Automotive dealerships using customer management systems are performing 15% better than their competitors, according to new research from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
The research also revealed that 91% of survey respondents reported that customer management systems have "created value in the vehicle sales process".
The third-party research study conducted by the Smith School was based on a survey issued by researchers in the Department of Decision and Information Technologies and distributed through Autobytel Inc. to auto dealerships, including those that use Autobytel's Web Control system and Retention Performance Marketing programme.
According to Jason Kuruzovich, lead researcher and doctoral candidate in information systems at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, "Information technology has had a transformational effect on the retail auto industry - and nowhere is this more evident than in dealerships' relationships with their customers. These results suggest that a dealership's adoption and use of customer-focused technologies during the sales process can be a critical source of competitive advantage."
The study defined "customer management systems" as being "information systems used to attract and manage leads or customers through pre- and post-sales activities". Complete results from the University of Maryland study are expected to be published in April 2006: watch this space.