned” (inactivated) on individual customer records.
1. Vehicle Trade In - Customer Trades in their car that they originally purchased from the same dealership.
Ex. Bob buys a 2003 GMC Yukon from ABC dealership, 5 years later… I decide to trade that same vehicle to ABC dealership and buy another car. The DMS sends DealerSocket this information as part of the Sold Transaction and we recognize that the Trade In was a car Bob previously purchased and we “Inactivate it” as a vehicle that is no longer owned on that customer record.
2. Closed RO - A Service Customer closes a repair order on a vehicle that another customer originally purchased from the dealership.
Ex. Bob buys a 2003 GMC Yukon from ABC dealership, 5 years later… Bob sells the vehicle privately to John. John decides to service that vehicle at ABC dealership. DealerSocket recognizes that a different customer now owns that vehicle and “Inactivates” that vehicle on Bob’s customer record.
3. Email Marketing - A customer receives an Email from the dealership and clicks on a link telling the dealer they no longer own the car referenced in the email.
Ex. A dealer might decide to enable a campaign targeting customers that purchased 3 years ago, offering to purchase their vehicles. When customers click on the link stating they no longer own their vehicle, DealerSocket knows to no longer market to customers based on that Year, Make, and Model that was inactivated. All ongoing service reminders, recall notices, and tailored messages based on that vehicle will be stopped.
4. Service Scheduler - Service Appointment Scheduling Process
Ex. A customer decides to either book an appointment through the mobile garage, website, or over the phone. As part of that process, the customer can easily tell the dealer through that process that they no longer own certain vehicles.
The true value of a CRM is its ability to send TARGETED RELEVANT messages to customers/prospects.
The result of doing CRM right through automatically inactivating vehicles:
1. Improves Campaign ROI by helping dealers spend less on collateral
2. Opt outs are decreased due to more relevant targeted messages being sent
3. Customer CSI goes up because customers aren’t annoyed
4. Database management is improved by having ongoing updates to vehicle ownership on customers
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