Discover how CarDoor automates its automotive CRM with external systems
Challenges Faced by Online Car Sales
One of the keys for an online car sales industry is to reduce operational costs and we can certainly achieve that through automation. Car sales companies can benefit from various types of automation to streamline their processes, enhance customer service, and improve overall efficiency. Some common automation needs include:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) automation: Automate data entry, lead management, and customer follow-ups to ensure consistent and timely communication.
- Inventory management: Automatically update inventory data, including vehicle specifications, availability, and pricing, to reduce manual efforts and improve accuracy.
- Marketing automation: Schedule and manage email campaigns, social media posts, and other marketing activities to target potential customers effectively.
- Sales process automation: Streamline the sales process by automating tasks such as generating quotes, processing finance applications, and preparing sales contracts.
- Document management: Automatically generate, store, and manage essential documents such as invoices, contracts, and vehicle registration forms.
- Reporting and analytics: Automate the generation of sales performance reports, customer insights, and other key metrics to make data-driven decisions.
CarDoor's primary challenge at present is CRM automation. Streamlining the CRM automation process is crucial, as it paves the way for other automations, such as inventory management, sales process automation, and reporting and analytics automation. The automotive CRM lies at the core of the business.
The market is flooded with data integration products like Zapier, Integrately, and Fivetran, which might create the illusion that automation is easily achievable for everyone. However, these tools share a significant limitation: they often lack the flexibility and customization options necessary to manage complex data integration and transformation tasks. While they work well for simple use cases and standard integrations, they might not be the best fit for businesses with unique or intricate data workflows. This constraint makes it challenging for organizations to tailor these tools to their specific needs. Furthermore, it's simply impossible for these products to accommodate every app available in the market.
Matt McKenzie, Founder and CEO of CarDoor, attempted to use these tools to push new or updated data from the car inspection solution to the automotive CRM he uses in real-time for building an efficient lead management process. Unfortunately, both software applications are not supported by these tools. Consequently, Matt reached out to us to see if we could help him automate the process.
To create the lead management process that Matt was looking for, the most common solution is to write a custom service handling all the necessary logic between the car inspection solution and the automotive CRM. This custom service could then be deployed to a public cloud provider (such as AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure). However, at the moment, CarDoor doesn't have an in-house developer. Hiring a consultant for this job could result in high costs, a longer implementation timeline, and potential challenges in maintaining and updating the custom service in the future. Therefore, Matt sought an alternative solution that would be more cost-effective and manageable for his business.
Key Elements of an Effective Lead Management Process for Automotive CRMs
In the car sales business, speed is a competitive advantage since real-time responsiveness to customers can make all the difference. Customers actively search online for products, whether they are looking to buy or sell a vehicle. Often, their choice comes down to the first company that contacts them with the right offer. This highlights the importance of the first key element: punctuality.
As the car sales business grows, more customers will come knocking on your virtual door, eager to test the limits of your system. A booming customer base can quickly turn into a chaotic mess if your system isn't prepared to scale up. Once you've outgrown the "do everything by hand" phase, it's time to find a scalable solution that can help you become the next automotive titan, giving their competitors a run for their money. And thus, we introduce the second key element: scalability, your ticket to thriving in the fast lane.
Once you've set up the process, the only question that's going to haunt your dreams is, "Is it running?" Ensuring that everything runs smoothly and effectively is important for a car sales company. This brings us to the third key element: visibility. Having comprehensive insight into your lead management process allows you to monitor its performance, identify potential bottlenecks or issues, and make informed decisions to optimize the workflow. In short, visibility is crucial for maintaining a high level of control and driving continuous improvement in your automotive CRM.
To overcome the challenges we mentioned earlier while ensuring the key elements are in place, CarDoor utilized Acho App Builder to automate the process.
By leveraging the low-code action flow in App Builder for automation, CarDoor successfully:
- Created a webhook endpoint to capture incoming data for new/updated records from the car inspection solution in real-time.
- Called other APIs to process the incoming data, and transformed the data into the desired format by writing custom functions.
- Pushed the transformed data to the automotive CRM using API integration.
This automation streamlined the process and effectively addressed the challenges CarDoor was facing.
To provide more context, the automation service CarDoor set up is deployed to the Acho FaaS (Function as a Service) Platform, which automatically scales the functions based on incoming request volume. As a result, the application can handle increased traffic without manual intervention or additional configuration, eliminating scalability as a challenge.
After setting up the automation, CarDoor now has access to the event logs of the service. This provides him with full control over the service without requiring assistance from a developer. He can monitor its performance, troubleshoot issues, and make informed decisions on any necessary updates or improvements. Consequently, visibility is no longer a concern for CarDoor's data integration process.
Following the implementation, Matt informed us that CarDoor's operational speed had increased by 70%, and their operational efficiency had substantially improved. They benefited from greater punctuality, scalability, and visibility in data automation. New leads appear in the automotive CRM mere seconds after the inspection process is completed, accompanied by the cars' data, which aids in conversions. This punctuality allows both the leadership and CarDoor’s agents to reach out to new customers immediately after their car inspections are finished. The solution's scalability ensures that the system can handle the growing business demands, while visibility enables Matt to confidently monitor the workflow and detect potential issues. With these three key elements provided by Acho, Matt can focus on growing his business without any lingering concerns.