Aspen adds to auto CRM

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Aspen Marketing Services has teamed with Xtime to expand its CRM offerings for auto dealerships.

The partnership adds Xtime's service CRM and scheduling capabilities to Identify Plus and AppointNet, Aspen's existing auto CRM programs. Aspen provides call-handling and “backstopping” capabilities — routing auto dealers' calls to the Aspen call center. The Xtime software allows service reps on these calls to directly schedule appointments with individual dealerships.

“We found Xtime's product to be superior in everything we were trying to achieve, and what it offered to us was, basically, like being able to take a Microsoft software product and incorporating what you do and making your company better,” said Patrick O'Rahilly, CEO of Aspen. “A majority of the time, when people call a dealership, they are trying to set appointments for service, and what Xtime software allows us to do is go into a dealer's management system and book appointments right online.”

Aspen reviewed multiple companies before deciding to partner with Xtime, and conversations with many of the agency's larger clients helped to guide the decision. Since partnering, Xtime employees have come in to train Aspen's management and personnel on the Xtime software.

“We had a product that we felt didn't meet the needs of the dealers in 2008,” O'Rahilly added. “We thought Xtime did, and we thought it would be an excellent time to partner with them.”

The combined products will be marketed to new car dealers in the US. O'Rahilly said the campaign, featured in auto industry magazines, would play on the message “the best of both worlds.”

Aspen serves more than 5,000 dealerships nationwide, including Group 1 Automotive. The agency also offers direct marketing, consumer promotions, event marketing, PR, digital marketing, Hispanic marketing and analytics to clients like General Motors, ConAgra and Kraft Foods.

More than 1,000 dealerships, including AutoNation and Group 1, use Xtime's services. The company offers Web scheduling, call center automation, advanced shop control and DMS integration for auto service departments.

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