Lexus begins national CRM push after pilot

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Lexus is offering new CRM software to all of its US dealerships, following a successful 10-month pilot program at 14 dealers.

The ServiceCRM software, from Xtime, was chosen after a formal RFP process. Lexus' version of the software is called Lexus Online Service Appointments (LOSA). The software is designed to help dealers automate online service, service scheduling, e-mail and text notifications to customers and other customer service operations. The system lets Lexus customers make service appointments any time from anywhere, which Lexus execs believe will foster better relationships with existing customers and possibly attract new ones.

"[The software] helps dealers reduce phone traffic, enabling service consultants to spend more time with their customers, fostering satisfaction and helping build long-lasting relationships," said Albert Smith, VP of customer services, Lexus Division. 

"Online appointments immediately doubled," reported David Watts, VP of fixed operations for Lexus of Richmond. 

The Lexus rollout follows a trend of the auto industry adopting more CRM tools as part of its marketing efforts.

As new car sales have plummeted and dealers have had to depend on customers returning for repairs and service for a greater portion of their revenue, customer engagement programs created specifically for car sales have gained importance. Aspen Marketing Services' released its Aspen Portal CRM tool for auto dealers in January, and online auto classifieds site adopted Microsoft Dynamics CRM last month. l

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