Nobody ever said selling cars was easy. Price negotiations, steep competition, and consumers with high expectations all make dealerships a high-risk, but high-reward, type of business. As dealerships forge ahead in the digital age when car buyers are already 57% of the way through their purchase journey by the time they step foot on the lot, many are looking for ways to gain the consumer's attention earlier in the sales cycle.
Proactive CRM strategies consist of contacting customers with offers prior to them taking the next step in the decision making process of contacting your sales team. These strategies improve your relationship with the consumer as long as they are highly relevant and targeted offers.
Your customers are more apt to respond to messages and offers that provide them value and solve their challenges. In order to predict the best offer to send to a customer, dealers are increasingly turning to third-party data providers to append their own customer files to acquire a holistic customer view. They can also use third-party data to find prospective customers who have recently entered the market.
Four ways that dealerships can be proactive include:
What: Target car owners when their car hits a certain mileage
How: Append your sales records by VIN number to a third party source that inputs service center data.
Why / Message: We noticed your car is getting older. Is it time for an upgrade? Or – Is it time to extend your warranty?
Make it better: Append customer demographic data to decide what channel of contact will make the best impact. A senior consumer may react better to a personal phone call, while a millennial may react better to an email.
What: Target car owners when their car is taken in for repeated service
How: Using the same third party data by VIN number, track influxes of service orders placed on a particular vehicle.
Why / Message: Check out this new model, more reliable than ever.
Make it better: Append customer psychographic data, such as lifestyles and purchase history, to decide what type of new car to market. A mother with a family of 4 will be more interested in a safety conscious minivan, while a recent college graduate ready to move on from their starter car might be ready for something more fashionable.
What: Target new movers near your dealership
How: Use a marketing data provider to find people moving into the area around your dealership. Marketing firm, Moving Targets, reports that 67% of new movers say it’s difficult to find an honest auto repair shop, and New Movers are five times more likely to become long-term customers if you reach them first. This is a huge opportunity to gain a new service center customers.
Why / Message: Welcome to the neighborhood, here’s a coupon for a free oil change.
Make it better: Moves are often the result of a life event change, such as a growing family, new job, marriage/divorce, or retirement. All these factors also can indicate a consumer entering the market for a new car. By garnering loyalty through the service center, or checking life event factors to fashion targeted offers, dealers can find new revenue in surprising places.
What: Target consumers when a car is transferred to a new owner
How: A third-party automotive data provider can set flags when certain VIN numbers transfer ownership. Dealers can track VIN numbers that originated from their lot in hopes of acquiring the vehicle’s new owner as a customer.
Why / Message: Congratulations on your new car, we’re quite familiar with its history and would like to offer this coupon for our service center.
Make it better: Also reach out to the previous owner to see if they recently purchased a new car, or may be looking to purchase now.
When executed correctly, a proactive contact approach to new and current customers will leave them appreciative of personalized attention and offers specifically valuable to them. To learn more about how third party marketing data can boost your sales, download this free guide.