By Joanne Rogers

In this age of information overload, you need to make every communication count. Bombarding clients and colleagues with numerous redundant, or worse, irrelevant emails is a sure path to irritation. You want to craft to-the-point emails with a clear message and purpose. When you’re gathering information by email, the last thing you want is to overburden customers with a mountain of messages.

Here are some tips that have helped me: 

  • Audience: Write with your recipient and their knowledge in mind. Be concise, while giving him or her enough information to understand what you are asking. Remember: what seems perfectly clear to you may not be to someone else.  
  • To the point: Don’t enact death-by-email. Let your recipient know right away what you need. 
  • Subject line: Update your subject line to reflect the current message. A long email feed with the same subject throughout makes it difficult to identify what is going on.
  • Reply all: Only send to those who need to be included. Adding non-relevant emails to someone’s inbox will not be appreciated. We are all happy Joe and May welcomed a new baby, but I don’t need to see every congratulatory note.
  • Proofread. Before hitting send, manually copy-edit for spelling and grammar. Spellcheck will not pick up on missing words or words spelled correctly but used in the wrong context. Try Grammarly, a free app that will tidy up your messy, cryptic messages.
  • Don’t scan: Read each email in its entirety so you can fully respond to all questions. How much do you love taking the time to craft an email with all the information someone needs, only to have them respond with a question you’ve already answered? Take the extra 30 seconds to read the entire email.
  • Tone: Keep it friendly and professional. How many relationships are damaged or even end because of an ambiguous tone that sends the wrong message?
  • Be friendly: Be personable – but not irrelevant. Most people enjoy receiving a message that makes them smile in the midst of a hectic day.  (I do!)

These simple tips will help you maintain great email correspondence. What are your email challenges?


Joanne Rogers
Installation Coordinator
DealerMine CRM 

Maintenance Makes For Smooth Summer Travels

By Brenda Krause

We are planning a family road trip in August, and I’m determined it won’t go the way our cross-country move from Alberta to New Brunswick did 2 years ago. That long journey was full of pitfalls: we got a flat tire on the trailer that took two hours to fix in 32-degree heat. Then the trailer lights weren’t working, a repair that set us back half a day and made my husband grumpy. Without GPS, we got lost multiple times.

I want this summer’s trip to be a great family experience, so I’m ensuring our vehicle is safe and ready for the road. We don’t want time-consuming or costly accidents or repairs this time around.
Here’s what you should do to get ready for summer road trips: 

Multi-point inspection: Get your fluids topped up, lights checked and tires looked over.

AC is working:  This is the No. 1 cause of vehicle break-down on the road. Don’t get stranded.

Tires: If you’re headed somewhere remote, considering a replacement tire instead of the spare.  Summer is camping season. Who knows where you will end up?

Towing: Summer is the time for boating, camping and trailer “glamping.” Make sure your trailer hitch is operational, tow lights working, you’re not towing above your vehicle’s capacity and your brakes are in good shape and able to handle the additional load.

Vehicle essentials: Pack a blanket, matches, water and granola bars, especially for remote camping or fishing trips.

Roadside assistance insurance: It can be a lifesaver for out-of-pocket expenses.

GPS: For the sake of your marriage, get one and use it!

I hope you’ve got some summer adventures planned. How do you prepare for road tripping?


Brenda Krause
Technical Analyst
DealerMine CRM 

Get Paid On Time AND Maintain Good Customer Relations

By Susan Brown

Managing outstanding debts is key to keeping business running, both for cash flow as well as for maintaining good rapport with your customers. 

Take Bill, for instance. His software company will invoice clients for a portion of the installation fee and collect a monthly recurring charge. 

Bill often has outstanding bills – his accounts receivable. Simply put, accounts receivable, or AR, is the money a business is owed. When Bill has three unpaid bills of $1,000 each, his accounts receivable is $3,000.

This is an asset on Bill’s balance sheet, which he can leverage to finance operations. But it’s not just abstract figures on a page, of course. This is money owed to him that he needs to collect. 

If he’s been paying attention, Bill knows how long a bill has been outstanding. And he has a plan to collect on them. These outstanding bills are essentially credit, the last thing a small business wants to do is treat its AR like a credit-issuing function. The goal, as a small business, is to collect the cash you’re owed as quickly as possible.

How can Bill get paid on time and retain good customer relations? There are three elements to a successful collection.

  1. Set the expectation. Every communication regarding a bill or payment should include a clear deadline for the client.
  2. Monitor outstanding bills. Managing an effective AR system is all about knowing where things are and when things are coming due. Keep all relevant information in one place so you can make quick decisions and track any detrimental trends.
  3. Communicate sooner rather than later. The goal of your business is to turn action into revenue as quickly as possible. If someone has a bill coming up, remind them. If someone has a bill overdue, reach out. 

Accounting software allows you to send email invoices, accept payments online, set auto-reminders and even set up customer portals so clients can view bills and payment histories. These tools give you all the resources you need to take the hassle out of AR management.

What AR challenges have you faced? How did you overcome them?


Susan Brown

Accounting Clerk

DealerMine CRM 

How to choose the CRM that’s right for you

Top 5 things your dealership should consider

By Katie Stackhouse

It happens all the time: I speak with dealers who aren’t happy with their current CRM and are thinking of switching to one that will better meet their needs. There are many reasons dealerships get the wrong CRM in the first place: misfit technology, little support, unaligned budget and fees, to name a few.

So how to make the right switch?  

Here are the Top 5 things to consider to choose the perfect CRM for your dealership.

  1. Understand your needs: Do you focus on service? Sales? Both? Do you need an online booking tool, reporting, a mobile option? Does it need to be easy to use? Don’t follow the latest shiny product or industry hype. Think hard about what you are trying to accomplish with your CRM. Then choose the company that best meets those needs.
  2. Look for support: You want a company that’s got your back. Where customer service is a primary focus. Which CRM will be there for you when you need help? Support is an integral part of the CRM product – without it,  the software is irrelevant.
  3. Partners in success: Does your CRM become part of your team? Do they want to help you grow? Once you have your CRM in place and you begin building relationships with your customers, does your CRM have someone focused on helping you make your dealership more successful?
  4. Suited to your budget: You know what you’re willing to pay for the services you’ll need. What CRMs respect that range – and without hidden fees or additional charges for expansions?
  5. Planning for growth: Lastly, think about your business objectives and plans for growth. Can your CRM grow with you? Or will you find yourself transferring your data and struggling to learn new software all over again?

As you can see, the right CRM will have the tools, features and support you need to succeed -– and all at the right price. What’s the key thing you’re seeking in your CRM? 

Katie Stackhouse

Account Manager

DealerMine CRM 

Beyond Basic OEM Schedules

If you’re just recommending OEM scheduled maintenance to your customers, you’re leaving service money on the table. This standard plan does not address each customer’s unique needs to protect their investment. A tailored preventative maintenance plan can include regional services, such as seasonal tires and fluids for extreme weather conditions, and recommendations based on driving habits.

You also want to manage the flow of work through your shop to maximize the specialties of your technicians and equipment to increase revenue and retain customers.

Here’s how.

Customize. An outreach strategy based on driving habits is great service. Your clients will appreciate that individualized touch, and your shop will reap the profits. Remind high-mileage customers to come in earlier than the OEM recommended time. And low-mileage drivers shouldn’t just go by the odometer. Let them know oil shouldn’t sit in the engine for extended periods, even if the vehicle is not driven.

Schedule smart: A well thought-out plan to handle the bi-annual tire changeover will eliminate seasonal bottlenecks, and keep the shop flowing with a variety of services and repairs.

Winter maintenance: Cold-weather shops should promote seasonal services. This includes fluids designed for extreme weather conditions. Sensors and indicator lights that can read low tire pressure in extreme cold conditions should also be addressed and reset.

Maximize specialized equipment: Some OEMs require very specialized equipment for certain maintenance needs. They generally require a healthy investment from the dealer and can be underutilized. Look for booking opportunities to maximize pricey equipment.

Fleet care: Design special maintenance for fleet customers who may not have high mileage on their vehicles but carry heavy loads, idle for long periods or drive in rough terrain.

How have you gone above and beyond basic OEM maintenance in your shop? What kinds of returns have you seen?

Shelley MacDonald

Regional Sales Executive

DealerMine CRM 

Your BDC Won’t Ever Be The Same

By Mathieu Broquet

I went to the Microsoft Developer Conference in Las Vegas in December. It was like seeing the future. This cutting-edge event was a great primer on new and evolving technologies that hold great promise for our industry. There are a number of emerging trends that will revolutionize your BDC.

Here are a few highlights.  

The future of hosting: The great migration to the cloud continues. Eventually all CRM data and applications will be hosted there.That’s good news for scalability. You’ll be able to better manage server load and reduce downtime and slowness. Cloud hosting also means easier access to new technology, like voice recognition and machine learning.

Virtual voice assistant: It will transform BDC operations. Virtual assistants will book appointments, call customers to confirm or change their next booking, and even promote marketing events, transferring interested clients to a salesperson.

Machine learning: This seems poised to play a big role in helping with day-to-day tasks, such as making recommendations on email or SMS replies and predicting customer consumption patterns for vehicle purchase and maintenance.

Data visualisation and application layout: With more and more content being available on mobile devices,  we need better ways to present data than a big grid. Design must become simplified, more intuitive. The future is not so much a technology shift but a new way of thinking about and designing applications.

What technologies are you excited about? How has your BDC embraced new tools?


Mathieu Broquet

Development Manager

DealerMine CRM 

The Pros And Cons Of Working From Home

By Yannick Levesque

My office-bound friends are jealous I work primarily from home. I know what they’re picturing: leisurely days in joggers, a fridge full of snacks and no commute, especially in winter, when de-icing the car can take as long as the drive to the office.

While these benefits are real, they miss a crucial point: working from home is still work. My responsibilities don’t change just because my boss isn’t in earshot. There are challenges and rewards to working from home.

The Pros

Deep focus: With fewer distractions, I can concentrate fully, increasing productivity.

Less stress: I don’t get pulled into office drama or sidelined by chatty colleagues. Plus, no commute lets me sleep later or spend more time on things I care about.

Perfect conditions: No dress code means I can wear whatever I want. And I control the thermostat. No fighting with colleagues over the temperature.

Savings:  I’ve practically eliminated work-related expenses like gas, parking and eating out that can really add up.

OK, those are some upsides. But it’s not all savings and comfort.

The Cons

Cabin fever: I live at home, work from home, exercise at home. It’s nice to leave the house once in a while.

Disconnected:  The camaraderie of colleagues can be invigorating. Working from home makes it harder to feel like you’re part of something. And some communications are just more efficient in person.

Domestic distractions: The dishes by the sink. The laundry piling up. The unshoveled walkway. The chores call to you. You need strong self-discipline to stay on-task.

Always on: Even if productivity increases, you still might put in longer hours. I tend to lose track of time,or push on if I’m close to the end of a task. And because of the stereotypes about working from home, I feel the need to prove myself even more.

Do you work from home? What has your experience been? I’d love to hear your pros and cons.

Yannick Levesque

Software Engineer

DealerMine CRM 

From pre-pulls to upsells, maximize profits

By Kandise Bryant

Get proactive about tire season scheduling to maximize profits and minimize headaches for your staff and customers.

Here are 8 simple ways how.

1. Pre-schedule appointments. Start early. Know how many you can handle and how to schedule them to maximize your shop. Don’t wait till the first snowfall to get booking!

2. Upsell new tires. If you have a system to track tire wear, use this data to sell new ones and offer specials at the time of booking. It keeps customers from shopping around.

3. Promote wheel alignment checks. Sell or do a check for each tire swap to keep your alignment rack busy all season.

4. Upsell other maintenance. Don’t wait until the customer is at your counter to add service. Book other maintenance at the same time as the tire appointment to help prevent a backlog. Along with managing your shop and techs better, this will eliminate delays for the next appointment.

5. Know where the tires are.  Who has them stored with you? Who has them with them? It’s important to have tires pre-pulled to avoid costly same-day pull fees if they are stored off-site at a tire hotel or other business.

6. Make your tires visible to customers. It may seem obvious, but anyone who walks in will feel like you are a destination for tires, that you know the products and can offer the best advice.

7. Create a marketing campaign. Market to regular customers early. Offer them specials and tire storage, if applicable.

8. Upsell tire storage. The easiest way to keep customers coming back the following season.

What has your service department done to make the most of tire season? What challenges are you grappling with?

Kandise Bryant

Technical Analyst

DealerMine CRM 

AutoCanada and DealerMine CRM Announce
Strategic PartnershipEDMONTON, Alberta, January 24, 2019 – AutoCanada Inc. (“AutoCanada” or the “Company”) (TSX:ACQ) and DealerMine Inc. (“DealerMine CRM”), a subsidiary of Quorum Information Services Inc. (TSX-V: QIS), announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership with respect to the establishment of a dedicated business development centre for AutoCanada’s Canadian dealerships by DealerMine CRM.

The AutoCanada business development centre will build on the long-standing relationship between AutoCanada and DealerMine CRM, offering a tailored solution for the AutoCanada group utilizing DealerMine CRM’s robust Service CRM application to drive more service department traffic to AutoCanada’s Canadian dealerships.  The AutoCanada business development centre will be operated by DealerMine CRM in dedicated facilities from its headquarters in Saint John, New Brunswick and will initially include a staff of 85.

“We are very pleased to partner with DealerMine CRM to establish a service CRM business development solution for all of our Canadian dealerships,” said Michael Rawluk, President of AutoCanada.  “The establishment of the business development centre is a key step of our Go-Forward Plan and will increase occupancy levels in our service departments.”

“AutoCanada has an exceptional team with a strong track record for success, and we’re happy to be able to contribute to that success and to be part of AutoCanada’s Go-Forward Plan,” said Robert Quirion, Chief Executive Officer of DealerMine CRM.  “Our partnership will allow DealerMine CRM to offer a robust and tailored solution for AutoCanada, while continuing to focus on driving more sales to their service departments.”

About AutoCanada

AutoCanada, a leading North American multi-location automobile dealership group currently operating 68 franchised dealerships, comprised of 28 brands, in eight provinces in Canada as well as a group in Illinois, USA and has over 4,200 employees. AutoCanada currently sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, FIAT, Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Cadillac, Ford, Infiniti, Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Audi, Volkswagen, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Smart, BMW, MINI, Volvo, Toyota, Lincoln and Honda branded vehicles. In 2017, our dealerships sold approximately 63,000 vehicles and processed approximately 870,000 service and collision repair orders in our 999 service bays generating revenue in excess of C$3 billion.

About DealerMine CRM

With over 500 hundred dealership customers in North America, DealerMine CRM allows dealerships to maximize revenues and profitability with every customer interaction through data mining, multi-channel marketing OEM integrations and BDC operations.  Headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, the DealerMine CRM product offering includes Service CRM, Sales CRM, Equity Mining, Online Service Scheduling, Telephony, Desking, BDC and Training.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release are forward looking statements and information (collectively “forward looking statements”), within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. We hereby provide cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward looking statements. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as “will likely result”, “are expected to”, “will continue”, “is  anticipated”, “projection”, “vision”, “goals”, “objective”, “target”, “schedules”, “outlook”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “plan”, “seek”, “may”, “intend”, “likely”, “will”, “believe” and similar expressions) are not historical facts and are forward looking.  Forward looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding increasing sales, traffic and occupancy levels in AutoCanada’s service departments.  Forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors some of which are beyond our control and difficult to predict.  Accordingly, actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those expressed in the forward looking statements. Therefore, any such forward looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the factors discussed throughout this press release.  The Company’s Annual Information Form and other documents filed with securities regulatory authorities (accessible through the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com) describe the risks, material assumptions and other factors that could influence actual results and which are incorporated herein by reference.

Further, any forward looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and, except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors and to assess in advance the impact of each such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward looking statement.

Additional information

For further information contact:

Jane Webb

Director of Sales & Marketing

Phone: 800.304.3341

Email: jane@dealerminecrm.com

DealerMine is pleased to announce we will be offering a Service BDC Management Summit February 26th & 27th, 2019.  The Summit will offer an intimate, collaborative environment for Service BDC Managers to learn and share more about BDC operations. The Summit will be a great opportunity to network with other BDC Managers in the automotive industry and spend two days out of the daily grind, focused on opportunities to improve BDC operations.

The topics for discussion will be Coaching For Success & Service BDC Metrics.  It is geared towards BDC Managers, Supervisors or Service Manager who oversees a Service BDC.  We will spend day one focused on BDC service metrics, industry benchmarks, road mapping the key results drivers and brainstorming as a group how to improve each result.  Day 2 we shift gears and focus on coaching; from ‘What employees need to be successful.’ to ‘Effective Coaching Strategies’ to ‘Effective Coaching Interactions’.


In Event Info

The Summit will take place at The Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada February 26th & 27th, 2019. 

The Summit runs from 9AM – 4:30PM.  The registration fee of $1495 includes lunch both days, dinner on Tuesday evening as well as snacks and refreshments throughout the day.   In an effort to keep the event collaborative and intimate, registration space is limited. 


Meet Your Moderators


Jane Webb — Director of Marketing — DealerMine CRM

Jane has helped hundreds of dealerships across North America maximize their profitability by establishing and managing top-notch Sales and Service BDC operations. Jane’s automotive BDC expertise comes from extensive hands-on dealership experience and her background at DealerMine in a range of BDC roles, including Application and Skills Development Trainer, BDC Consultant, Account Manager, and Director of Account Management. She is especially knowledgeable in BDC implementation, product training, performance coaching, contact quality evaluation, and BDC measurement, reporting and benchmarks.

Tim Twells — Account Manager– DealerMine CRM

Tim has more than 20 years of experience in sales and customer service operations. Prior to joining the DealerMine family, Tim was a Business Development Manager for a 3 store auto group. Throughout his career he has been responsible for driving process improvements, managing people to achieve optimal performance, and finding better ways to leverage technology. He is always happy to share his knowledge; best practices and experience to assist other DealerMine users in achieving their goals.


Testimonials

“The ability to brainstorm and have discussions with my peers was invaluable – BDC managers have very unique challenges and it was so gratifying to be surrounded by others who understand.  The DealerMine Summit was a fantastic experience.”


“The Dealermine Summit was exceptional. The knowledge gained from the Dealermine team and the opportunity to share ideas with other BDC managers both contributed to making this a valuable experience for me and one I wish I had been able to participate in much earlier in my career.”

 “100% Fantastic. This should be a yearly meeting and I would like to have Jane present to our service and sales managers.”


Registration Information

For more information or to register please contact us by phone, 1-800-304-3341, or by email info@dealerminecrm.com