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Getting the best value out of your CRM

Jon Oxtoby

Nathan Elliott

12 Feb 2018

For your dealership to be successful, the customer comes first and they expect their customer experience to remain consistent. So, managing that relationship is key. In the automotive industry, this can be seen as a challenge as your interaction with the customer isn’t regular- car purchases or upgrades happen every few years and services are roughly on a yearly basis. Plus, with the influx of new technology and the digital world we live in, trying to get the customers attention isn’t as easy as it once was.

Now, modern CRM systems have evolved and hopefully you’re in a position where you can deal and manage with all the above challenges outlined. Your CRM system is an essential technology that touches all aspects.

But, what I wanted to focus on is how you can take full advantage of your CRM.


Any well managed and implemented CRM should be able to give you insight. By this, I mean customer insight. CRM systems are made to hold data but what you collect and how you interpret that data is down to you. As a dealership, you have a great opportunity to analyse your data to gain a deeper understanding of buyer behaviour. You can then use this insight to your advantage to create targeted campaigns. As this is based upon their behaviour the chances of engagement are likely to be higher. Use this data to your advantage and move away from the mass email approach and focus on precision marketing.

Key Takeaway: By delivering tailored information based upon your customers’ needs and behaviour you are improving their customer experience which reinforces the chances of retention.


For you to take full advantage of the above, your data will need to be accurate. Now, this is always one the biggest challenges for any business who has a CRM. The value of your data can quickly be lost if it’s not clean as this would not allow you to contact your customers efficiently or deliver any marketing touch points effectively. Even worse- any poor or incorrect communication could change the customers experience and perception of your dealership for the worst.

Key Takeaway: Keep your employees accountable for the accuracy of data and have clear procedures in place to make sure the accuracy of your data is on point.

System Technology

All dealerships must evolve with time if you want to remain competitive and have the ability to service and communicate with your target audience. The same applies to your CRM technology. Ideally, you would want a clear overview of dealership’s activity and performance when it comes to selling and servicing your vehicles. This would allow you the ability to measure the ROI on every customer engagement and touch point irrespective of where it occurs. This collaborative overview is needed and I still feel many dealerships rely on distinct systems per department as they engage customers. It’s really time to bridge the gap to give you a more holistic overview.

Key Takeaway: Collaboration and integrated technology that gives absolute transparency is key

Final Word

Hopefully the above has outlined a few basic steps to consider when it comes to getting value from your CRM. But looking ahead, no dealership can afford to stand still. Having a CRM system in place as the main component and hub is fine but, as mentioned earlier to be competitive you need to advance the technology. So, any integrations or upgrades to technology will be needed over time. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve.

Topics: retention, customer experience, technology, crm

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