Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day. Too much work. Tasks pile up. Another set of eyes are needed. Another pair of hands. When things need fixed inside a CRM, some dealers have personnel up to the challenge, and some need CRM Support. When an obstacle in the CRM faces you, does your CRM have your back? Or do they back off?
Internet and eCommerce Directors get pulled in a myriad of directions far outside of their focus. I imagine Performance Managers/Customer Success Managers/Account Managers from the CRM companies feel the same about their daily regimen. Nonetheless, one of these parties are paying for the services of the other. As part of that payment, I believe continued training and CRM support is expected. One of these parties are true experts on their solution/software, and the other is to be a jack of all trades of digital sales and communication.
Your dealership personnel should be tasked with staying educated on the best practices of digital marketing and communication. Your CRM provider should be tasked with keeping the software humming. When work needs to be performed inside the system, quick fixes should be performed by your own team. But when large tasks are required, I urge dealers to place a modicum of responsibility on their CRM Support. Dealers should never feel as if they’re all alone to make massive changes in their CRM. They are not only paying for the licensing of a tool every month, but for the expertise of that CRM’s staff.
When I was in retail, I took it upon myself to launch a CRM without outside help. Building out every single email template, process workflow, lead source filter, event, custom report and phone script. It almost killed me. But I got it done. It took over one month of 12-hour days to complete that one massive project. Today’s dealership directors do not have that time any longer. This is one reason dealers are reaching out to the DealerKnows and other training agencies of the world; to flesh out these elements for them. The CRM is not responsible for knowing the best practices and strategies to engage others, but they should be responsible for assisting the dealer in the implementation of said practices.
In our conversations with different CRM providers, when requesting occasional assistance with process implementation for mutual clients, though, we often hear “that’s not what our reps or CRM Support do”, or “the dealer has to pay us for that type of support.” Maybe I’m off-base. I’ve always felt that paying a CRM company several thousands of dollars every month for years, asking nothing of them ever, receiving no calls or follow-up ever, would yield you a little goodwill for additional help beyond the normal scope of CRM support services when needed. Alas, it is not always the case. Some are gloriously helpful CRM experts who will bend over backwards for their clients. Some live by the idea that doing a little extra for their dealers is unacceptable.
So I want to make a declaration – if you aren’t receiving quality CRM Support from your account manager, take them to task. Put them to the test. It is time dealers demand more from the CRM providers that have gone quiet on them. If vendors aren’t acting as vendor partners, it is time to take a close look at what you’re actually paying for.