I know that mining your database can seem, well, overwhelming.
Aren’t there services that will do that for me?
Why should I have to do this?
I DON’T WANT TO! (you say, stomping your foot like a child).
But, hey, mining your database is not as difficult as you may think – and the value it can bring is huge. Your customers have decided to trust you with the second-largest purchase they will ever make, right? But guess what? Some of them might make that decision 20 times in their life. If we handle these customers right, they’ll make that decision with their most-trusted adviser in the auto industry: you.
But believe it or not, your competitors are also vying for YOUR customer’s attention.
OH NO! What do we do?
The main purpose of your CRM is to manage your customers from one dashboard – not just prospects, but also your loyal fans, the ones who have already decided to trust you. And it’s here where the buried gold lies. You must begin making consistent contact with your customers. You must know when they’re beginning to think about trading in or adding to their current driveway capacity. Mining your database is a strategy – and as I said, it must be a tactic you use consistently.
So, here’s my advice. Create a plan of attack and – I know this sounds aggressive – execute!
Let’s start at the beginning with the low-hanging fruit, and make some market assumptions. Say you’re a Nissan dealership. Your plan may start with your most popular model of mid-sized car, the Altima. Now we’ll look for opportunities in your database to present the 2018 Nissan Altima. Let’s run an owner-based search for current Altima owners who purchased between 24 and 48 months ago. Now we’ve found 1215 Altima owners – but we need to satisfy some other search criteria to create an effective campaign. So, we’ll need email addresses and unique customers only. We also want to make sure they still own the same vehicles, so check that box, too.
This is just an example of a CRM search. There are many others, so you need a plan. Will you target “showroom visits not sold”? Maybe you’ll target the customer segment of the next vehicle below the Optima and introduce them to an upgrade option. The variables are many, so I understand why this can seem like a bottomless pit. But if you’re not thinking about the customer segments hidden within your CRM, you’re missing opportunities that your competitors are going after.
That is why I like to call it “Conquesting Your Own Customers” – because if you’re not reaching out to people who trusted you once, if you are not keeping that relationship growing and letting them know you’re aware of their vehicle needs from service to sales, you risk losing them to someone who will keep that relationship going.
Now let’s talk about service campaigns. This is very valuable in my opinion, because we know 75% of customers that service with you will also buy from you again. So, we can’t neglect keeping in contact with these customers. If you have a service BDC, you’re already ahead of the game – but even then, some people may fall through the cracks. They might get lured in for a $9.95 oil change somewhere and then create a habit of getting their oil service elsewhere.
So, how can we get them back? Easy. We lure them back! With a search of your DMS, you find the customers who have not serviced with you in the last 12 months, then create an irresistible offer for them. Yes, we know this will cut into your profits a little, but we are mining for gold here. We will need to earn their business, regain their trust, reset their service habits and get them back into the dealership. We can’t skip this step, as their lifetime value is too important. So maybe we’ll throw out our own $9.95 oil change with a free car wash. We actually have many options to get them back in the family – we just have to find the right offer. And once we determine that offer, why not serve it up to them on social media that’s specifically targeted to this list of people?
I mean, they are there, right? On social media? You bet they are!
Your database can seem like a bottomless pit if you’re unsure what you are looking for. But that database is a gold mine. Your customers want to do business with you, and we know that because they have already committed to you once. We just need to help them remember why they chose you and why they will choose you again.
Email and social media work so well together that once you begin looking at your database in a different light, you will see that your customers want and need the product and services that you offer. Creating top-of-mind awareness takes a bit of work, but the long-term ROI is worth it.
Get into your CRM and dig around. Meet with your team and decide where the low-hanging fruit is. This will get you some early wins – and encourage you to do it again and again.
Learn more about Database Mining with Social Media by attending Robin Wilson’s session at the Digital Dealer 23 Conference & Expo, which will be held this Sept. 18-20th, 2017. Register now and start building your agenda by choosing from more than 100 sessions!
Robin Wilson is the Social Media Marketing Manager at Social Climber Pro Agency. SCP Agency began 2013 serving small business owners. I was approached by a KIA dealership to handle their social media, there was a catch, they wanted me onsite, after coming to terms about continuing to run my business, I began learning all I could about the automotive industry to better serve their needs. I now successfully help many dealerships with their social media presence & data-mining. EMAIL: Robin@socialclimberpro.com.
Robin Wilson is the Social Media Marketing Manager at Social Climber Pro Agency. SCP Agency began 2013 serving small business owners. I was approached by a KIA dealership to handle their social media, there was a catch, they wanted me onsite, after coming to terms about continuing to run my business, I began learning all I could about the automotive industry to better serve their needs. I now successfully help many dealerships with their social media presence & data-mining.