CRM for Automobile Industry: Advantages, Features, Challenges, Trends, and Top Players

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Just like any other industry, the automobile industry too has evolved rapidly. From inventory to sales, finance, compliance, service departments, every facet has witnessed a change in the last decade. The developments in the areas of electric, autonomous vehicles, and connected car experience are driving an unprecedented change. Such digital technologies continue to disrupt the automobile industry from customer purchases, end-to-end self-service processes to the entire customer journey experience.

In addition, with the proliferation of the internet and smart devices, customers have become the center of the process. They are now a touch away from completing their daily tasks through voice, mobile, desktop, and other digital devices. As such, industries, including automobiles must bring the ‘human touch’ to the technological side of the equation. This human touch entails augmenting technology with excellent customer experience. While the traditional methods of delivering exemplary service, for example — high caliber sales team managing customers, marketing team managing digital platform and social media, are good; but are not enough in today’s digital world. They need assistance from the technology that can provide all kinds of data through which teams can deliver tailor-made and customized customer experience. This is where Customer Relationship Management or CRM platforms come into the picture.

What is CRM?

CRM, in simple terms, is a digital platform that helps in managing a relationship between customers and prospects. It enables businesses to streamline, organize, and automate their operations. With CRM, organizations create, manage, strengthen customer relationships by understanding more about their needs and requirements.

As per Salesforce’s definition, “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with your customers and potential customers.” It entails sales management, integrates with social media, and facilitates team communication. The term CRM usually refers to a CRM system that helps with contact management, sales management, workflow, productivity, and much more.

CRM is crucial in:

  • Displaying actionable data
  • Turning data into actionable insights
  • Facilitating team communication
  • Managing Contacts, Sales Management
  • Creating and improving a bond with the existing customers
  • Maintaining customer loyalty with personalized experiences
  • Extending brand loyalty through word of mouth, and ultimately,
  • Increasing profitability, productivity, and customer service

CRM is now expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenues by 2025. It serves diverse industries and is completely customizable to the needs of the business. It offers assistance to the Hotel industry, Travel Industry, E-commerce industry, Healthcare Industry, Education Industry, Real Estate Industry, FMCG industry, Pharmaceutical industry, Media Industry, Retail Industry, Service Industry, and many others.

CRM Features at a Glance

Contact Management

The smart contact management features allow users to manage their contacts and addresses. It can also be integrated with external reference databases.

Customer Dossier

A chronological list of all activities, documents, correspondence, projects, etc. stored in a centralized database, accessed by authorized users.

Sales Dashboard

The sales dashboard allows users to keep track of sales at all times. It displays all documents, addresses, appointments, tasks, follow-ups, phone calls, sales reports, and documents.

Tasks and Complaints

Allows users to oversee all tasks. Managers can delegate, monitor, and create follow-ups. It also allows them to sort, filter, and display tasks by the due date, the person responsible, and so on.

Analysis

With customer data at hand, managers can analyze contacts, sales opportunities, customer needs, brand & product usage, and drive marketing campaigns to success.

Notification System

Lets managers to set up system-wide, fully configurable rules that enable trigger notifications and follow-up actions. It can also monitor the database for changes in the data records.

CRM for Automobile Industry

There are various stages that complete the manufacturing process in the automobile industry. And there are a lot of people involved from the start to the end of the process. While different departments work differently, they must stay in the loop to handle customers efficiently. Not to mention, doing all this, they must also keep customers at the center and create, develop, and maintain a loyal customer base.CRM

By being on the same page, isolated departments eliminate the chances of miscommunication. And all the interactions, agreements, changes/updates are displayed at the forefront, leaving no chance for any misinterpretation.

Moreover, as the world is progressing towards the adoption of cloud-based systems, businesses are managing resources and expenses effectively. With cloud CRM, automotive businesses can oversee their operation from the cloud. The requirement of not having an external storage device reduces the total on-site expenses. The cloud CRM service also ensures that teams get the information from anywhere and anytime on the go with unparalleled security at their fingertips.

OEMs

For OEMs, the centralized automotive CRM solution creates new opportunities for personalized customer engagement and the management of relationships with all the involved parties.

Dealers

With automotive CRM, dealers can offer the best possible car buying experience. They can enhance the customer-driver relationships by distributing leads in a round-robin schedule, streamlining test drive, and customizing the entire sales experience.

Suppliers

CRM offers more effective operations and creating meaningful relationships with customers by automating repetitive processes that require much attention and time.

Mobility Service Companies

CRM powers mobility service companies to increase the efficiency of customer service and analytics that eliminates congestion cases.

Customer Lifecycle Management

All the stages of a customer’s lifecycle, including collecting and qualifying leads, convincing customers, facilitating financial schemes, after-sales follow-up, etc, can be monitored efficiently to get things done in the specified SLA.

Analyze Customer Data

Automotive CRM captures lead from all the channels such as websites, social media, advertisements, and even offline channels. It even captures the amount of time spent by a customer on the given channel. With filtered, sorted, and organized data at hand, CRM enables managers to get into the customer segments such as age, income level, preferences, etc. These insights are then leveraged to create marketing campaigns targeting specific audience groups.

Better Sales

As per reports, CRM can boost conversion rates by 300%. The platform segments lead based on the buyer’s interest, location, and sends it out to the sales consultants. With the acquired data, the sales team will be able to take advantage of valuable insights and understand the potential customer. At the backend, the CRM platform will also assign a score based on the potential customer’s activity on all channels. Furthermore, for every lead, CRM will track the whole sales process and generate a report for the same. All such data and reports are beneficial for businesses to understand the leads. The CRM platform also ensures that the team takes multiple follow-ups and backs them with notifications, emails, and text messages.

Collective Customer Feedback

With CRM, automotive companies can address feedback, whether positive or negative
Quickly, understand the customer in an effective way, and improve the overall process. This collecting and analysis come in the CRM’s ability to handle customer data. Moreover, the positive word of mouth will further spread the brand’s esteemed service to provide referrals to other potential/interested customers.

Automating Manual/Repetitive Tasks

CRM systems allow automobile companies to automate reminders about insurance renewal, vehicle servicing, new offers/discounts, and much more. The sales team can be powered with notifications about follow up reminders, and managers to track their respective fields. The method also ensures less dependency on humans, reduces micromanaging, increases the accuracy of mundane tasks, and overall saves time for all organizations.

Mitigating Challenges of the Auto Industry

56% of buyers have said that finding the right vehicle is the most frustrating aspect of buying a car. While 31% say negotiating over the price is frustrating. This is just an example of small yet crucial CRM customer problems that the industry faces. With CMR as a centralized unit and synced with the buying portal, customers can view inventory online and make their buying decision in a matter of seconds. It will also help them gain valuable information about the brand and the dealership before committing to the buying process.

Being a centralized unit, CRM also offers sales staff with key indicators and guidance on targets and prospects’ registrations. CRMs also present granular information to the diverse potential customers from the dealership and buying portal. It also eases up back-office operations and displays a comprehensive view of information to the involved staff.

Other than that, CRM bridges the gap of communication between clients, salespersons, and marketing departments. They help in contact management tools, digital forms, dealership, and email marketing tools. The marketing team also gets valuable insights from analytics and reports that help them refine the marketing processes. The rest of the very small details can be carried out via email marketing and chatbots.

Trends in Automobile CRM

Artificial Intelligence

The task of collecting and analyzing customer data has been simple now because of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. AI-powered CRM enables automobile dealers to reach the right actions, right insights, optimize campaigns/product configurations, and pricing. Robotic Process Automation or RPA, and chatbots are also demonstrating their with by having a clear ROI. It is reported that AI use cases are projected to increase by more than 250% over the next two years. Organizations will see to it that they automate their transformative and core processes. The three areas for growth success are Customer segmentation (277% increase),
Programmatic advertising and media buying (269% increase), and Personalization of the channel experience (266% increase).

Hyper-Personalization

Customers expect interaction, customized to their history, interests, meaning, and purpose. As per a 2019 Salesforce survey, 84% of respondents ranked the importance of experience at the same level as products or services. While Forrester reveals that acquiring a new customer is a whopping 500% more costly than retaining an existing one. With CRM, managers will use customer insight gleaned from unstructured interaction data to fuel true one-to-one conversations. These data comprised wider demographic data, modes of conversation, measures of purchase, social data, life events, and relationship graphs. With a CRM system in place, the various teams, including sales, marketing, and customer service teams have a host of tools that can empower CX initiatives.

Rise in Self-Service Models

Research states that B2B buyers want to rely on themselves to self-educate by a factor of three to one. Customers want self-service content and processes more than agent-assisted channels. As such, going forward, companies will come up with marketing outcomes, commerce solutions, and customer-facing configure price quote (CPQ) solutions, chatbots, knowledge management, and more. Drift and Hubspot’s chatbots are capable enough of guiding prospects through marketing and sales pipelines – collecting data, asking questions, and delivering more personalized content.

Enhanced Customer Models

As subscription models are adopted by the majority of companies, renewals and expansions will become more important to business success. CRM will provide all frontline personnel with better visibility of the customer’s value to organizations. Additionally, the newer CRM licensing models will focus on business value and outcomes overhauling software consumption.

Enhanced Mobility

CRM tools are already freeing up employee’s time to focus on more crucial and pressing concerns. As salespeople spend most of their time out on the field or data inputs or engaging the prospects, the enhanced mobility features allow them to carry out essential tasks and communicate easily with emails, text messages, and much more.

Top CRMs in the Automobile Industry

Oracle NetSuite CRM

A cloud-based CRM for small and midsize organizations lets you work across a wide range of industries and service thousands of customers conveniently. The industries include wholesale, manufacturing, automobile, retail, media/publishing, amongst others. The solution operates on a multi-tenant architecture and all information is stored in a secure data center. It offers sales force automation, e-commerce, CDP, analytics, and reports, and much more. The facility also extends to mobile devices. You can personalize and customize your services as the relevant business needs with the application development platform NetSuite Business Operating Platform (NS-BOS).

Salesforce Cloud

An on-demand CRM platform offering applications for small, midsize, and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and customer relationships. It offers capabilities of lead management, marketing automation, and contact management and lets you manage customer accounts, track sales leads, conduct, and monitor marketing campaigns and provide service post-sale. An upgraded version of CRM-Salesforce Lighting Experience further streamlines the sales process by empowering salespeople to generate and follow-up on leads, track campaign performance, create and analyze reports. The sales cloud enterprise edition layers in call scripts, team-selling functionality, business workflow, custom applications, API integrations, and more.

DealerSocket

An all-in-one automobile CRM that brings together contact management, dealership, marketing, and sales tools under a single platform. It features Sales Management, Lead Management, Showroom Tracking, Mobile Sales, checklist, etc. Furthermore, it offers DMS, digital marketing, inventory management, service, among others to further streamline and automate used car sales and marketing. Like other CRMs, it also provides in-depth reporting and analytics to work on real-time notifications and going mobile.

VinSolutions Connect

A dedicated web-based CRM platform for car dealerships that offers all the core features mentioned above and provides 24/7 dealership sales and marketing to clients. It empowers the users to create and manage custom processes to stay connected with each buyer. It also enables the launch of targeted campaigns that address customer sales and service needs.

DealerMine

The one CRM for all the departments lets you track leads, measure sales process, and effectiveness. It can be integrated with other relevant software as per needs and have functionalities such as scheduling, marketing campaigns, following up email, social media, etc. The platform promotes building a one-on-one relationship with customers and helps dealers to add value and extract value from the relationships as time goes on.

Easi’r

As one of the most popular CRM, Easi’r lets you track leads and sales opportunities. It lays out easy paths for building relationships, efficient workflows, and customer patterns. It also helps to analyze customer interaction patterns to help your sales team stay on top of their game. As lead management for dealerships platform, it offers OEM’s and dealer websites, Inbound calls, Email leads, Walk-ins, Online marketplaces, Digital marketing, and much more.

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