Failing to unify a company on a single, thoughtful, CRM system doesn’t just introduce inefficiencies, it can make your organization straight up irritating. I’m a loyal patron of Grossinger Toyota North, and not just because 15 years ago my mother wrote a sternly worded letter to Toyota corporate and we now get 10% off all service: parts and labor. A real 10% too, the conspiracy theorist in me frequently obtains 3rd party validation of the “Monica Wilson” discount. Perpetual coupons aside, Grossinger sold me my first new car 10.5 years ago with a whopping three miles on it. When I found out I’d be moving to California, I decided to retire the Rav, so I stopped by good ol’ Grossinger and solicited an appraisal. After a 10 minute booting process, the guy punched my information into some antiquated application accessed on his CRT equipped computer, and we established the going rate for what amounted to a 10 year and 4 month, 67,000 mile rental.
After spending the next week out of town, I returned, title in hand, to close this deal. While waiting in their sales pit, my phone rang. Who could possibly need to speak to me at that moment? But a friendly Grossinger lead qualifying lady, of course. I failed to resist the urge to accuse her of stalking and suggested she should use the remaining call time to help me jump the queue… the call ended after her confusion exceeded her patience. Flashforward – sign papers, quick business trip, and back to Chicago to with a plan to fetch my check the next morning. I return to a stack of mail, and tucked away amongst the neuroscience magazines and grocery ads there was a letter from Grossinger which expressed their interest in purchasing my 2002 Rav 4, and for $800 more than I negotiated no less. Knowing full well my ride was far from “mint condition” I excused that detail in favor of inspecting the postmark – sure enough sent 5 days AFTER they took title. The charm continues.
Over the next week, I get 3 emails and 2 voicemails from agents wondering if I was interested in discussing a trade-in, or perhaps even to: “Get me into a new Corolla.” What raises the ridiculous factor even higher is the fact that during the process, I explicitly asked to opt out of all email communiques, and the car I suggested they put in the “mandatory” next-vehicle field was *not* a Corolla. This afternoon, when I got letter reminding me that my car is due for its 100k mile service, my head nearly exploded. Not only do they own the car now, but holy hell! If anyone should know the mileage of my ex-vehicle, it’s the people who serviced it for the last decade!
So this week, when you sense your customers are on the fence about CRM, ask them whether they want to support their customers or irritate them. Clearly, simply having a system doesn’t guarantee you will use it, let alone well. Customers expect more these days, and I’m sure your prospects can relate to a story like my experience with Grossinger, so use it. Incite action by showcasing the price of doing nothing.