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Heritage Automotive automates parts of the car buying journey

Heritage Automotive's newly-acquired Volkswagen Gloucester dealership

Heritage Automotive is implementing electronic customer relationship management at its 33 dealerships in the South West of England following a successful pilot at its Bristol operations.

Its introduction of the VoiceBox system will automate certain touchpoints during the customer journey to ensure consistency and timeliness, allowing sales staff to concentrate on their 'live' enquiries nearer the point of order.

Zena Kite, head of marketing for Heritage Automotive, said: “Our sales staff make it their goal to understand the motivations of each customer, and with the loss of face-to-face interaction due to the pandemic, good communication has never been more crucial.

“The introduction of Marketing Delivery’s VoiceBox eCRM system comes at a perfect time for Heritage. March is always a busy month, and we have continued to see strong sales enquiries throughout lockdown.

"We are excited about the new opportunities this system will bring to Heritage Automotive and our loyal customers as we begin to open our showrooms again.”

An integral feature of its digital platform is Marketing Delivery’s Car Alerts, which automatically contacts a prospect via email when a vehicle matching their original search criteria comes into stock or prices change on existing stock.

The system helps preserve the link between customer and dealer through timely, transparent and personalised messaging. Furthermore, if the recipient clicks on the email alert, the system informs Heritage sales staff, who can then reach out to the customer and continue the dialogue in person.

The new eCRM platform will integrate with Heritage's existing DMS and showroom management systems, streamlining the sales process with digital functionality that tailors customer communications to their specific requirements.

Heritage, which was bought by former Colborne Garages owners Richard Neulander and John Walsh in 2016, has risen to the top half of the AM100 franchised dealer groups since acquiring Blade Group in 2019.

A partner with Volkswagen Group, it also holds Jaguar Land Rover and Honda franchises plus retails multiple motorcycle brands.

Jeremy Evans, managing director at Marketing Delivery, said: “Lockdown has forced many consumers to shop differently, and this is no different for the automotive industry. Buyers are increasingly comfortable with digital dealer communications, so incorporating a robust eCRM into a contact strategy now will pay dividends in the future.

"Heritage is taking steps to standardise processes while maintaining a personalised approach – it’s a model for how it should be done by all groups grappling with digital communications for multiple sites and brands.”

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