Dealers have responded to the end of the Government scrappage scheme with more and better use of the customer relationship management (CRM) tools available to them.
So reports dealer management systems specialist Pinewood, which says that dealers are using CRM in an effort to boost new and used car sales as well as aftersales.
Neville Briggs, managing director at Pinewood, said: “As the fall in sales for July illustrated, many dealers are unlikely to be able to sustain new car sales at the level seen in the first part of this year when the scrappage scheme was in full effect, at least in the short-medium term.
“So, what we are seeing instead is a concerted effort from them to maximise business on three fronts – new cars, used cars and aftersales – and we are gathering evidence of increased and more sophisticated use of CRM for all of these.”
Briggs said that this rise in the use of CRM could be attributed to the wider availability of technology that has made marketing easier, faster and cheaper to carry out.
He said: “For example, dealers have learned that, if their workshop is having a quiet week, they can use their DMS to quickly send out a general special offer on servicing by text or e-mail and see an immediate effect.
“On a more personal level, they are using the same CRM tools to sell individual cars. If they have a two year old used people carrier come into stock, for example, they can interrogate their database to see which past customers have two children and have owned their current 4-6 year old car for at least two years. Then they contact them directly with an attractive deal.
“These CRM trends have been developing for several years but post-scrappage scheme we are seeing more and more use of them. Dealers are recognising that they have to fight for business and are looking for the best way to do it.”