Get the Most Out of Your Customer Data With the Personal Touch

Create the right experience to retain current customers, and make a lasting positive impression on new customers

The auto industry is blessed with an abundance of data that lets us do our jobs better. But there are too many situations where that data is not used effectively—and often, customers, leads, and sales are left behind or missed.


It’s a great idea for dealers to invest in their websites to connect with their customers. Dealers are simply wasting money and damaging their reputations, however, when they don’t capitalize on those customer leads and connections.

About one in four customers that contact dealerships online never get a response. That number needs to improve for your sales numbers to increase, and for your data to be utilized effectively.

Research from Autotrader reveals that consumers prefer to purchase their vehicles from dealerships that give them a great experience, rather than the lowest price. This means personalizing and connecting with your customers with the data you have is more important than ever.

Gather customer data immediately

When a potential customer takes the time to reach out to you, that is the moment your data gathering begins.

At initial contact, your customers provide you with contact information, what type of car they are looking for, and other critical indicators. All this information must be entered into your CRM system so you can have highly personalized data that will shape every subsequent conversation.

It is imperative that all customer data from every conversation be entered into the CRM. With all this data logged, every member of your dealership can easily read a customer profile, then speak knowledgeably with any customer regarding their sales and service history, personal information, and all other essential details.

To deliver an excellent customer experience, you have to know your customers better than ever before. Customer profiles filled with data help you understand and measure behaviors. This is where the CRM comes into play, helping you gather, retain, and use the data to your advantage.

Add a personal touch

Not everything you speak about with your customers has to be in regard to their current or future car. If all you ever discuss with your customers is what they want to buy next, you’re doing it wrong.

Adding information in your CRM that personalizes your customers—such as their interests, careers, family lives, etc.—creates an opportunity to discuss many topics with them, and helps show the customer you genuinely care. This builds stronger relationships, which in turn helps retention.

Make it all about the customer experience

Improving and perfecting the customer experience should be the goal of every dealership. The data available to you—then using it effectively—is the difference between having customers for one transaction and having them for life.

Remember, customers have choices. Create the right experience to retain your current customers, and make a lasting positive impression on new customers.

Gathering and using customer data to improve the customer experience is a great place to start.

Mo Zahabi is the director of sales and product consulting at VinSolutions, a Cox Automotive brand, which seamlessly integrates systems and tools to deliver a single view of the customer across a dealership, so dealers can maintain relationships and make more repeat sales.

Mo Zahabi

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Sreekant Unnithan August 09, 2017

    Collecting all the data from the user is not a healthy process. If you bombard users with lots of questions, he will get frustrated and leave the website. Therefore it is always beneficial to ask information in segments and keep it segmented based on different demographics. Customer profiling (https://www.loginradius.com/standard-profile-data/) is a great way in knowing customers in a better way without annoying them. What are your views on this Mo?

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