There sure are a lot of CRM companies to choose from available to automotive dealerships. Most dealerships are looking to these platforms to be the answer to prayers that plague their businesses on a day to day basis and for many dealerships the CRM helps solve a multitude of problems.
Several issues come to mind with these platforms, the first being support. When an immediate issue arises is support merely a phone call away? Do you get the response that “Due to an unexpected heavy call volume you are number seven in line?” Another favorite would be “Leave your name, the dealership you represent and the problem you are experiencing and one of our technicians will get back to you as soon as they possibly can.” Very disappointing service when you are trying to resolve an issue quickly.
Is everyone in the dealership using the CRM? Forget about just getting their assigned tasks done for the day. Is your sales staff using it to follow up with customers they sold vehicles to long after the seven or ten day follow up to maintain a respectable CSI? Do they use it for Equity Mining or do they wait for the manifest list from the manufacturer each month? Do they look at the service record to prospect for those customers who may be better off in a different vehicle rather than constantly putting money into the one they currently own? The answer may be no because not everyone is properly trained after the initial installation of the CRM. Usually if additional training is needed there is a cost attached to that training. With the amount of turnover dealerships experience additional training may be needed as much as once a quarter. The management of the dealership may just assume that everyone knows how to use it and is using it. Wouldn’t you agree that ongoing training from the CRM vendor may sway your buying decision? Seems that the only time you see any representation from some of these vendors is when they are looking to renew the contracts.
Is the platform configurable to handle all of the different ways we now communicate with the customer? Along with phone and email will the platform gather customer information from phone or text and will it differentiate mobile from desktop? Will it do it and more or will you have to wait for the next platform to be released and that will be an additional expense? Will the platform integrate with your DMS? Will your current customer database be able to be easily transferred into the CRM.
If you are getting everything possible from your current CRM and you are happy with it then you would probably have no reason to look at anything else. If you do not feel you are receiving all of the benefits you expected then it may be time for some additional training or time to consider looking at another system. After all- your business relies heavily on a good CRM and a trained staff to get as much out of it as possible!