Customer centricity is more than offering top-quality products and services. It is all about doing business in a way that consistently provides the customer with a great experience, and the automotive sector is no exception. Customer-centricity is dealer software is a secure path towards increased repeat business and greater customer loyalty.
For automotive retail businesses, in a digital age where the customer is king, it all starts with the dealership software.
Understanding your customer
How well do you know your customer? In order to really know what drives them to a purchase and create long-lasting relationships that result in repeat business, you need a 360-degree view of their buying journey.
This isn’t easy in an age where customers take a complex journey to their eventual purchase, but with automotive software that provides a holistic view of the customer, you can rely on workflow-based processes and automation which help salespeople engage with your leads at exactly the right time.
Such sales automation also provides you with a huge amount of customer data. You’ll know their demographics, past purchases, the time it takes for them to make decisions and follow-up, maintenance dates and the kind of add-ons they’re likely to go for when buying their next vehicle.
With the right dealership software, each customer will be far more to you than just a name.
Creating customer-based experiences
The customer really is king, and that’s why your dealership system should enable you to create experiences that are designed specifically for each individual.
This personalised approach to sales and marketing is possible with Cloud CRM and omnichannel campaign software that enables you to communicate with customers at the right time and enable them to inquire, book test drives online and experience the best the service desk has to offer with their very own account section, both on the web and their mobile devices.
Imagine a central portal where every transaction or touchpoint between the customer and dealership can be controlled from the palm of the customer’s hand. Dealerships that don’t invest holistically in their digital presence simply can’t provide a truly customer-centric experience in today’s digital automotive marketplace.
Reacting to customer feedback
The more you pay attention to customer feedback, the more you can offer services they’ll love.
Leveraging today’s mobile, always-on networks, you can provide customers with an 24/7 messaging platform that gives them a clear channel of communication with the dealership team. Likewise, sales teams will be able to make note of leads and customer feedback in the dealer software’s CRM.
That feedback is crucial. Good or bad, it’ll help you shape your communication templates, service packages, sales offers and every way in which staff interact with customers in the future.
Now, let’s look at four basic pillars for customer centricity.
1. See the world through the customers’ eyes
You obviously believe that the customer comes first, but you need a tool that puts you in their shoes to prove that’s the case.
As the customer, you want timely communication, relevant offers and the autonomy that comes from a self-served microsite relating to the deal on the table. Does your current dealer software or DMS provide these touchpoints?
2. Focus on real customer needs
In order to achieve your sales targets, you need to market the right vehicles or service packages to the right audiences, at the right time. That means sending personalised marketing messages to properly segmented customer groups, using relevant automotive key dates and other touchpoints.
You can’t do this with email marketing automation software alone; your dealership software should offer omnichannel marketing automation that leverages crucial automotive customer data out-of-the-box while offering that all-important 360-degree customer view.
3. Build long-term relationships
Recurring business is key to long-term success and it takes a degree of time to foster a healthy relationship with a customer. They need to be drawn in gently, nurtured over time with the right communications, and encouraged to trust you.
A holistic approach to the automotive sales process is needed, and digital automotive marketing tools can take much of the repetitive inner workings of this off the sales team’s hands, leaving them free to provide a truly individualised, personable service.
4. Continually evolve your digital strategy
The sales process will never stop changing. As social media platforms evolve, new buying habits emerge and the device landscape expands, your customer-centric approach will need to keep up.
By putting the dealership experience at the fingertips of the customer and ensuring your sales team retains that holistic view of the process, you’ll attract loyal customers long into the future.
Even the best dealership software in the world can’t automatically make your business customer-centric. In order to continue experiences which delight your customers, you’ll need to continually measure your approach, learn and adapt.
There are two data points you can measure:
- Customer lifetime value (CLV). The predicted after-sales profit you will make from each customer during the retention phase is known as the CLV. For a crude way to calculate this figure, simply take the expected revenue and subtract servicing costs.
- Churn rate. The rate of customers bringing their repeat business elsewhere. Do you spend considerable time and resources looking for new customers to replace those that have left? In that case, you have a high churn rate. Also, retaining your existing customers (with similar CLV) comes with just a fifth of the cost, compared to acquiring new ones. A low churn rate proves your commitment to customer centricity and is likely to help your business grow faster and achieve long-term sustainability.
Is your automotive business truly evolving around the real needs of your customers, in our digital age? If, having read this blog post, you feel you’re still seeking to grow using techniques of the past, it might be time to review the tools and software employed by your dealership.