Meet Your Support Agent: Norman Willis

Meet Your Support Agent: Norman Willis

The “Meet Your Support Agent” feature provides an inside look at the SocialCRM service from the support agent’s perspective. In an interview format, they share expertise, insights and best practices to help auto repair shops use digital marketing strategies to gain competitive advantage in their market. This month we’ll discuss the importance of entering complete and accurate data in the shop’s management system — and how not doing so will affect the shop’s marketing program. And now, we’re pleased to introduce Norman Willis.

Norman Willis

Marcus: How long have you been a support agent?

Norman: I’ve been a SocialCRM support agent for over four years.

Marcus: Can you explain how the information that a SocialCRM customer enters in their management system can impact the effectiveness of their marketing efforts?

Norman: Of course – it’s very important. The data on any marketing email we send on behalf of our customers is only as good as the information entered in the management system. Recently, I had a situation where one of my aftermarket shops was entering incorrect odometer information into their system. This caused a problem with the mileage calculation for the service reminder.

Here’s what happens in this scenario:  the formula we use to automate the service reminder calculates the incorrect mileage, resulting in a service reminder with the wrong mileage being sent to a customer at the wrong time. For example, the car may actually be due for a 90,000 mile service, but the reminder would show a different service interval and confuse both the consumer and the service writer or technician. This can cause the vehicle owner to doubt the shop’s quality; if they’ve recorded something as simple as the mileage incorrectly, what else might they have wrong?

Correcting erroneous mileage entries in the management system is easy, but this extra step, confusion and potential customer dissatisfaction can be avoided by taking the time to enter the mileage correctly the first time.

Marcus: Other than mileage, what other pertinent data should aftermarket shops collect and update when working with their consumers?

Norman: They want to make sure to collect the correct name, address, phone number and email address from every consumer. This will ensure that service reminders and thank you emails are accurate and sent in a timely manner. If shops are unable to collect an email address, they can take advantage of the eConnect service that collects additional consumer email addresses for shops.

Marcus: Do you have any suggestions for shops that might have difficulty collecting customer data?

Norman: I would recommend incorporating a simple process into the shop’s workflow: simply ask every customer to “update their customer record” every time they come in the shop. It takes just a few minutes for the customer to confirm their name, address and phone number. This is also the perfect time to ask for an email address so you can keep them informed about special promotions and upcoming service dates – and also send that follow-up thank you note with a request for a review of their experience at your shop.

About the Author

Marcus Mackell

Marcus Mackell is the Director of Mitchell 1's SocialCRM shop marketing product line. He joined the company in 2003 and has been in the automotive social media & retention business for over 17 years.