OK, OK. It isn’t really fair to call CRM dumb. The idea behind it was really good … to help dealerships stay in touch with customers, better meet their needs, and build stronger relationships.
However, this blog’s title did get you to read this article, which you might find does make some strong points about why CRM just doesn’t cut it and why CXM (Customer Experience Management) is the future.
It doesn’t build relationships. And building relationships was its main intention, hence the name. Maybe sending a customer a birthday card was once considered a personal communication, but it isn’t today. Customers today want real personalization.
It actually might be hurting relationships. A little bit of data can be a dangerous thing. Marketing to customers because it’s their birthday or the anniversary of their car purchase doesn’t create the warm and fuzzy feelings we want to experience with anybody we do business with. Customers can sense when they’re being sold to. Though on some level they understand that it’s your job to sell to them, they’re not going to be happy about it unless there is something relevant in it for them. You can know that with advanced data analytics, but not with CRM alone.
It relies on outdated, unreliable data entry. Getting your team to enter the right information all the time is asking a lot. If it’s not entered in a way everyone can understand and take action on, what’s the use? Plus, dealership turnover is on the high side, so even if you do get staff trained, they might be soon replaced, creating frustration and wasted resources.
The data it does pull might be irrelevant. For example, a customer moved to a new neighborhood or started a new job a month ago and you didn’t know because their record hadn’t been updated yet.
Even its updated data is minimally helpful. Data that is collected randomly through conversations and entered into CRM isn’t as powerful as real-time data that shows customers’ research and buying behavior. One of the premier conferences for customer experience and experience marketing is the Adobe Summit – during this year’s Summit, held in April, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen focused on the single most important point about modern CXM in his opening keynote: “You may have millions of customers, but you must know them like they’re your only customer.”
It doesn’t connect the dots for a clear path of action. OK, say you have a super highly skilled and trained staff that enters every last little detail about every customer after every communication … changes in their life, items they’ve recently purchased, etc. Your data is always the most updated. But who’s there to connect the dots? Who’s doing the math to make sure it’s a win-win experience? Software like AutoAlert does it all automatically, giving your team the perfect reason – and timing – to pick up the phone and call the customer with information they’ll see as beneficial.
Earlier this year, Forbes ran an article by Customer Experience Futurist Blake Morgan highlighting why millennials, and every other generation, prefer experiences to things. The Wall Street Journal just ran this fun piece on mindful knitting (summary: It’s the journey, not the scarf).
What can dealerships take from this switch from material things to immaterial experiences? CXM can help answer that question. It starts by knowing what your customers want, when they want it, and providing exactly that. No random birthday cards. No guesstimated upgrade offers on the anniversary. Just positive interactions for great new experiences with your dealership.