Creating customers for life is the holy grail of automotive. Ideally a customer lifecycle only begins with a vehicle purchase – from there it should continue with maintenance, service, add-ons, lease renewals, and, at precisely the right time, the customer should be presented with the opportunity to upgrade their vehicle or renew their lease, beginning the whole cycle from the top. This continuous cycle has proven itself to be the best way to ensure car dealership profitability.
In the real world however, creating the cycle is complicated. Scaling personalized campaigns to previous customers or leads that have ghosted you in the past is hard. The messaging is different, the approach is sensitive, and the timing must be perfect. On top of that, your efforts should be taking into consideration their previous behavior on your website, the VDPs they visited, and where they stand regarding leasing or finance renewals.
While it is nearly impossible for a human being to manage all this information and create campaigns at scale, technologies that harness machine learning like a Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP) can help your dealership manage this process and turn your CRM into a money making machine.
Think about it this way – if your dealership CRM has 10,000 non-active leads made up of previously converted website visitors and former customers, and you can reawaken even as little as 10% of them, you have created 1,000 new customers for life. We are talking pure gold buried in your CRM just waiting to be found.
It starts with building the right audience
Step one in turning your CRM leads into revenues is to ensure you are investing in the right technology to help you automate the creation of hyper-targeted audiences. You want to find the tech that will help you avoid situations like a customer receiving an email for a lease renewal when they have more than a year remaining on their contract or a service reminder being sent to someone who just came in for a full workup.
The modern customer expects a personalized experience – one that speaks directly to their needs or interests. Creating a hyper-personalized experience begins with the right audience segmentation technology that can account for factors such as VDP visits, cash renewals, or lead status, like non-buyer leads who converted months ago but never made a purchase.
Take it further with dynamic personalization
Once you have the right technologies in place to identify and segment your audiences, you should ensure your email and SMS marketing have dynamic templates and merge tags so your content can include your lead’s name and autofill any form you are requesting they submit. These small touches are the factors that create a positive marketing experience for your prospects.
Personalization should even be taken a step further. When sending an email blast for a specific landing page, your dealership can enhance the customer experience with dynamic videos and forms embedded on the page to maintain the 1:1 experience. With the right technological platform in place, you can identify a lead that clicks on a hyperlink in a targeted email and greet them personally when they arrive on your website to maintain a smooth, engaging, customized experience.
Dealership data connectivity is key
Even if your dealership invests in the best technology for mining your CRM, real-time machine learning can’t possibly function at its best without connected data. Make sure your dealership’s website data and ad activity is connected and communicating with your CRM so you have a full picture of the prospect’s digital footprint.
While CRM information is critical, it must be coupled with shopper website activity in order to make the most of every piece of data when creating customized marketing experiences. Connecting your dealership data sources through a Customer Data Platform (CDP) or a Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP) provides you with the most updated version of your customer’s story so you can create the right marketing experience, bringing you one step closer to making the sale.
Lead nurture at scale
There are a lot of pieces to pull together when thinking about personalized lead nurture at a scale that can convert more of your database into business and improve your car dealership’s profitability. And while no human can possibly do this, your dealership should consider implementing an AI-powered CDP or CDXP that can learn your audiences, segment, and target shoppers with just the right message on and off site.
AutoLeadStar’s Nurture can help you improve your dealership profitability with automotive’s leading CDXP. Nurture works to engage 100% of your CRM at scale and re-awaken ignored audiences with relevant, hyper-personalized emails, videos, and dynamic landing pages. To learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*An earlier version of this article originally appeared on dealermarketing.com.