Only True Business Intelligence Can Determine When and How Your Prospects and Customers Want to be Contacted
The average human has hundreds of regular habits. In many ways, it’s human habit formation that keeps the world moving.
On an individual level, habits help us complete tasks that get us through the day. Most of these habitual tasks require little mental stimulus. For example, when you woke up this morning, you ate breakfast. It was likely a breakfast similar to the one you had yesterday and the day before, and so on. But when working on tasks that are not habitual, a higher level of engagement is required to redirect that energy where it’s not normally spent.
Here’s the catch: Human habits are hard to break. Think about all of the organizations that make their money off of breaking human habits — Weight Watchers, NicoDerm … the list goes on.
Modern research on human habits indicates that it takes a minimum of 21 days to 30 years to change or break a habit, but it takes as little as a few days to adopt them. The fact is, once the human mind begins to adopt a habit, it’s most likely going to be there for life.
When it comes to human habits and cell phone usage, the average adult spends a total of 23 hours a week texting, which makes text the most widely and frequently used app on the smartphone. We check our phones more than 80 times per day. Humans are habitually on their mobile device.
The point is, when reaching out to customers and prospects, whether it’s via call, email or text, you’re battling their daily habits and interrupting their busy and organized lives. One of the primary reasons why millennials (ages 20-40) don’t answer phone calls is because they believe phone calls are disruptive. There is no way to predetermine the length of a phone call, and that concept does not work for this productivity-driven age group.
Millenials believe that when they answer the phone, they are literally giving away control of their time, and handing it to someone else. Has a millennial ever asked you, “Can you email that to me?” or “Why did you call me if you could have just texted me the information?” By the way, in 2016, millennials accounted for approximately 30 percent of all new vehicle sales, according to J.D. Power.
The ultimate question is: how can we as dealers assimilate to our customers’ preferred method of communication in their preferred time of day? Cutting through embedded human habits isn’t easy but, thanks to some more advanced uses of business intelligence (BI), determining human habits and working around them is possible.
Business intelligence is nothing more than the simplification of a massive amount of data. The level in which companies that use data to extract BI, and what they do with it, is what sets these companies apart. Essentially, BI answers the question, “What trends exist in this data set?”
Once those trends are determined, what you do next is key.
For dealers, extracting business intelligence from the database and acting on them will ultimately win more opportunities. Proper use of BI will dive into your data to determine when your active and prospective clients are most likely to respond and how they’d like to be contacted. The chart below is an example of Joe Smith’s behavior pattern.
From this, it’s easy to determine that Joe goes to bed around 9 p.m., checks email at 6 a.m. when he wakes up, texts mostly all day, and is on phone calls at 5 p.m. After 5 p.m., you may be able to email Joe, but it’s unlikely that anyone will reach him then because he is habitually involved in something else.
It’s fun to think about Joe’s behavior patterns, especially when it’s charted out. The fact is, as retailers we are unlikely to change Joe’s human behavior. Heck, we have historical records on how he’s been communicating for the past 30 days. However, we can use BI to tell us about our customers’ behavior patterns, and use that information to our advantage.
Using this technology tells us that we can reach Joe via text during the workday. This will shorten the amount of time and effort it takes for dealership staff to reach and engage with Joe. Moreover, Joe is 96 percent likely to answer his phone at 4:30 p.m. If he doesn’t, you’re still getting an answer in a way because he tends to be on the phone at this hour.
Upcoming BI Webinar
To join Jeremy Eisenberg, GM of Autoworld Mazda, and his discussion with other dealers on what BI functions to look for in a CRM vendor, visit drivedominion.com/bi-webinar/. The webinar will be hosted on Sept. 12, at 10:30 a.m. EST.
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This is article two of a six-part editorial series on intelligent CRM usage. Next month: Using BI to score customers based on their behavior with your marketing and interactions.