The philosophy of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is simple – the customer always comes first. When your auto parts dealership looks at every sale or transaction through its customers’ eyes, you will know what to improve to deliver an impeccable customer experience, which ultimately increases loyalty to your business. Customer-centric businesses are more profitable than companies that aren’t. Most customers are willing to pay more for seamless customer experience, and many of them often leave a brand after having one negative experience.
To bring together information from different departments or company segments to get a unified view of each customer, you need to use a cloud-based CRM system. It will allow you to make informed and quick decisions on cross-selling and up-selling, improving responsiveness, improving customer communication quality, coordinating marketing campaigns, managing sales, and other core business activities.
Why is a CRM Important to Auto Parts Retail Business?
The automotive and auto parts industries are areas where there’s a need to build trust among customers because of the high safety and investment concerns. Efficient CRM strategies can help you with this. Why is it crucial for auto parts retailers to utilize the power of a CRM?
1. Gain a competitive edge
In other words, your customers can get swept away by other businesses if there is high competition. In this industry, competition always lurks around the corner because the auto parts industry operates in both the B2C and B2B realms. Your approach will determine whether or not customers will be inclined to do business with you. With a good CRM tool, you will stay in touch with your customers and make sure they’re getting everything they expect. In combination with great database software that keeps your auto part fitment data, your customers will always get a part that fits their vehicle.
2. Expand your pool of customers
The auto parts industry is a low churn industry, so it’s unlikely that one customer will buy one auto part several times in a short period. This means that every purchase is a long-term investment and that you can only increase your profit margins by selling auto parts to a large volume of customers (not by repeatedly selling to a small group). Your CRM is also your customer database software that helps you increase the pool of potential customers and ensure that your existing customer base engages with your business. You can also build effective customer engagement, customer retention, and lead generation strategies to strengthen relationships with customers and help you grow your business.
3. Increase customer loyalty
In businesses such as auto parts retailers, while there’s a relatively high financial investment, it is important to have loyal customers. A CRM solution is there to keep customer interaction going, even if they’re not actively looking to buy an auto part. Trust is also very beneficial in such an industry where build quality, longevity of the machine, and gear safety is paramount.
Other benefits of CRM for auto parts retail business include:
- Having access to complete customer information.
- Planning further activities according to analytical data.
- Improving processing data rate.
- Changing your marketing activities based on analytical reports.
- Contacting a customer at the right time and in the right place with a proposal they might be interested in.
CRM software will help develop a systematic approach to customer relations, giving your team a significant boost to improve their work.
Why is Database Software Important to Your Auto Part Dealership?
Creating complete and accurate databases is extremely important in the auto parts industry. The ACES and PIES standards are used to exchange and manage auto part fitment information between various customers and partners. Also, they allow all parties involved to speak the same language by providing a universal guideline. Every business that sells auto parts and accessories needs an efficient and comprehensive system for managing fitment data, or their customers won’t be able to find the auto part that fits their vehicle. If that happens, they risk product returns, bad customer experience, and losing customers and profit.
When it comes to creating an auto parts database, it’s crucial you understand that your fitment data is an essential business asset. The data is always changing because existing parts and accessories are redefined, while new ones are entering the market. Therefore, fitment data is also being changed.
A CRM program that works together with efficient database software allows you to regularly update your ACES and PIES data and improve customer experiences. It will provide you with an interface that helps you locate any potential issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.
Centralization of customer and product data
Along with database software, your auto parts store CRM system will combine all customer service, marketing, sales, and product information into one central database. Having access to all data from a unified dashboard will make it easier to collect and process all types of data on customers and prospects, which means that there will be fewer information silos within your business. That helps you build a customer-centric strategy.
Every time a customer comes in contact with your online auto parts store (regardless of the channel), they have an opportunity to form an opinion about your brand. Over time, this collective set of experiences will form a picture in the customer’s mind. In turn, that forms the image of your brand and its values.
CRM database systems collect customer information, including:
- Personal details (names, addresses, phone numbers, and other)
- Demographic data
- Type of vehicles they own
- Parts they looked for and parts they may look for in the future
- Status of an open item
- Date of the next follow-up
All of this information plays a crucial role in meeting your customers’ needs and can be used to measure, manage, and keep track of sales, customer service, and marketing activities.
When you have such a system that centralizes all customers’ information, you will reduce information silos, product returns, and conflict between departments. Marketing teams cannot blame sales teams for failing to implement their campaigns; sales teams can’t blame marketing teams for poor communication; and customer service teams cannot blame sales reps for dissatisfied customers. And with database software, you make sure that your fitment data is always up-to-date and complete.
Improving Your Revenue with CRM and Database Software
Due to the large number of parts you can sell and the fact that one part can fit up to approximately 32 vehicles, managing your auto parts catalog and meeting customers’ requirements can be a complicated process. Therefore, the implementation of efficient product databases and CRM systems is a necessity. It can help automate the working process and improve interaction among customers, dealers, and manufacturers. Your entire team will get a complete picture of all the processes and outcomes, which will allow you to improve those processes for the better, leaving customers satisfied and bringing more profit.
CRM and database software solutions significantly affect the automotive industry because they provide auto parts deals with certain consumer demands, increase the flexibility of the distribution process, and improve the relationship between dealers and clients.
Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise CRM Platform
A CRM alone can save your business a lot of time and money by automating tasks. Cloud computing brought us cloud-based CRMs that can save even more money and time than any on-premise CRM. They remove the need to have specialized gear in the office and employ technicians to run and maintain it. That leaves you with more resources to invest in business growth.
With a cloud-based CRM and product database software, integration is easier to achieve. The benefits of cloud-based CRM databases and systems include:
- Easy installation. Those in search of a CRM for small businesses are in luck because a cloud-based CRM doesn’t require installation. No hardware is involved, there is no need to worry about maintenance, and you don’t have to set up your own server.
- Ease of use. Not only will you have customer data at your fingertips, but you can access it via an easy-to-use platform. Most of these platforms are mobile-friendly so that you can access the info on your smartphone.
- Seamless access. Since it’s hosted on the cloud, all you need is an internet connection to be able to access all your CRM data and customer resources. When you are working remotely and need to make a last-minute call, access your customer bases, or check sales, marketing, and customer information – a cloud-based CRM can be a lifesaver.
- Scalable and flexible. As your business grows, your CRM has the ability to keep up. The agile, flexible nature of cloud software makes them suitable for businesses of any size.
- Cost savings. If you’re just starting out, you can still afford a cloud CRM because you don’t need much money for a monthly subscription to the service. On the other hand, the value and service you get can save your sales and marketing team time by taking care of data and contact management. Some types of CRMs offer different subscription types, allowing you to keep an eye on creeping costs as you expand your team or the CRM features you need.
- Integration with other apps. The right CRM can be integrated into your existing infrastructure and workflow. Just make sure to choose the software that cooperates with the tools you already have.
- Data backup. With a cloud CRM, you don’t need storage space and other resources to store your data. It will be stored on a remote server, and you will be able to recover your customer data quickly in case of a power outage or system crash.
- Collaboration. Thanks to a centralized customer database, employees from different departments (such as sales, marketing, and customer support) get access to the same data sets and will be on the same page, collaborating effectively. It means that (thanks to a successful CRM integration) your employees can work together on exploring market trends, building customer relationships, mapping out the customer journey, and bringing more customers into your sales pipeline.
In today’s digitized and increasingly competitive market, an auto parts database software helps auto parts retailers to prosper. It can help you create and manage your product database efficiently, saving you money and time, and provide the best possible customer experience. Reducing the number of returns and lost sales translates into increased profit margins and brings more resources that you could redirect toward improving customer satisfaction, marketing, sales, and business intelligence.
The myFitment solution will provide you with many bulk processes, reports, and with monthly data revalidation against the latest lists of valid configurations. Feel free to contact us for a free trial.