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Future of CRM

Discussion in 'CRM, ILM, Chat, Desking, Emails, Phone, SMS' started by Alex Snyder, Aug 21, 2018.

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  1. jscole86

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    Last time @Alex Snyder@Alex Snyder wrote some blog posts on crm related stuff, a new crm popped up not too long after. What's taking so long Alex...? haha
     
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  3. Baron Ringler

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    100% a great idea, that last.

    As a fairly decent end user I've found that none of the big name CRM companies have the full package when it comes to the full customer experience. e-Leads is starting to work with it but it's so rudimentary as to not be fully useful. On the other side, a company like AutoAlert should have thought about expanding in to the CRM market years ago. That type of full scale system that would be created, along with adding a chat and and phone monitoring system (or as you mentioned customer interfaces right online), would streamline the user experience, streamline the costs, and reduce the number of vendors a store has to deal with (and I don't know of any dealership that wouldn't like reducing vendor count). Then integrate an accounting system in to that? It would be the Mona Lisa of systems and would control the market in short order. But no one wants to take the risk because they are afraid o screwing up a good thing.

    Many many years ago, in the mid-90's, Reynolds actually started to build a system with that in mind (CRM, desk, finance, and accounting all in one) but they botched the programming (I was there: it was one of the most amazing screw-ups of all time) and lost a ton of money before they scaraped the whole thing, and they haven't really taken any more risks since then.

    They all have paid for systems which are cash cows that no one wants to mess around with, although I will give Dealersocket credit in that their new Bluebird (Blackbird? Not sure) does take a radical departure from their previous system. But it's still mired in old thinking of what a CRM should be.

    It will be a startup that makes it happen, not any of the established players.
     
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  4. C Dorman

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    Mike Dullea is the owner of AutoAlert and as one of the original founders of Vin Solutions, I don't know if he can start another CRM company. What's telling is that AutoAlert pulls it's data from the DMS, not the CRM, because it's more accurate, but is integrated with the CRM for sales purposes. What's also telling is that AutoAlert has started their own marketing services because dealers are incapable of reaching these leads themselves properly even with their CRMs...
     
  5. john.quinn

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    You really have to chuckle when you step back and really see the silos through which these systems were built.

    So it came to pass that God created the Internet Lead... (LOL). and 100 of these leads would hit the sales department every month. And if you were really good, you could close 15 of them. DMS has absolutely zero provision for managing this type of interaction/communication... so Lead Management and automotive's own version of CRM is born, basically so we can sell 15 cars a month...

    Meanwhile, 100 people every day are calling the Service department -- and 90 of them "close." So many phone calls that we have to make a choice: answer the phone OR take care of the people in front of me. Rough.

    But Service/Fixed wasn't sexy... so it came to pass that still, today, the telephone predominately serves as the path of least resistance to gain entrance to the Service Department.

    Nuts :)
     
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  6. TeddyJTurner

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    Exactly right. Issue is the CRM's are dominated by monopolies who are going to manage CF's vs focusing on developing a disrupting, more nimble CRm/DMS. You can't blame them...they are making decisions that they should make. No need to dev something when they are making plenty of money with what they have and there are no real substitutes for dealers and even if they were, they make it so prohibitively expensive and time consuming to switch that it's not even worth the "Switching costs"
     
  7. Baron Ringler

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    I don't think you can run a non-compete that many years (it's been at lease 12) unless there is a paid for codicil. But the point is take. As someone mentioned elsewhere in this thread. why should these vendors spend money on something new when they can successfully milk what they have. Again, Reynolds tried that around 96-97, and it failed so miserable and if I remember the number right, the loss was more than 40-million dollars. The reason it failed is another story, but funny as hell.

    But I don't see anyone trying it again. An independent will make something great, which will then be purchased.
     
  8. Zhendrix

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    I love the discussion! CRM is my favorite acronym in our space. (I love acronyms in general so let's roll with that for this rant)

    IMO I can't help but laugh when I hear plea's and prayers for technology DISRUPTION. OMG! STFU! Disruption is the only word in our space used more than Co-Op. The daunting challenge we face is this: technology changes so wickedly fast, but humans do not. Let’s face it, if you are praying or pointing the finger at vendors for technology disruption it’s for one of two reasons 1. You are kicking ass and have graduated your current tech stack and need a technology change to grow. OR… (and most us fall here, present company included) 2. You suck at your business and blame tech. In which case I would tell you to GFY and give you a mirror to find your problem. (rant over, kinda)

    IRL, we easily accept the benefits of technology but rarely have a clue about the associated consequences leading us to coping problems when things go wrong (and “wrong” feels like a permanent state right now with DR, Direct, Subscription, and Carvana threats/rumors). Remember, humans are still at the core of most of the decisions that are being made, whether that decision is to click a link, set a national cybersecurity policy, or marking a task complete in a CRM.

    I’m with Alex in having FAITH but it’s the people that support and love this industry I have faith in, not a shiny startup. I think we should TBT and focus on CTR. CTR being “Choose the Right” not (click through rate, and I don’t mean the right politically either) It’s time to get back to using CRM to just being a good person that just accommodates a consumer’s preferences rather than forcing them to communicate our way. All too often I see dealer’s CRM mindset being YOLO. The only thing YOLO got me was credit card debt.

    If you agree, LMK. If you disagree, IDK. If this post made you LOL, even better.
     
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  9. john.quinn

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    Wow... (even though I don't understand all the acronyms), some of the best reading I've done here in a long time! Bravo!

    We've split the hairs of technology-aided selling down to the atomic level...we're bored. Just take care of your friggin customers and you'll be just fine!

    Love it :)

    JQ
     
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  10. Baron Ringler

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    I've decided to add the story of ReyRey's attempt to create an all-in-one web-based CRM/DMS/ Sales/Finance/Everything system in 96-97. It's been over 20 years, and some of the details are a bit foggy, and there may be people who dispute the account, but I was there and experienced this personally. It's a great story, although a little long.

    I get called in to Dayton, Ohio with a team of other top installers to start debugging a new system being developed, creatively named ERA2. Energizer batteries had just come out with a battery named ERA2, trade-marking the name, and Reynolds had to pay a hefty fee to be allowed to use the name. The plan was to jump so far ahead of the competition that it would take YEARS for them to catch up. Reynolds Executives were having wet dreams about dominating the market and having dealers just lining up to be fleeced; long-term contracts, higher billing, etc.). So to that effect, Reynolds had contracted several companies (Sun, Oracle, Peachtree, Microsoft, etc.), each to work on and program separate areas of dealership ops; parts, service, sales, finance, accounting, document management, etc.) and each of the installers was to begin testing out separate systems and give feedback and suggestions. Why all the different programming platforms? Because Reynolds wanted to move on the whole thing fast. They had just divested the medical side of their business and had money burning a hole in their pockets.

    And at first everything seemed to work okay. Service was overly complex, with too many steps, but overall it didn't seem so bad. Running through F&I and Desking, making mock deals, pushing deals, all the fun stuff, it seemed to work great. In fact, it was smooth as silk... until I went to print forms...where are the forms? No forms. They forgot to tell the programmers about forms. They didn't exist. Reynolds goes back to the developers, costs to double and a time-frame of 6 months to a year. Reynolds says that forms were to be included in all costs but the programming company shoves the contract in their face, as Reynolds has done to so many others, and says "Um, no". I think it was Sun on that one, and they weren't just going to throw in all that extra programming for nothing. Regardless, it's hard to deliver cars when you can't print temp tags, or bank contracts, or ATPI's, etc. <STRIKE ONE>.

    CRM, by today's standards a mess but revolutionary at the time, although too many steps and contradictions. But at least it was something, right? Parts, I heard no complaints except that it wasn't intuitive. Well, new things often go against learned behaviors and that prevents intuitive learning. Not a big deal in my book, but then again I wasn't using it. Accounting I was told was a disaster, bordering on criminal, and that a run-of-the mill general Accounting system, which it was (no customization for the automotive space), couldn't be made to work with all the different accounts and setups that a dealership may use on a Statement. <STRIKE TWO>

    Regardless, we are there to debug and make recommendations. This is still a year or two away from introduction, right? Wrong, because some Einstein had the marvelous idea to actually pilot an install of this system at TWO small dealers groups (I want to say Van Tuyl and a small part of Tuttle-Click, but I may be off on that) and fix things on the fly, even though we haven't fully tested everything. Forms will be printed by re-entering all the information in the old ERA system, and the rest will all be done through the new one. <STRIKE THREE>

    Here's where the real fun begins. For the next several weeks nothing goes right and NOTHING can be integrated. NONE of it works with anything else. And the speed of the things that can be done is at a snails pace. All the small items we came up with, like too many steps in service, now rear their ugly head as just another excuse for people to complain. Reynolds tells the dealers that it's because their computers are too old and slow. So these stores dutifully go out and spend $50k to upgrade all the computer systems, buying the latest/greatest processors; the newest and fastest and most expensive computers on the market...no change. We call the developers for each system; no idea. Those of us who were supposed to go in to the field and do other installs on the old system are kept in Dayton. As for Dayton, if you ever have a chance to go there...don't. The problem with Dayton isn't the fact that it's a dump (it is) but the fact that it's a really BIG dump.

    Anyways, finally a Parts guy at one of the stores figures it out. Here we are, a group of several dozen, all college educated, well-dressed professionals, left scratching our armpits in confusion while a Parts guy comes up with the solution. Each company contracted to develop the different portions (Parts, Service, Finance, Accounting, and Sales) all used different programming languages: nothing was compatible and none could communicate with the other departments. It was like the old 'pounding a square peg in to a round hole', except that there was no hole to pound in to and no mallet to do it with. Today you can overcome that because there is technology to do it. There wasn't in 1997. <NOW WORKING ON A NO-HITTER>

    Whole thing gets scrapped. Although I have no personal knowledge and cannot confirm the number, I was told that it cost Reynolds $40 million dollars; 1997 dollars.. Even if the amount was half that, it's still major coin. It certainly cost a few dozen people their jobs, including a VP. Meanwhile, you just took the top few dozen installers in the country and wasted 8-10 weeks of their time in Dayton, Ohio, trying to polish a turd. The already scheduled ERA1 system installs were left to rookies, inexperienced people, and generally the people who would normally never have been put in charge of an install. It was a debacle took about 6 months, and all the costs involved, to straighten out, leaving the wreckage of dozens of pissed off dealerships in it's wake. <Have now just hit a walk-off grandslam in the bottom of the 9th inning, with two outs and an 0-2 count>.

    So if Reynolds has fear of doing anything new, that may be why. <Swept In A Double Header>
     
    #19 Baron Ringler, Aug 25, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  11. Alex Snyder

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    Thanks @Baron Ringler@Baron Ringler for sharing that horror story. Was there a clear leader of the project? Was it a vision by committee?
     

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