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How car dealers can get the most from CRM systems

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Lack of training in system capabilities, change cycles in customer data, limits in system capabilities and lack of time have all been cited as obstacles for dealers from getting the most out of their CRM and ‘lifetime value systems’, Graham Filmer, performance consultant for Emac told the AM Aftersales Conference.

He emphasised the importance of a holistic approach to CRM and why success is not a sprint, but a marathon.

“Ask yourself everyday: what’s stopping us from achieving something in our aftersales operation, what can we all do to get a problem solved today and when will it be changed by?” he said.

O2, Delphi and Vodafone are already offering on-board diagnostics tools to the independent aftermarket elsewhere in Europe.

Filmer outlined the key tasks:

1. Set your goals and share them

2. Keep a record of your training and progress

3. Seek a 10% improvement at a time

4. Listen to your colleagues

5. Keep moving forward.

Things to consider along the journey from the day the customer buys a car include: introduce the service manager, telling the customer they will be looking after them for the next few years; check everything is ok after six weeks; build your database with information you can collect on a customer and their family where possible (functions at your dealership); and communicate your brand to them once they have left the showroom and every time they visit.

Filmer also debunked the idea that a car service was a distress purchase:  “This is a mindset issue. When the service or fault light comes on in my car I look at it as a reliability or safety issue. I will come away from a completed service visit reassured my car is more reliable and economical and safe.”

Finally, picture the finish line at the start of the race, in this case, the customer returning to buy a new car: record the moment and celebrate.

Filmer concluded his workshop with the Thomas Edison quote: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

AM Aftersales Conference 2015

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