Business Intelligence and Your Customers

Your dealership has been in business since the '60s and has always gotten a fair  amount of repeat business. Mostly customers who want to get out of lease because they are over miles or customers whose miles on the car makes getting a new car a good idea--that a new car payment would be less than they paid previously. The dealer estimates that if he could identify these customers and contact them through telemarketers or mailers that could produce up to ten new deals per month. 

Asking The Right Questions:

Identifying customers who are more likely than average to buy is one of the things Business Intelligence can do for a dealer. Who are your customers and why do they buy? Most of the time dealers will identify customers through a lead source and drop leads sources that don't produce deals. This begs the questions of who are the customers that bought independent of leads source. Analyzing repeat customers they found that repeat customers were twice as likely to buy once they passed 60,000 miles. The lease customers were twice as likely to get another lease if they were in the second year of their lease and they had greater than $1000 in mileage penalties. These facts help target the dealership's marketing efforts getting the most bang for the advertising buck.

Planting The Seeds:

Using our example we see that several customers are just below 60,000 miles on their vehicle. Sending a free oil change coupon with an offer of a free appraisal done in the service department is a great way to "prime the pump". Lease customers would get an oil change coupon and a reminder how that if they lease a new car mileage penalties will be forgiven. The advertising dollar spent with a high probability of return is the dream of every General Manager. Instead of an expensive mailer or print ad that "shotguns" a low probability customer base the dealer selectively contacts fewer customers with a higher probability of buying.

Tender Loving Care:

If you know who are likely to become a high probability repeat customer your Service Department can begin communicating with them early and often making sure they get every service special, car loaner, or a van pickup when their car is in the shop. That is not to say that all customers should not get VIP treatment but a dealer's focus should always be on a deal.

Organizational Transformation:

Business Intelligence gets the right information to the dealership decision makers letting them concentrate on those things that work and shedding activities that have a low return on dollars and effort. The organization becomes leaner and meaner as better information drives organizational focus. Selling more cars and while spending less money is just the smart thing to do.  

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