Shared responsibility is crucial to ensure service customers benefit from positive sales engagement

The more positive interactions a dealership has with its service customers, the likelier they are to buy from that dealership when the time comes.

The important thing is to already have an established relationship with your customers. It’s not enough to sell them a car and then contact them a few years later asking whether they want to buy a new car.

Dealerships need to be proactive in communication and create a great customer experience from the very beginning. Service customers most often receive aftersales attention on their service requirements. If the service didn’t go well, sales will lose out without even having the opportunity to overcome the customer’s negative experience or perception.

Shared responsibility is crucial to ensure service customers benefit from positive sales engagement.

Don’t wait to communicate!

Vehicle sales accelerate for Bowker BMW with FullCycle

Cooper Solutions’ innovation enables Bowker BMW to maximise service customer opportunities

Blackburn’s leading BMW and MINI Group, Bowker, has extended its longstanding relationship with Cooper Solutions, choosing FullCycle to identify future vehicle sales opportunities. Recently launched, FullCycle is a revolutionary customer data solution that provides invaluable ownership insights. These are enabling all Bowker dealerships to nurture sales opportunities that are passing-through its busy service department, helping to increase short term vehicles sales and build strong relationships with longer-term prospects.

While most dealers have access to the different levels of information needed to build relationships with service customers, that data is rarely available in a form that ensures this is comprehensively and consistently undertaken. FullCycle incorporates dealer data with Experian data, to identify customers that are in a prime position to change their vehicle.

Richard Cowell, General Sales Manager, Bowker BMW Blackburn explains; “Like all major franchised dealers we have an incredibly busy service department, with as many as 70 cars booked in for a service every day. Before FullCycle, our workshop facility could inform our sales team who these customers were but couldn’t offer any other information about them.

“Now with FullCycle we know how long they’ve had their car, if they bought it from us and when their finance agreement is due to end. FullCycle puts this information at our fingertips, so our sales team can easily plan ahead and adapt how it communicates with each service customer prior to them arriving at the dealership. By creating a knowledgeable and personal approach, service customers who may have previously been overlooked, are now highly valued sales opportunities that we can build long term relationships with.”

Identifying ‘Service Not Sold’ customers – those that use the dealership to service their vehicle but didn’t actually buy a car from it – has been a key benefit for Bowker BMW. Richard Cowell continues; “If we know a service customer is driving a used BMW X5 and we have a new or newly new BMW X5 in the showroom, we can offer them a test drive. By having greater visibility of our customer’s motoring preferences, the better customer experience we can deliver. Whilst the concept isn’t rocket science, we simply don’t have the time and resources – or the innovation – to bring together the level of information that FullCycle delivers.”

As one of the first users of FullCycle, Bowker BMW and Cooper Solutions have worked closely together to fine tune its functionality, with user feedback a key driver in system updates that continue to come regularly from Cooper Solutions. Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Cooper Solutions concludes; “We set out to bring to market a solution that helps dealers boost sales revenue and our partnership with Bowker BMW played a vital role in making this happen.

“It’s extremely satisfying to learn that not only is Bowker BMW selling more vehicles, it is also delivering a great customer experience, no matter what stage of the buying cycle that customer is at. FullCycle’s ability to deliver customer ownership insights, on an individual basis, has achieved this.”


Cooper Solutions invests in talent to drive success of FullCycle

Two new appointments expand the FullCycle development and sales teams

Cooper Solutions continues to invest in the success of FullCycle, its recently launched customer data and acquisition solution, with the appointment of Paul Smith as Senior Account Manager and Bipin Shakya as Senior Software Developer. Both appointments will support the rapid take-up of FullCycle by retailers across the UK.

Paul Smith brings over 20 years’ retail experience, most recently as part of the New Car Management team at North Oxford BMW. Paul has extensive first-hand experience of Cooper Solutions products and their benefits, gained from representing Volkswagen, Audi, Ferrari, Maserati and BMW throughout his career.

Joining alongside Paul is Bipin Shakya who has 12 years’ experience as a software developer, working in the consumer industry for businesses including Casio Electronics and Next Retail. His analytical expertise allows Bipin to confidently lead the implementation of different software development projects, which is ideally suited for the future growth of FullCycle.

FullCycle recognises the various stages in the ownership cycle for all customers, enabling dealers to identify future sales opportunities passing through their service departments which would ordinarily be missed. Both Bipin and Paul will be harnessing intelligent data analytics to help sales and servicing departments work cohesively to secure these sales and crucially, strengthen customer relationships.

Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Cooper Solutions, comments; “The development of FullCycle has become a central part of the way we are helping dealers maximise their profits, by nurturing sales opportunities and building long-term customer relationships. Paul and Bipin’s appointments form part of our ongoing strategy to focus on the future of FullCycle.

“We continue to invest in the quality of talent behind our services. Bipin will play a key role in the development of FullCycle, ensuring we continue to deliver the best digital solutions for retailers. Meanwhile, Paul will be instrumental in ensuring our customers understand the benefits FullCycle can bring, its implementation within retail networks and building on retailer ability to reap greater profits and secure better customer retention.”

Don’t miss out on your easiest sales opportunities

Your service customers are a goldmine, but they might not be ready to buy a new car right now.  So, it’s important that they are engaged with accordingly allowing you to build a relationship with them.

How will you do this?

What do you know about your service customers?

• They are buyers – they already own a car
• They like your dealership – they would probably go somewhere else if they didn’t
• They will give you their time, if approached in a non-threatening manner and the time spent is of benefit to them.

Talk to them! Have a conversation.

You could ask them:

• How long have you had your car?
• What do you like best about it?
• Has it exceeded all your expectations?
• If you were changing it for something else what would you most want in addition?
• What would you most want to replicate?
• Would you be interested in driving the latest model of what you currently drive?
• Or would you like to try something else?
• What are you driving?
• What kind of work are you having done today?
• Are you happy with our service department?
• Where did you buy your last car from?

Establishing a rapport with your customers builds trust and will allow you to establish their wants, needs and timescales. So when it IS time for them to purchase their next cars, it’s you they visit, rather than being tempted by another dealer, another brand, or buying online.

27% of UK car buyers would purchase online without a test drive. What does this mean for your dealership?

Recently we read that 27% of UK car buyers would purchase online without a test drive.

Is this surprising nowadays when consumers are more informed than ever?

Probably not. The way in which we purchase goods and services has changed dramatically, and we can research online before we set foot in a dealership. New disruptors are muscling in on the way we buy cars, for instance, CarWow alone can net more than 3m views of one car review on its YouTube channel.

This, along with slow growth and the uncertainty of how Brexit will hit the automotive industry means that retailers face tough times. So, to protect their bricks and mortar business model, retailers need to work harder and smarter to retain those customers who DO step over the dealership threshold.

The regular throughput of service customers is a potential sales channel, but only if they are engaged with appropriately, and so it is vital that sales and service departments work together to establish a relationship which will ultimately lead to a sale.

Looking after customers who visit a dealership for a service can establish loyalty and make a positive impact on sales when it comes to buying their next car, preventing them from purchasing online.

Cardiff Audi builds on its customer centric sales approach using Cooper Solutions’ FullCycle

Return on investment achieved in the first month

Cardiff Audi, part of Mon Motors Group, one of the largest automotive dealer groups in South Wales and the West of England, has joined forces with Cooper Solutions to implement FullCycle.  FullCycle is a new innovative customer data tool, transforming how dealers pinpoint future sales opportunities that could otherwise be passing through service departments undetected.

According to Cooper Solutions’ research, around 50% of people don’t buy their car from the dealer that services it. While these servicing dealerships may already have the information needed to maximise new vehicle sales opportunities, like how long a service customer has owned their car and the length remaining on its finance agreement, it’s often too clunky or time-consuming to pull these details together from different areas of their current DMS and more importantly tends to be for supplied customers only.

FullCycle provides Cardiff Audi’s sales teams with these details at their fingertips, seamlessly integrating it with Experian insights.  This allows effective communication between sales and servicing departments which helps to build stronger customer relationships via a personalised sales approach and consequentially drives sales.  With increasing numbers of aftersales customers now buying their vehicle from Cardiff Audi the full cycle of sales-service-sales is being completed.

Gabe Masterson, Audi Accredited Sales Manager, Cardiff Audi explains: “We’ve always known that blanket, one-size-fits-all sales approaches don’t work but FullCycle has enabled us to make our sales process truly customer centric.  It provides invaluable insight into when and how to contact service customers, what car they have, where they bought it from and when would be the right time to approach them about a future sale.  All in a helpful, non-pushy way. The fact that FullCycle has basically paid for itself in the first month of using it is testament to the financial payback we’re getting too.”

The real-time data from FullCycle means that Cardiff Audi has been able to use its courtesy fleet more efficiently as well.  The dealership can offer an upgraded courtesy car when a customer’s existing vehicle comes in for servicing. Not only does this allow the customer to try out the latest model in an unpressurised environment, it also means the courtesy vehicle is provided by the sales department therefore cutting down on service fleet costs.  Over time Cardiff Audi aims to reduce its courtesy car fleet, as the sales fleet can be loaned to appropriate service customers.  This will not only save money but also help build customer relations.

Cardiff Audi’s customers are appreciative of the more joined-up approach between the sales and servicing departments as Masterson continues: “We can pick up the phone and start a dialogue, there is no pressure, it just allows the customer to see that we understand where they are on their car ownership cycle.  We can then help them with their car-buying choice at a timescale that suits them.  Our customers have been complimenting us on what we are doing as a result of FullCycle.”

Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Cooper Solutions concludes: “It’s been really rewarding working with Cardiff Audi.  Using FullCycle’s digital solution to allow them to speak to their customers with added confidence has obviously reaped rewards.  We will continue to work closely with them to ensure FullCycle is used to its full potential.”

FullCycle puts a stop to sales leads driving off the service ramp

Latest innovation from Cooper Solutions ensures servicing dealers secure sales with the 50% of customers who didn’t buy from them

Cooper Solutions has launched FullCycle, an exciting new system revolutionising how dealers identify future sales opportunities passing through service departments. This latest innovation helps dealers respond differently to customers in an ever changing and demanding climate.

FullCycle is a unique solution that brings together the multiple layers of information needed to nurture relationships with service customers.  Crucially, it recognises the various stages in the ownership cycle, and identifies those in a prime position to change their vehicle, representing a sales opportunity for both supplied and not supplied customers.

Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Cooper Solutions, explains: “In an age of ever-growing digital alternatives to buying a car, the franchised dealer has one clear advantage over the competition – the opportunity to optimise satisfaction with the existing car owner, and to qualify what comes next and when.

“A service visit is the perfect opportunity to do just that.  Our data shows that typically 50% of service customers did not buy their car from the servicing dealer, demonstrating how vital it is that sales departments improve their interaction with service customers.  Whilst dealerships are well aware that they could be converting service customers into incremental vehicle sales, this rarely happens.  This is because the service department is 100% focused on a successful aftersales experience for the customer, whilst the sales department needs help identifying customers by new, used or corporate, recently purchased or soon to change, and whether supplied by the dealer or not.”

Whether a customer is at the beginning of their ownership cycle or nearing the end of their finance agreement and booking their final service, FullCycle arms dealers with the knowledge needed to develop a relationship to ensure they are in pole position to undertake the next service or supply the next car.

Barry Cooper concludes: “Providing optimal digital solutions for dealers sits at the centre of everything we do at Cooper Solutions, and FullCycle is no exception.  We’ve worked closely with dealers to pilot FullCycle before its launch, adding many useful features such as highlighting first time service customers or those who are visiting soon after a purchase.

“Perhaps best of all, is that it is based on finance agreement data, making it possible to identify that this could be the last service visit in that car.  This will, hopefully, awaken both service and sales departments to avoid a future lapsed customer and a lost sales opportunity.

“It’s great to know that dealers across the country are now reaping the financial rewards of nurturing service customers with FullCycle and capitalising on the increased Service and Sales customer lifetime value…it’s a win win.”

FullCycle – turning service into sales

In an age of ever-growing digital alternatives to buying a car, the franchised dealer has one clear advantage over the competition – the opportunity to optimise satisfaction with the existing car owner, and to qualify what comes next and when.

Our data shows that typically 50% of service customers did not buy their car from the servicing dealer, demonstrating how vital it is that sales departments improve their interaction with service customers.

FullCycle arms dealers with the knowledge needed to develop a relationship to ensure they are in pole position to undertake the next service or supply the next car.