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Car dealers can unlock untapped revenue with integrated data

Neil Packham, vice-president and managing director of ADP Dealer Services for the UK, said: “Upselling is the key to untapped revenue, but identifying potential opportunities and interacting with the customer can be an imprecise and time-consuming exercise.

“The key to achieving the holy grail of ‘organic upselling’ is integrated data. By consolidating everything you know about a customer, every action you take can be tailored to their needs and preferences – ultimately resulting in targeted, more productive upselling.”

He added: “The better you know your customer through data collection, the less man-hours it takes to maintain a healthy and profitable relationship. Building up a profile of what generates interaction and what is ignored – or where a customer’s enquiries are focused – can strip-out wasted emails and frustrating phone calls.”

At automotive digital agency GForces, a personalised approach is viewed as the most effective for driving loyalty and upselling a dealer’s products and services.

Tim Smith, group strategy director, said: “By taking a targeted approach, reinforced with data and analytics, retailers can improve sales conversion rates and maximise the return on their marketing investment. Knowledge is power, and the better the quality of data, the stronger the potential for future upsales.”

Digital tools central to the sales process such as online CAP valuations and credit checks also provide data capture opportunities. GForces data shows a 15-30% conversion rate to sale for those customers using CAP’s valuations tool, while conversion rates using credit check can be as high as 60%.

Social media also offers opportunities for data capture and personalised marketing, but Smith warned: “It is important that retailers tread carefully and avoid coming on too strong on social media to avoid alienating followers.”

Stephen Meadows, director at Pinewood, who leads the software development team at the DMS supplier, underlines the importance of giving everyone in the business access to customer information which should be available on one screen for highly-personalised customer interactions.

“This means keeping all the data in one place, as well as having the discipline to keep it up-to-date with each interaction,” he said.

“Dealers generally have more information about customers in their DMS database than they’re able to use.

“The best dealers capitalise on their information by structuring roles and daily activities to ensure the quality of new information, to make sure enquiries are handled effectively and to ensure every customer is contacted periodically to confirm their details are up-to-date.

“Our most successful dealers do this on a daily basis, and it’s becoming more commonplace with the adoption of iPads in the dealership so that dealer teams can have the conversations away from a desk.”

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