Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Today’s smartphone technology has made it possible to do almost anything from the palm of your hand. From keeping in touch with friends, family and even customers through social media and texts to shopping for a new or used car, the smartphone has become a necessity for a majority of the population. Mobile devices create links between people, links between people and information, and links between customers and businesses.
A Comscore Study released in April 2015 reports that mobile usage has increased 1040 percent in the last three years, while PC usage has only increased 7 percent. This means that people are accessing information from multiple sources, including your sales staff. The study also determined that an average salesperson looks at their phone approximately 150 times a day, which gives them 150 opportunities to manage activities or customer in your CRM. For an auto dealership, the ability to take all the tools needed to from the desktop to the lot can increase productivity, improve customer service, simplify the selling process, provide real-time information, and ensure accuracy throughout the entire process.
Gone are the days of salespeople standing on the car lot taking turns for the next “up.” Per the 2014 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study, new car shoppers spend an average of 12 hours online researching and shopping for a new car. With that amount of time invested, they typically know exactly what model and trim they want and what they can expect to pay long before they ever set foot on a dealer lot. If they have done their shopping online, and are serious car buyers, they have taken advantage of your dealership website’s convenient option to schedule a test drive or schedule an appointment.
Are your salespeople equipped to handle an armed customer? If you are not using a mobile CRM, you are at a disadvantage. Productivity can suffer when a customer comes in well-prepared and ready to buy and your sales staff is still fumbling from behind a desk. With a mobile CRM, your sales staff will be just as, if not more prepared, than the educated customer coming through the door is. With a mobile CRM system, you have access to the customer’s name, their contact information and know what car, truck, SUV, minivan, or other vehicle they want, many times the exact VIN of the vehicle before you ever say, “Hello” for the first time. This allows your sales staff to have the vehicle clean, easily accessible and put together all the paperwork needed to send their customer home in the new car they came for.
A mobile CRM also gives you tools to appraise a trade in by simply scanning the VIN number and sending an alert to the used car manager. This eliminates time that can be wasted making multiple trips to get vehicle information and complete the appraisal. It can all be done right on the lot and sent back to the salesperson in minutes. This can take what used to be a process that took a few hours into one that takes less time than a test drive.
Knowing that your customer has already invested nearly 12 hours on the car buying process before they start the actual purchasing process, the ability to provide stellar customer service is a must. Technology has turned a fast-paced society into one that moves as fast as a text message or Facebook post. If your dealership cannot keep up with the pace the customer is at, customer service suffers. However, that is not the only way that a mobile CRM can improve the customer experience.
The ability to have the customer’s information in the palm of your hand at all times with the ability to edit it, add to it and change it, allows you to spend more quality time with the customer building a valuable relationship. Mobile CRM also lets you spend more time with your customer and less time running back and forth to a desktop computer to search inventory, check rebates and specials and find any other information your customer might request. By having it all available on your smartphone, you can simply tap a few icons and have everything you need right there without leaving your customer abandoned. A mobile CRM system also allows you to contact other team members electronically, eliminating time spent away from you customer having to search for the person you need.
In between customers, a mobile CRM system allows you to follow up on recent customer sales, check leads, schedule appointments and be alerted of your upcoming appointments, no matter where you are. It can also help you match cars with potential leads by being able to access all rebates and specials with one tap on the screen. A mobile CRM system takes the time you used to waste and helps you spend it on the investment that is your customer.
One of the best characteristics of a mobile CRM system is its simplicity. In order to make it easy to use on a smartphone or other mobile electronic device it must be organized and easy to use. A mobile CRM system makes one single finger a powerful tool. A mobile CRM system also has the capability to bring all of your dealership and customer management together onto one screen that fits in your hand. It can also bring all departments, not just sales, together to work as one cohesive team.
If a previous customer has a service appointment, an alert can be set giving sales staff the opportunity to help them upgrade to a new vehicle, follow-up with them to make sure that they are still happy with their vehicle and if there is an issue, allow the opportunity to correct it. Many times, once a customer leaves with their new car, a lack of communication can leave the salesperson out of the loop if the customer has an issue or concern. With a mobile CRM system, a member of the service team can simply send the salesperson an alert, which can help them resolve the situation, making the customer happy and wanting to come back. A mobile CRM system makes any task that used to be done behind a desk easy to perform from anywhere.
Having a mobile CRM system gives you access to the latest information as it happens. As soon as a customer sends an inquiry, schedules an appointment, or walks into the showroom, you know the minute it happens. This eliminates any down time and gives the sales staff a chance to act immediately to help the customer and get them in the door and leaving with a new vehicle. The ability to instantly upload inventory with images also allows the sales team to find the right vehicle for their customer right away, right on the lot.
A mobile CRM system can also provide helpful alerts when a customer comes in for service or maintenance, opening an opportunity to follow up with customers and strengthen valuable relationships. Mobile CRM systems can also provide valuable access to market analysis data that can help keep your dealership competitive minute-by-minute. No more waiting for updates, running around trying to find information about newly arriving inventory, it is all in the palm of your hand.
Accuracy can make the difference between a sale and a lost customer. A mobile CRM gives sales staff the opportunity to log visitor information immediately and verify with the customer all while interacting with them. This not only tracks every possible conversion that a sales person encounters, but ensures that all information is correct for any follow up. The technology of a mobile CRM also eliminates any errors when entering inventory or appraising a trade-in with the ability to scan and decode a vehicle VIN number.
No more writing it down, heading back to your desk or cubicle to enter it in your desktop, then wondering if you wrote down a 5 or an S, the CRM system does all the work for you. A mobile CRM system also allows for continuous updates to customer information, vehicle inventory and market data so that your sales staff always has the most updated, most accurate data on hand, literally.
One problem that seems to rampant at nearly every dealership across the country that can easily be solved with a mobile CRM system is logging showroom visits and test drives. The average dealership logs only about 50 percent of the customers that visit the lot, yet nearly 100 percent of visitors take a test drive. If you ask a dealership owner how many customers they want to take a test drive, they will say, overwhelmingly, 100 percent.
When asked why only 50 percent of potential conversions are being logged, the answer always reflects, “Because the technology does not align with the sales process.” With a mobile CRM, 100 percent of visitors and 100 percent of the test drives can be logged in with just a few taps on the screen, doubling future conversion potential. A mobile CRM system is designed to help your staff work smarter with less effort to easily solve common problems that cause missed opportunities.