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HR Owen: Email, events and enticing the 21st-century customer

HR Owen has further invested in technology by buying in Salesforce, a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system, also used by Cisco, Toyota and Dell. Known as Kore at HR Owen, it connects with Marketo, but also underpins all customer contact activity, both from the marketing team and individuals in dealerships. It’s a significant, high six-figure investment, but is worth it, Harris believes.


Putting data at the heart of customer interactions

“Prior to Kore, we had multiple data systems. Joe Doyle acknowledged that if a Ferrari customer came into another brand dealership in 2011, we couldn’t acknowledge them properly; they were a stranger to us at that moment in time.

“But at its heart Salesforce is our data – it records all customer interactions including telephone calls and clicks on our website and where they come from to, so Google, for example.”

Any salesperson in the business can see on their desktop who has bought from HR Owen, the marketing campaigns they’ve received, who in the business is planning to interact with them in the future and whether there are any current sales opportunities open.

“Where did the process that led us to selling a car today start? Salesforce helps us answer this, not anecdotally, not from a salesperson’s view of events, but reality.

“So, if a consumer clicks on an HR Owen ad on or calls a unique phone number in an ad, a record will be made in the system when it reaches a salesperson, along with their response to it. We can then watch the progress of the lead and the contact remains post purchase,” Harris said.

“We can see the correlation between calls made this month and sales the next.”

The detail available means HR Owen can tell which customers have more than one car, first-time buyers, people who no longer own and, since the company has service-only franchises for BMW, Mini and Audi, those it has never sold to.


Cleaning out the contacts database

HR Owen has contact information on nearly 25,000 people it has not courted fully. This year, it will focus on analysing that information.

“I’m fully expecting the number to drop by 5,000-10,000, as we sort out the dross, but there will be gold in here with some careful nurturing,” said Harris.

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