You’ve probably heard the term “CRM” recently, and you might even be looking for a “small business CRM” for your auto repair or tire shop. But what do you really need a CRM platform to do?
CRM stands for “customer relationship management,” which is just a technical way of saying “optimizing every touchpoint with customers.” CRM has become one of the largest and fastest-growing technology categories because pretty much every large or mid-sized company uses a CRM platform like HubSpot or Salesforce.
If big companies are using it, do local shops like yours need a CRM for small business? The answer is, “Absolutely.”
What does customer relationship management mean for auto and tire shops?
For local tire and auto shops, any effective customer relationship management strategy must address three key touch points along the customer journey:
- When customers are searching online for auto repair and tire shops
- When customers are in your shop
- After the customer leaves—you have to stay top of mind to encourage repeat visits
Everyone thinks about ways to improve their customers’ experience in your shop, but fewer people grasp the need to be involved in the customer relationship before and after they buy. These days, almost all of those types of customer interactions happen online, which makes them very difficult to manage for auto and tire shops—particularly without a CRM software system.
Another problem is, there are very few CRMs specifically built for small, local businesses. While 9 of 10 larger businesses use CRM software, only 1 out of 3 small businesses use it. That’s because small shops have different needs than big businesses, especially when it comes to building lasting customer relationships.
“Zero Data” and “Zero Time”: key problems for local shops
If CRM is so widespread and valuable to businesses, what’s preventing more local businesses from using it? Two problems: no time, and no data.
Think about your average day as the owner or operator of a local tire shop or auto repair business. You wear many hats, spend most of the day in a customer-facing role or stay busy in the shop, and you work long hours with few (if any) dedicated staff available to handle the running of business technology or software.
So, how do you get the customer data needed to run traditional CRM software when you spend all day trying to serve your customers and keep your business running? The short answer is, you can’t.
At Womply, we refer to these as the “zero time” and “zero data” problems. To simplify: if you don’t have time to dedicate to the process, you can’t get accurate customer data. If you don’t have the necessary data, you can’t use traditional CRM software. If you can’t use a CRM, you’re at a huge disadvantage in getting and retaining more happy customers.
And even if every local auto shop were given a free Salesforce license (a huge, and hugely popular “enterprise level” CRM), most of them wouldn’t be able to use it because most simply don’t have the information necessary to make it work—they don’t keep a well-organized list of customers, don’t have the tools or knowledge to track customer interactions, and can’t easily add or update important data points like customer spending patterns or contact information.
What’s worse, even the few CRMs intended for smaller businesses often require multiple hours of work per week manually inputting customer info, gathering email addresses and other relevant data, and managing marketing efforts. Does that sound like something you have time to do? Nope.
At Womply, we feel small business CRM software should automate most if not all key tasks to keep inputs from busy business owners to an absolute minimum.
The right small business CRM can unlock the real value of your transaction data
Any tire shop or auto repair business that accepts card payments has access to one key piece of data—customer transactions—but how useful is your credit card processing statement alone?
A linear list of transactions doesn’t actually do very much for you. But your transaction data becomes hugely valuable when it is integrated with small business CRM software.
For example: what does your revenue look like on a yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis? How does your revenue compare with your local competition? When are your best sales periods, and which need more attention? Are your customers mostly regulars, or are they first-time (or one-time) customers? Do they spend frequently in smaller transactions? Or do they patronize your shop once a year and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars?
Without effective software to interpret and organize your transaction data, all of these key questions go unanswered. However, when you combine it with intelligent CRM software, your transaction data gives you a fundamental view of the way your customers interact with your business—and allows you to reach them with effective email marketing.
How CRM helps one local tire and auto service shop stay ahead of the competition
One of Womply’s clients, Fort Worth Tire & Service, understands the value of a CRM dedicated to small businesses. Owner-operator Brock White uses Womply’s software to understand his shop’s performance, make better business decisions, and save time.
He looks at trends in revenue and competitor benchmarking to get beyond gut instinct and really understand how his shop is performing.
Brock also uses Womply’s CRM to understand customer interactions and spending trends, and enable effective marketing and promotions.
“It’s my job to make sure customers know about us and want to come here when they need tires or automotive services,” Brock says. “It’s not realistic to do that job without technology anymore.”
Brock’s honest dealings, good service, fair pricing, and embracing of small business software have paid off, with Forth Worth Tire & Service typically bringing in twice the revenue of its competitors.
Intelligent CRM software enhances every customer touchpoint
It’s clear that auto and tire shops need a CRM that solves the zero time and zero data problems, and turns the data they have—customer transactions—into a useful tool.
Womply CRM automatically creates and appends your customer list, adds transaction and contact info, and allows you to send timely, relevant emails, reminders, and promotions so you can build a stronger customer base—even if you don’t have your customers’ email addresses.
Unlike traditional CRMs, Womply CRM addresses the “zero time” and “zero data” problems and lets you take control of every customer touchpoint, from the time they’re searching for local tire or auto service businesses, to building customer loyalty for their next purchase:
- Get found by more customers searching for businesses like yours with reputation management
- Know exactly how your customers are interacting with your business and how it impacts revenue with an automated customer directory and business intelligence insights
- Keep customers loyal with just a few clicks with automatic email marketing
If software can help you improve your online reputation to attract more customers, track every interaction with customers, and get in touch with them after they leave the store, that’s what auto repair and tire shops actually need from a CRM—which makes Womply a game-changer for some of the busiest entrepreneurs in the world. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!