In the automotive industry, customer interactions are no longer limited to showrooms. Information is easily available online on company websites, social media, review sites, etc. Thus, automotive businesses like yours are constantly battling to get customers' attention.
So how do you cut through the competition? Focus on building long-term customer relationships. Run targeted campaigns, reach out to your leads on time, and offer proactive customer service to get new customers and keep the existing ones happy.
But you can’t possibly do all of this by yourself. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help. Automotive CRM software with campaign management, customer service, and lead generation capabilities can automate these processes to help you save time and money.
It’s up to you to decide which CRM platform is most suited to your needs, but to provide a complete picture of the top options, we’ve created a list of the best CRM tools for automotive companies like yours.
Why do we call them “best”? All of these tools feature in GetApp’s Category Leaders reports (an annual ranking of top software tools) for campaign management, customer service, and lead generation. They have at least 4.5 user ratings and 100+ reviews. Read the full selection methodology at the bottom of the article.
Sales and marketing campaigns can help increase the reach of your car dealership and create awareness among customers. You can use multiple channels to run campaigns—retail outlets, social media, emails, referrals, and more. You can also partner with influencers to promote your products, drive brand awareness, and offer discounts on vehicle sales during the campaign period.
A good example is Chevrolet’s #BestDayEver campaign. After witnessing a period of declining demand, Chevrolet wanted to offer its customers, especially millennials, a new experience, one completely different from what they’d known previously.
The company partnered with celebrities and influencers to showcase random “acts of awesomeness” and live streamed the events on YouTube. The results? Three million people viewed the live-streamed content, and the #BestDayEver hashtag got 1.5 billion social media impressions.
Let’s see how campaign management tools can benefit your automotive business:
Automate tasks such as posting content, communicating with clients, and measuring campaign metrics across channels.
Send personalized emails to target more customers, and create custom landing pages to reach a wider audience.
Manage and track social media posts, and listen to social media conversations (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to better understand customer sentiments, competitors, and market trends.
To help you pick the right campaign management tool, we’ve shortlisted the three best options (arranged alphabetically).
User rating: 4.6/5
Number of reviews: 100
Autopilot is a cloud-based marketing automation solution with campaign management capabilities such as channel management, lead management, contact management, email marketing, and event-triggered actions.
The tool helps you store customers’ contact details at a centralized location. It lets you send campaign information, discounts, or personalized emails and SMSes to customers. It also lets you create Facebook retargeting campaigns to identify leads that have visited your website and engage them on Facebook.
Pricing info: Autopilot’s starter plan, called the Silver plan, costs $39.20 per user per month (billed annually) and supports 2,000 contacts and unlimited emails. A 30-day free trial is available with all plans.
Think Autopilot is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
User rating: 4.6/5
Number of reviews: 54
EngageBay is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that supports campaign management.
It offers predefined templates and a drag-and-drop editor to help create emails and website landing pages for your sales and marketing campaigns. You can segment customer lists based on various parameters, such as interests, demographics, and spending habits. You can also send SMSes and push notifications to boost customer engagement during your campaigns.
Pricing info: The tool’s Basic plan costs $8.99 per user per month (billed biennially). It supports up to 15,000 contacts, 10,000 branded emails, 10 customer lists, 10 embedded customer forms, 10 website pop-ups, 10 landing pages, and 1GB file storage.
Think EngageBay is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
User rating: 4.5/5
Number of reviews: 605
SharpSpring is a cloud-based marketing automation solution offering multichannel marketing and campaign management capabilities.
It offers predefined templates for email marketing campaigns. You can track how many emails got delivered or bounced and how many people opened the emails, clicked on a link, or downloaded an attachment. The tool also allows you to schedule social media posts and use hashtags or keywords to find social media conversations relevant to your brand.
Pricing info: The tool’s paid plan starts at $550 per month (billed annually) and supports 1,500 contacts and an unlimited number of users. It also offers unlimited user support and a dedicated account manager.
Think SharpSpring is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
Offering good customer service is a foolproof customer retention strategy. By providing quality support, you’ll turn your customers into loyal advocates who’ll not only keep coming back to you but also put in a good word among other users.
Customer service software can help you keep your customers happy by offering timely support via multiple channels. A GetApp survey found that live chat is the most preferred customer service channel, followed by phone, email, in-person customer service, social media, online chatbot, and texting.
Let’s see how your automotive business can best use customer service tools:
Use a single, centralized dashboard to view and manage customer support requests received from multiple channels.
Resolve customer queries on live chat, and use canned responses to save time.
Assign customer requests to agents most equipped to handle the query.
To help you pick the right customer service tool, we’ve shortlisted the three best options (arranged alphabetically).
User rating: 4.8/5
Number of reviews: 151
HelpCrunch is cloud-based customer communication software.
The tool offers web forms to collect the contact details of website visitors and an automated chatbot to provide real-time assistance. It automatically sends follow-up emails to visitors who didn’t read the automatic pop-up message sent by the chatbot. It also provides a shared inbox that makes it easier for you to collaborate with your teammates as well as manage customer support requests.
Pricing info: The Standard plan costs $12 per user per month (billed annually). It offers three automatic chat messages, one chat widget, full chat widget customization, and HelpCrunch branding. A 14-day free trial is available with all plans.
Think HelpCrunch is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
User rating: 4.7/5
Number of reviews: 158
Help Scout is cloud-based customer service and help desk software.
The tool helps create dedicated client profiles that store your customers’ contact details, purchases, interaction history, etc. It offers a live chatbot that can send knowledge base articles to solve customers’ common queries. If customers don’t find the articles useful, they can choose to connect with an agent for further support.
Pricing info: The Standard plan costs $20 per user per month (billed annually). It offers three mailboxes, one Docs (knowledge base) site, live chat, reports, and an API with over 50 integrations. A 15-day free trial is available with the Standard plan.
Think Help Scout is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
User rating: 4.6/5
Number of reviews: 928
LiveAgent is a customer support and help desk solution that can be deployed on the web as well as on-premise.
Its live chat option lets you view what your customers are typing even before they press send. You can also video chat with customers, add private notes and comments to tickets, merge multiple tickets, use canned responses, and see their chat history. The tool’s call center capabilities allow you to route, transfer, and record live customer calls.
Pricing info: LiveAgent’s paid plan starts at $15 per agent per month. It offers unlimited email ticketing, custom mail templates, basic reporting, knowledge base articles, a customer support portal, and a customer query forum. A free version of the tool, with limited features, is also available.
Think LiveAgent is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
For your automotive business to prosper, you’ll need a constant inflow of new leads. And to get new leads, you’ll have to identify and target channels frequently used by your customers. A lead generation tool can help you with that.
It can collect leads data, segment leads based on their online behavior, and send targeted emails to convert them faster. You can also use the tool to create custom web forms and run online ads to generate more leads.
Let’s see how your automotive business can best use lead generation tools:
Collect the contact details of leads that visit your website or social media profiles.
Approach these leads with personalized offers and discounts to increase their chances of conversion.
Get real-time reports to identify which platforms are bringing more leads and to assess the quality of the generated leads.
To help you pick the right lead generation tool, we’ve shortlisted the three best options (arranged alphabetically).
User rating: 4.6/5
Number of reviews: 346
ClickFunnels is a cloud-based sales funnel builder solution that supports lead generation.
The software offers prebuilt templates to create customized websites and marketing funnels. It lets you capture the contact details of your website visitors. You can also track the visitors’ website activities, get insights from the collected data, and send follow-up emails or text messages for targeted communication.
Pricing info: On request.
Think ClickFunnels is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
User rating: 4.5/5
Number of reviews: 106
Kartra is a cloud-based business management solution that helps manage leads, campaigns, and more.
Its live chat capability lets you connect with prospects in real time. It offers customizable web forms to help capture lead details. Based on the form input, you can automate the next steps: assign a unique tag to the lead, subscribe it to a particular mailing list, or set up a custom action. The tool also helps design a sales funnel to map the journey of your leads.
Pricing info: The Starter plan costs $79 per month (billed annually). It supports up to 2,500 leads, 15,000 emails per month, one custom website domain, one help desk portal, and hosting of 100 web pages and 50 videos.
Think Kartra is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
User rating: 4.5/5
Number of reviews: 2,223
Pipedrive is a cloud-based sales pipeline management and CRM solution with lead generation capabilities.
The tool offers web forms that let you capture the contact details of website visitors. It helps prioritize leads that have the highest chances of conversion. It also offers LeadBooster, a conversational chatbot that engages website visitors and allows them to book appointments online to help your sales representatives close deals faster.
Pricing info: Pipedrive’s Essential plan costs $12.50 per user per month (billed annually) and supports deal management, pipeline customization, unlimited web forms with custom fields, and customer data import and export. A 14-day free trial is available with all plans.
Think Pipedrive is right for your business? Click here to read user reviews.
To select the right automotive CRM tool for your business, here are a few things to follow:
Schedule a demo: Don’t forget to take a demo. It’ll help you better understand the software features and provide an opportunity to clarify any doubts you may have. Also, consult your team beforehand to discuss any concerns they may have as well.
Check out related software: CRM is a vast arena with multiple related software categories such as customer management software, customer engagement software, and customer experience software. Check if you would benefit from any of these tools.
To identify the products listed in this article, we leveraged the GetApp 2020 Category Leaders for CRM report. For each category, we eliminated products that didn’t have at least half of the below-mentioned features:
For campaign management: Ability to manage and post social media content and track campaign metrics.
For customer service: Ability to offer customer support through live chat and email.
For lead generation: Ability to generate leads through websites or social media.
From this list, we selected the three products in each category with at least 4.5 ratings and 100+ unique product reviews as on August 24, 2020.
The CX preference survey referenced in this article was conducted by GetApp in June 2019 among 267 U.S.-based respondents who reported they had made at least one purchase in the last twelve months (June 2018 - May 2019).