ActivEngage teams up with HookLogic to integrate targeted incentives with chat

One of the biggest challenges most dealers face is getting website visitors into their showrooms. Online shoppers may browse through inventory or examine specials without setting an appointment for a test drive. Convert these website visitors into showroom visits by leveraging the power of targeted, time-sensitive incentives with proactive chat invitations. ActivEngage has teamed up with HookLogic to give dealers the bait they need to drive website visitors into the dealership using behavioral and geographically targeted incentives. We are proud to introduce ActivShow - an integrated chat solution specially designed to generate more walk-in traffic from your most qualified prospects.

The best part is, since you are already a HookLogic customer, implementing ActivShow has no additional cost for you! All you need to do is add ActivEngage chat to your website and we will do the rest. Click here and fill out the request form at the bottom of this page to get started!

If you are an ActivEngage customer already, call your ActivEngage Customer Success Manager at (800) 441-7779 option 1, and they can have ActivShow added to your site today!


Enhancements Continue for Lead2Show

As the New Year approaches, we continue to make great enhancements to the entire AutoHook Product Suite. One of the products that I am the most proud of is Lead2Show.  If you aren't familiar with it, Lead2Show is an award-winning solution that takes leads that you purchase or receive and pinpoints the highest intent to buy customers. The industries best data providers are then utilized to drive these hand-raising customers right into your showroom. As a dealer, you receive leads from all around your dealership. Lead2Show allows dealers like you to go after specific groups of high-closing leads by using geo-targeting and “big data.” The end result is a higher show rate into the dealership and a higher close rate on your existing leads. When leads come into your CRM system, you will continue to follow up as you do today. Lead2Show is automated with specific filters and execution orders that take place behind the scenes.

Here are just a few of the enhancements we've made to Lead2Show that are sure to ring in a very happy new year for dealers, based on their specific goals:

  • You want to target your competitor’s backyard. Have you ever looked at your market share report and noticed that although you get leads in your competitor’s market area, those customers don’t buy from you?  Lead2Show will help change the behavior of those customers, giving them a reason to drive past your competitor and give you and your sales team an opportunity.
  • A competitor that is farther from you is still taking share from your dealership.  Lead2Show will target those leads differently, raising the stakes for the customer, and drive them into your dealership.  Some of our most successful dealers see their closing rates triple with geo-targeted messages and incentives.
  • You want to identify the leads that are most likely to buy:Lead2Show also uses the industry’s best “Big Data” to drive more customers your way.  HookLogic’s integration of Polk Lead Intelligence allows our dealers to quickly identify the leads that are lower in the funnel.  When the lead comes into the dealership’s CRM, Lead2Show immediately matches the lead against over 100 data points including past registration data, lifestyle information, and credit worthiness.  Customers who score high are sent a time sensitive email with an incentive to pick your dealership. Does this really work?  In a recent case study with over 170 dealerships, incentivizing a high scoring lead resulted in an overall closing ratio of 47%.  When the high scoring lead wasn't incentivized, the buy rate was only 28%.  These high intenders are buyers.  Now you just need to make sure that they buy from you instead of the competition.
  • You want to know where your leads go after they visit your site, and how you can bring them back: Adding another “Big Data” provider, Lead2Show infuses Dataium’s VisiCogn In-Market Lead Alert.  This allows our dealers to match up each lead and watch those customers if they show specific online behavior post lead submission. Make no mistake; this is not re-targeting based on predictive guessing that others may talk about.  This matches up a customer that has submitted a lead to YOUR dealership and, even if it is 3 weeks after, allows you to know if this customer is searching for a vehicle on your site or on other sites like Cars.com, OEM sites, or even other dealership sites.  HookLogic uses this match to automatically deliver a time sensitive incentive via email to drive that customer into your dealership at a point when that customer has come back into market and alerts you when it happens.  HookLogic literally reanimates your old leads and provides a differentiating message to the customer at the right time.  No one other than HookLogic does anything like this.
  • You want to link internet and phone leads: Lead2Show integrates offline call tracking data from CallSource. Each time a call comes in, Lead2Show matches that call information against your Internet leads, even if it is weeks or months after the lead was submitted.  A customer call is the hottest lead and no matter if the call is handled well or poorly by the salesperson, Lead2Show has you covered, alerting you of the match and sending a time sensitive incentive via email to the customer.  Lead2Show reanimates the lead when that customer is showing buying tendencies.  No one uses offline call tracking data to execute like HookLogic and CallSource.

HookLogic pulled together the top “big data” providers in the auto industry and built the best execution engine to drive more leads into your showroom.  When our dealers utilize geo-targeting and Polk Lead Intelligence to instantly identify the best leads, and then layer in Dataium and CallSource data to reanimate their leads, they see huge increases in how many customers visit the dealership.  In some cases as many as an additional 25 shows and closing ratios as high as 28%.  One successful dealer has sold an additional 20 cars a month for the past 3 months on Lead2Show.

Lead2Show supercharges your existing 3rd party, OEM, and listing site leads and drives more customers into your showroom, in most cases, over a 50% increase, a higher closing ratio, which pushes your market share higher and your cost per sale is lowered.

And here is a reminder what makes AutoHook’s Lead2Show different:

  • Your dealership can target based on your customer’s geographic region.
  • You will also be able to target based on Polk Lead Intelligence and Registration Data.
  • We will reanimate old leads based on Dataium online activity and match up/reanimate old leads based on CallSource offline call activity.

See for yourself.  Click here to check out how Lead2Show can give you a competitive advantage.

Drive More Trade-in Opportunities with PureCars TradeHook

An AutoHook Best Practices Webinarw/ Jeremy Anspach, President, PureCars

When it comes to online trade appraisal tools dealers today have a small handful of options from which to choose. Each tool allows site visitors to enter information about their vehicle and receive fair market value dollar figures for trade, private sale, and retail. But there are two key problems not being solved by most of these tools:

1.) Value is more than just price 2.) They don’t drive showroom traffic

Enter PureCars TradeHook...

With PureCars TradeHook, dealers now have the ability to give site visitors a complete value guide with PureCars Trade-in Reports, plus they get a tool to help bring those site visitors into the showroom.


PureCars Trade-in Reports

From Price and Mileage Analysis, to Vehicle Certification, Accident + Ownership History, Factory Options, Vehicle Reconditioning, and a Local Market Comparison, the PureCars Trade-in Report provides information to help car owners find the vehicle that best fits THEIR value needs, not the dealers’.

TradeHook Foot Traffic

Combined with the targeting capabilities of HookLogic’s AutoHook solution, dealers using PureCars TradeHook also have the ability to target vehicle trades with specific incentive offers designed precisely for those genuinely interested in coming in to have their vehicle evaluated.

PureCars TradeHook incentivizes shoppers with a gift card, redeemable at top retailers nationwide, to submit their trade-in opportunity for an instantaneous trade-in value estimate. The customer is able to redeem their gift card upon a full appraisal at the dealership – consequently giving them even more of a reason to come in.

Register to Attend

To learn more about PureCars and the TradeHook solution, which was announced this month in a recent press release, PureCars President Jeremy Anspach will be our guest presenter in this month’s Best Practices webinar. During this webinar, Jeremy will touch on:

  1. How you are answering the top concerns of your used car shopper?
  2. Are you able to sell all vehicles or equally or are some trades more valuable to your store?
  3. How you increase your lead to appointment show rate significantly on a trade-in lead?

About the Presenter

Jeremy has valuable experience with fixed-ops, digital marketing and dealer websites. Having a well rounded understanding of the industry has helped him develop automated technologies. He is a strong believer that dealerships have great tools but lack the manpower and processes to fully utilize them. The PureCars suite of products are fully automated and designed to help showcase the value in a vehicle. Jeremy advocates that selling a used vehicle requires a strategy which helps educate the shopper. He has worked with a range of dealerships, on better merchandising their pre-owned vehicles. Dealers have found his approach to be easy to execute and results in great success! To connect with Jeremy visit his LinkedIn profile.

About the AutoHook Best Practices Webinar Series

Every month, HookLogic conducts a “best practices” webinar where we cover a range of different topics that contribute to the success of auto dealerships. These topics and best practices typically incorporate some aspect of the AutoHook Web Suite, a toolset designed to give dealers the ability to perform highly targeted marketing campaigns that drive quality foot traffic into the showroom.

Often times these best practice webinars feature a guest expert to present, sometimes being one of our integration partners and sometimes one of our dealers. Other times we simply cover an important strategy or best practice that can benefit AutoHook customers.

To register for this series click here. Once registered then you will receive a reminder for each upcoming best practice webinar within the series so there is no need to re-register for each individual event.

HookLogic conducts other virtual training sessions as well, such as The AutoHook Training Show which is held on Google+ Hangout and on GoToWebinar once a week. For information about this and all other HookLogic Automotive training click here to visit the AutoHook Training Resources page.

Web2Show Top Website Merchandising Tool for 2012


At the Automotive Website Awards (AWA) Ceremony Wednesday night, our AutoHook Web2Show solution was awarded the Top Website Merchandising Tool for 2012.  The AWA's honor the top vendors in the website, mobile, technology, and innovation categories each year.  This is the 4th year for the awards, and all of us at HookLogic are honored to be named amongst such an elite group of prominent companies in our industry. Although the 2012 year is still upon us, this accolade has sparked a trip down memory lane that pinpoints the milestones HookLogic, as well as our clients, hit this year. I can only assume that these are some of the very milestones that ignited last night’s AWA recognition.

  • Introduction of PureCars Tradehook: This incentivized online trade-in appraisal tool  enables dealers to generate additional trade-in acquisitions using gift card incentives. For the first time, dealers can drive the most desirable trade-ins into the showroom so that Used Car Managers can achieve a higher ‘win’ ratio. We’re keeping Used Car Managers away from the auction lanes and in the store, where they are most valuable.
  • Continued advancement of our industry-leading Lead2Show solution:  Not only can we target by geographic region, inventory, and lead source.  Our Polk Lead Intelligence, Dataium In-Market Lead Alert, and other data enhancements continue to push our showroom visits to an all-time high for the company.  Equally, we are seeing an increase in sales in our quarterly Polk Registration Reports.  You will hear more about this later this month.
  • Our clients succeeded…and shared: Although our clients are have always seen value in what we provide, this year many of them chose to share those successes on video. This is meaningful to the industry in terms on building a social, personal community of dealers all working towards common goals, against common challenges.
  • Mobile launch: This was a big one. We launched new mobile capabilities that enabled automotive dealers to provide incentives to customers who visit their mobile websites or mobile apps. Auto dealers can now validate a customer’s AutoHook incentive coupon without being tied to their desk.

Lastly, as I look at this fantastic list of strong, progressive companies, I can’t help but take a moment to recognize one of our partners that we share this honor with. ActiveEngage (Voted Top Rated Chat Solution). Cheers to a groundbreaking 2012, and the inimitable innovation to come in 2013.

Read the press release.

What is a Good ROI and What is a Good Performance Standard?

5 Tips to Measure ROI at Your Dealership Presented by The AutoHook Training Showw/ guest @JimBtheCarGuy

Are you looking to improve that ever-elusive lead-to-show ratio? How can you unless you know the best leads to focus on? And what are some ways to do this without hurting your show-to-close ratio?

These are important questions that all dealers must strive to know if you want to stay ahead of the game in today’s increasingly more competitive digital landscape. But before you address these questions it might be best to get a firm grip of your Return on Investment (ROI).

Measuring ROI with Jim B the Car Guy
Measuring ROI with Jim B the Car Guy

Measuring your ROI can be a daunting task and our friend Jim Bell, otherwise known as @JimBtheCarGuy has offered to show us some methods he is using at  from Don Ayres Honda in Fort Wayne, Indiana where Jim is Internet Performance & Marketing Director.

On Tuesday September 11 at 2pm EDT, Jim will be leading a live web event with us where he will be covering the following best practices for ROI that he applies:

  • What is a lead and what counts?
  • Why is it important to watch your ROI on a monthly/weekly basis?
  • How to calculate your ROI effectively
  • How to calculate your cost per lead
  • How to calculate your cost per sale per vendor
  • What is a good ROI and what is the standard you should be at?
  • How do you make decisions on what you have found in your reporting?

The web event will be conducted using GoToWebinar. To attend simply click the button below to register and you will receive a unique access code. If you want to include other people at your dealership then forward them the registration link or simply share this page. GoToWebinars are limited to 100 people so be sure to register right away if you wish to attend.

Click to Register

About the Presenter

Jim Bell is Marketing and Internet Performance Director at Don Ayres Honda in Fort Wayne, IN where he has been for the last 3 years. Jim manages all internet and marketing strategies within the Dealership for Sales, Service, and the Parts Departments. Jim also is the Blogmaster of JimBtheCarGuy where he shares his experiences and insights as an automotive professional. You can also catch him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Jim has been an AutoHook customer since March 2012.

About AutoHook Webinars

HookLogic Automotive conducts multiple training and best practice webinars throughout each month. All are conducted using GoToWebinar and some are simultaneously run using a Hangout on Google where people can participate in a video chat discussion. The monthly Best Practices webinar typically features a guest presenter and has a different topic each month. These webinars are scheduled for the 18th of each month. The AutoHook Training Show is a weekly Hangout that is simulcast using GoToWebinar. Most of the time there is no set agenda or speaker for the weekly Hangouts, giving AutoHook users a chance to interact with us face-to-face. Sometimes such as in this case the weekly “training show” is being dedicated to a specific topic or best practice. The best way to stay informed about our training events is to subscribe to our blog and register with each GoToWebinar series. Once you are registered for a particular series then you are automatically registered for all events within that series. For more information about our webinars visit the Training Resources page on our website.

Leveraging Big Data with Dataium’s Cloud Intelligence - Live Web Cast Aug 17

“Big Data is the new definitive source of competitive advantage across all industries,”… “For those organizations that understand and embrace the new reality of Big Data, the possibilities for new innovation, improved agility, and increased profitability are nearly endless.” Forbes, 2/18/2012.

Dataium Cloud Intelligence & HookLogic Lead2Show
Dataium Cloud Intelligence & HookLogic Lead2Show

Dataium’sCloud Intelligence® (CI) Platform, which HookLogic now leverages to make automated real-time decisions, aggregates billions of behavioral events and consumer activity allowing dealerships across the US to work with executables like HookLogic’sAutoHook to provide timely personalized offers and incentives to people shopping for a vehicle.

By implementing HookLogic’s Lead2Show program with Dataium’s Cloud Intelligence platform your dealership will gain a competitive advantage over others that are still doing things the old fashioned way and driving blind when it comes to understanding auto shoppers.

Few people will re-submit their information to you when they return to your website. Now they don’t have to, because you will already know they came back.

Live Web Cast

To explain how, Dataium’s own Sean Murphy will be our guest presenter Friday August 17 at 11:30 AM EDT in HookLogic’s Monthly Best Practices webinar. Sean joined us back in April for an initial introduction to Dataium’s Cloud Intelligence Platform and how it works with AutoHook. He is back by popular demand to provide more clarity and insight to this fascinating and powerful topic.

In this live web cast we will cover...

  • Knowing the Future – Today’s shopper behavior predicts tomorrow’s shopping trends.
  • Knowing Your Customer – Dataium sees the entire online buying process, from keyword usage, inventory searches, lead submission, and everything in between.
  • Knowing Your Website’s performance – Unlike most other web analytics providers, we enhance website statistics with comparative industry, brand and market benchmarks. As an independent web analytics provider our only goal is timely and accurate metrics.
  • Data-based Decisions - With HookLogic’s Lead2Show program you can automatically incent shoppers the minute they show new signs of wanting to buy a vehicle.

> Register Free Online for the Live Web Cast

Sean Murphy of Dataium
Sean Murphy of Dataium

About the Presenter

Sean Murphy is a car guy and tech geek with more than 20 years of experience in both the automotive and enterprise IT sectors.  He is currently the Enterprise Account Manager for Dataium, helping bring Dataium’s solutions to a variety of automotive clients.  Prior to joining Dataium, he was a cofounder of Buycentives, which developed technology to deliver data-driven incentives to online auto shoppers; he spent several years at leading ad agency, JWT, delivering product and consumer insights to Ford Motor Company; and worked for almost a decade at GM’s Saturn Corp., handling everything from product strategy and planning to dealer sales, service, and parts.

Data-based Intelligence

Let us demonstrate precisely how much clarity you can achieve utilizing Dataium’s Cloud Intelligence® solution in conjunction with AutoHook. As the largest aggregator of online automotive shopper behavior Dataium can provide you greater visibility into the consumer path to purchase than ever before. By analyzing the online shopping behavior of over 100 million auto shoppers across a diverse network of automotive manufacturer, dealership, and retail portal websites, you can finally remove the blinders to attribution, influence, comparative performance, and in-market activity.

AutoHook celebrates its 5th Birthday, continues to grow

Sounds crazy but it is true.  Some of you know this but the AutoHook product line was born out of an idea with the existing product offering that HookLogic had in its Travel and Retail verticals and a chance meeting with an auto dealership group executive (me!).  That was back in 2007 and there was never a thought in my mind at the time about building out a company with industry-leading products and a stable of great customers.  We were just looking for a solution to a problem; how to get more customers to show up and buy a car.  It is a good feeling to stand here now, next to my co-conspirator, Jeff Kershner, and see how the AutoHook team and products have evolved. In reality, the first 3½ years were just a huge beta test with very small growth.  The only dealers that jumped on the product were close friends of ours that we shared our success with.  It’s only after last June 1st that the floodgates were opened.  Since then, we have added hundreds of dealers, formalized our products, and partnered with some leading vendors in the automotive industry.  More importantly, we have pushed thousands of customers into your showrooms and been credited with selling thousands more the cars of their dreams.  As we grow towards 1,000 dealers on the AutoHook Suite of Products, HookLogic continues to grow its team and enhance its product offerings.

Our team continues to grow as well.  I would like to welcome Ani Hagopian, Manager of Client Services, to the AutoHook team.  Ani will lead the charge to make our existing clients even better.  Another new member, Kristine Williams, has been added to the Operations and On-boarding team.  Kristine joins AutoHook after 10 years with RL Polk.  If you have a chance, please welcome them to the team.

We are far from a coupon company.  In August, we will announce a brand new website product to complement our Web to Show and Lead to Show tools.  We will also roll out an extra data enhancement to Lead to Show, giving it the most robust data set to date.  In addition to enhancements to our incentive-based solutions, we will roll out our Product Ads Solution Suite; 4 products that have been utilized by companies like Expedia, Sears, and Staples.  Over the past year, they have been successfully rolled out in the UK with Europe’s leading automotive listing site, www.autotrader.co.uk.  Get ready, you will see these dynamic Product Ads in September.

Another area of growth is through strategic partnerships.  Check out our growing list of partners . These partnerships help enhance our existing products like Lead to Show.  Robust data from companies like RL Polk and Dataium help target in market shoppers and drive them into your dealership.   As we continue to move forward with additional products, we need your help to update our records with your preferred vendor partner list.  This way, we know which companies to target on your behalf.  You received a survey last week via email.  If you haven’t filled it out, you can click here.  Please take a couple of minutes to complete our short 6-question survey.  If you complete the survey, I will gladly send you a $15 Starbucks card.  You will also be entered into a contest on August 15th that will award one lucky winner a $100 MasterCard.

Using Triggered Links to Personalize Offers

Triggered Links for Personalized Offers
Triggered Links for Personalized Offers

According to academic literature as referenced in a recent White Paper by Bronto called, "Automate, Increase Engagement, & Drive Revenue with Triggered Messages," the average maximum, continuous adult attention span on the Internet is less than 30 seconds and the focused attention span is less 8 seconds. Those facts mean you have precious little time to get your subscribers’ attention, keep it and, as a result, optimize where it matters. Based on these statistics, it comes as no surprise that relevance and timeliness drive responses and generic mass messaging comes up short. In order to compete for inbox-­, mind-­ and wallet-­ share with your customers, your messages have to relate to them instantly.

An easy, and often overlooked way to expand a successful email marketing program is to include trigger-­based email campaigns. Since these actions are triggered by specific actions and behavior, your email marketing will be more relevant, more effective, and ultimately increase conversions.

When leveraging triggered-based workflows in your email marketing program it is important to consider some best practices to ensure your triggered campaigns are successful. To help with this we have two resources for you:

  1. Download Bronto’s White Paper which has in-depth information surrounding triggered messaging in general.
  2. Attend our Best Practices webinar to learn how to utilize the Triggered Link capabilities available in the AutoHook Web Suite.

Register for our Upcoming Free Workshop

On Wednesday July 18 at 11:30 AM EDT, HookLogic Automotive’s Director of Business Operations Ryan Gerardi will be leading the monthly Best Practices webinar to demonstrate how to use Triggered Links within the AutoHook Web Suite. In this webinar, Gerardi will...

  • Show examples of how Triggered Links are being used now
  • Demonstrate how Triggered Links work
  • Explain the process of setting them up
  • Answer questions surrounding strategic planning and implementation

Participation to this live web cast is free and there is no obligation to attend if you register and do not attend. A recording of the web cast and the presentation deck will be made available to those that register.

> Click here to register for the event on GoToWebinar

Automotive Workshops Using Google+
Automotive Workshops Using Google+

Join Us on Google Hangout and On Air Too

We are are also experimenting with the use of Google Hangout and On Air for our live events now too. If you are interested in attending the Hangout for behind-the-scenes and face-to-face interaction then click here to RSVP for this event on Google+ and make certain your are online and logged in to Google at the time of the event (Wed July 18 @ 11:30 AM EDT).

Hope to see you there!

Stair Step Programs; What’s Your Plan of Execution?

As many of you know, several automakers have rolled out incentive programs that pay dealers escalating bonuses as you sell more of a specific model.  This has been a selling tactic that has been used for many years.  Instead of advertising rebates to the consumer, the manufacturers incent the dealers with these stair-step programs with the hopes of lifting sales. If you read the Automotive News article that was published on May 21st, Stair Step Incentives Are Back, you know that dealers are split on the topic of stair-step programs.  Some dealers know how to work the system, having a plan to execute once these programs are released.  But many dealers say stair-step programs wreak havoc on their markets. Dealers pushing for their sales bogeys in the final days of a program often slash prices well below their cost in hopes of a large volume-based bonus at the end.


If you work for a dealership that just sits back and waits for customers to walk in the door throughout the month, you probably don't like these programs. Personally, I love stair-step programs because I always felt like I had a plan to execute on them.  Our group would utilize many of our existing marketing tools like Cars.com new car specials, Autotrader.com spotlight ads, our email marketing ability, social networking, paid search, and retargeting ads to drive specific car buyers into our lead engines.

In fact, while I was on the dealership operations side of the fence, we built a solution that would proactively segment customers based on specific models (i.e. Honda Accord) and drive them into our showrooms.  This solution ultimately morphed into HookLogic’s Lead to Show tool.  Hundreds of dealers use Lead to Show every day to segment customers that submit leads on those cars that are a part of the stair-step program and incent those customers to visit your showroom floor.

We would turn this on as soon as we would receive the announcement so that we would get a head start on our competition.  Driving more customers into the showroom would give our salespeople more “at-bats” on the cars that we needed to move, hence allowing us to sell more and hitting the bonus levels earlier in the month so we weren’t battling with our competition while they were in panic mode during the last week of month.

When you see these types of manufacturer programs, don’t take the same path as many of your competitors.  Heck, don’t follow the same ritual that your dealership has in past.  Come up with a multi-faceted plan and execute on it.  Use tools that will help you differentiate yourself from your competition and you will come out on top, with higher market share and a lower cost per sale...oh yeah, and more profit from the stair-step bonuses.

How Does CRM Help Sell Cars Today?

How Does CRM help sell cars today? Given the fact that car dealers rely heavily on Internet leads from multiple sources including their own dealership websites, it is imperative for dealers to have a way of prioritizing, handling, following up, and filtering through hundreds if not thousands of opportunities each and every month.

This is why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays such an essential role in selling cars in today’s market.

Automotive CRM Adaptability
Automotive CRM Adaptability

The future of CRM is about adaptability

Ten years ago approximately 20% of dealers had an automated CRM system. Today this is so mainstream that it is pushing CRM providers to offer more features and solutions that better fit the dealerships’ needs.

As an example, it is only a matter of time before we see more mobile functionality within CRM systems incorporating apps with smartphones and tablets. These mobile functions will be tightly woven into a social play, including video and check-in features.

That being said, CRM providers will want to think differently from how they have in the past.  These companies can't be the best at everything so they will need to start allowing niche companies to “bolt on” their specialty products to enhance the dealer’s experience.

For instance Salesforce.com, arguably the world’s largest CRM company used in many industries, has an API that allows more specialized companies to offer Salesforce users more and better capabilities such as enhanced reporting, mobile functionality, and other capabilities to their users.

Within the auto industry this doesn't happen but if you look at the website space, companies like PureCars, UnityWorks, and ActivEngage are “bolting on” to dealership websites to enhance conversion and the customer experience.

Auto dealers should expect the same flexibility with their CRM providers.

Maximize the potential of your CRM

Most dealers don't take advantage of their sold customer data for remarketing purposes, especially around their service departments. I am not talking about the set-it-and-forget-it automated birthday, anniversary, service reminder emails and postcards.  I am talking about the polling of customer data for highly targeted campaigns.

A CRM should be used in a holistic endless manner throughout the customer life cycle to send highly targeted messages of all kinds to customers of all types.

Differentiate your dealership from your competition

To help differentiate your dealership, avoid using the default letters and email response templates that come with your CRM. Odds are the dealership down the street has the same one going out.  Be different and make your own.

In my career I didn’t care if my competition knew what tools I used at my dealership because I knew we would use them more effectively.

Don’t fall for the boilerplate CRM presentation

When you are considering a CRM solution, take your time to figure out your major and minor pain points that you and your sales staff have, document them, and then schedule a meeting to discuss these issues. Let the CRM provider think about these issues for several days before you have a presentation of their solution. If they follow your lead, you will get a presentation that will fit your needs and you will have an easier time making a decision that is right for you.

You have the power

Don’t roll over.  If you have a plan, stick to it. If you picked the right CRM provider, they will be your partner and help you execute on your plan.  Remember, you are the customer.

Come up with a plan.  Use your data to your advantage.  And execute well.  If you do this, your CRM tool will help you build a profitable dealership that will give you an incredible ROI.