Using technology to increase customer service is becoming a vital tool for franchise dealers fighting to retain business from independent garages.
So says dealer management software specialist Pinewood, which points out that independents can rarely afford the investment in technology that franchise dealers make.
Managing director Neville Briggs explained: “Technology such as DMS systems is one of the key differentiators available to franchise dealers. This technology can help them to maximise efficiency but, crucially to also raise customer service levels.
“At the core of this is CRM based activity that means you can record all kinds of information about your customer and then use it to meet their needs ever more exactly.
“However, it is also important to look to emerging tools such as social media that can used both to take offers to customers while also building loyalty to you and to your franchise brand.”
Briggs said that it was also important to take messages to customers that underlined the value that they offered.
“The truth is that franchise dealer menu pricing for the majority of mainstream brands is often very competitive when compared to the prices of quality independents.
“It is up to franchise dealers to use the CRM tools available to them to communicate this effectively. It can be as simple as sending out a Franchise branded email or an SMS message at the right moment.”