10 Things you need to know before choosing a CRM Suggested questions are in italics. Key action items are in bold. 1. Research History ▪ Nothing wrong with going with the new kid on the block, but understand their roots ▪ Have they recently been acquired? ▪ Is CRM a their main offering or an add-‐on? ▪ Who are the key stakeholders and what is their background? ▪ Are the founders or visionaries still there? ▪ Follow them on twitter and in trade rags 2. Confirm Expertise ▪ Buy from people you trust ▪ Ask tough questions and dont let anyone sell you from a power point ▪ Bring in stakeholders from every area of your dealership ▪ Dont let ONE person in your store make the decision ▪ Everyone should be involved in the due diligence 3. Verify Stability ▪ How many customers do they add each month? ▪ How many customers leave every month? ▪ Keep in mind the highest volume doesnt mean the highest quality ▪ Get lists of newly added dealers and recent attritions to make calls 4. Evaluate the platform ▪ What is the application written in? ▪ Why did your company choose that platform? ▪ Where is my data hosted? ▪ Is there a failover hosting facility? ▪ How frequently is my data backed up? ▪ Is a data warehouse being used? 5. Identifying partnerships ▪ Get a list of all of their technology partners ▪ How many of these partners are people you do business with? ▪ What is the relationship and level of integration? ▪ Are they certified with your OEM lead provider? ▪ Are there any key vendors that you use in a critical process that they dont integrate with? ▪ Would they be willing to create this integration? ▪ Call dealers that are using the same integrations.
6. Consider On-‐boarding ▪ What data will you start out with? ▪ What metric will you use to determine if your data conversion was acceptable? ▪ Ask how much time will be spent working on process maps and automated processes? ▪ See their on-‐boarding checklist ▪ Review their recommended process maps ▪ Have your team read through their email and letter templates 7. Explore Education ▪ To maximize training, it must go beyond technical ▪ Training must focus on the who, when, and why -‐ it must be customer centric ▪ CRM training is the perfect time to teach on the expectations of the customer ▪ Build the value of REAL customer relationships ▪ Everyone in the dealership should be trained and taught to build value in customer data ▪ Are there on-‐line tools available to teach your staff? ▪ What does the initial training program look like? ▪ Ask your rep how frequently they think you should receive training, this will give you insight as to how important training is to their organization. 8. Investigate Support ▪ Get a clear understanding of the following: Support Hours/SLA/On-‐Line/On-‐site/Chat Phone – is it LIVE Answer? • Call their support number and ask to speak to your future support rep or reps. ▪ Will I have an account manager? ▪ Interview your account manager before you purchase. ▪ How often will we be in contact? ▪ On site? On-‐line? On-‐phone? ▪ How will you measure our stores CRM success? 9. Request Roadmap ▪ Ask for a copy of their current development roadmap (may not get) ▪ Ask for a copy of a roadmap from a year ago ▪ How frequently do you have product releases? ▪ Request a copy of the latest release notes. ▪ Ask the rep, what is your favorite feature and why? How long has it been in the system? ▪ Align key processes with key features -‐ do they fit? ▪ How do they handle special requests or custom reports?
10. Review Contracts ▪ What is your philosophy on contracts and why? ▪ Even month-‐to-‐month contracts are important -‐ think of them as an SOW (statement of work) ▪ Use contracts/schedules to understand the following. ▪ Data conversions and improvement ▪ Integrations included ▪ Training & consulting days included ▪ Travel ▪ On-‐going education ▪ Licensing (qty of users) ▪ What happens to my data if we cancel? ▪ Are there any rate increase clauses?Is GLB (Graham Leach) baked in? Action Items 1. Establish your goals and objectives with CRM ◦ Dont be subjective -‐ create SMART goals ◦ Goals dont have to be dollar driven -‐ they can be process driven ◦ Great dealership CRM processes will drive the dollars 2. Build your own CRM due diligence checklist ◦ Review it yearly even if you are staying with your current provider ◦ Have key stakeholders from every department review it and comment on it 3. Develop a tool to measure CRM process impact (see sample survey) ◦ Be sure to include each department (multiple people from each department) ◦ Formally review this with your team and your CRM vendor twice per year 4. Build or rebuild your process playbook ◦ If you dont have one, you need one ◦ If you have one, always ask, where can we improve? ◦ Make the process playbook mandatory reading for new hires ◦ Have members of your team share best practices and variations around each process ◦ Managers must continuously coach around these processes and best practices 5. Develop Customer-‐Centric focus ◦ When is the last time you asked a customer how they wanted to be sold? ◦ Have you genuinely asked them, how can we improve this process or that process? ◦ How many of you have ever put together a customer advisory council?
The Future of CRM 1. Frictionless -‐ less pain for user-‐customer interactions (processes) 2. Mobile – more specialized away from seats 3. Social – We will no longer measure our VIP customers simply by the number of vehicles or service they purchase, but their value to us via the social network 4. Dynamic – AI (artificial intelligence) will make customer facing workflows and touches even smarter (we have seen just a tip of the iceberg in the last 24 months with equity mining) 5. Connected – There is little doubt that CRM will continue to be the hub of the wheel and the center of all consumer activity. It will no longer be just dealer facing, but both consumers and OEMs will leverage portals for self-‐serve interaction which will drive improved analytics and even more refined context.