I noticed an article in the most recent e-newsletter of Rural Lifestyle Dealer that caught my eye. Do You Know Your Customers? Why and How to Build a Comprehensive Customer Database was a great article, at least from the perspective of giving dealers reasons why they need to track customer data. It’s easy for the mom & pop or smaller operations to think that they don’t have a need for this kind of information, nor the money or time to invest in software. The article mentioned the ability to create a customer database in a spreadsheet, which is certainly better than not recording this information at all. However, to me, there’s two concerns with this plan:
1) Security of data. Are you certain that this data is stored where it can’t be accessed by someone who shouldn’t have access? And are you certain you’re doing all the backups you need to secure the information from being lost if your computer crashes or your hard drive dies?
2) Accessibility. While you don’t want the data to be accessed by the wrong people, you also need to make sure that the right people can get to the information when they need it. Ask yourself: when would this information be most useful to me? Would it help me (or my employees) to be able to see customer information and sales data on the fly? A spreadsheet often isn’t as useful as an interactive database, particularly when you can’t pull up customer information during a transaction or when it takes forever to find the customer you’re looking for.
However, I think that as well-meaning as the author obviously is, they missed an opportunity to really assist their readers by neglecting to mention dealer management systems that already incorporate CRM (customer relationship management) software. Many dealers have already recognized that business software could help their dealerships be more efficient and profitable. Software is not an inconsiderable expense, however, and many dealers are going to balk at paying for yet another software package when they already pay plenty for their DMS. So to me, the big question is: why not go with a system that does it all, and for one price?
There are options for systems out there who incorporate CRM into their DMS (dealer management system). Most of them charge more for the different modules, however–meaning that the more integration you want, the more you’ll pay for the software. nizeX is different. While we do offer our full CRM system separately, if you want our complete business system, you never pay extra for what you need. Whether it’s payroll, accounting, or CRM, you get everything you need with Lizzy, for one low price. And unlike a spreadsheet, nizeX can assure you that your data is always safe, secure, and easily accessible when you need it most.