(Photo Credit: Cognistx via Twitter)
Automotive service centers need to optimize their customer engagement strategies just like any other retailer. There are some obvious differences – automotive service centers don’t face the same level of pressure from online merchants, for example – but the customer experience is crucial. Monro Muffler Brake understands this and SVP of Marketing Tom Tracy shared their story at CRMC 2017 earlier this month.
Monro leveraged the RedPoint Customer Engagement Hub™ (CEH) as part of their strategy to accomplish their goals. I shared the stage with Tracy to talk about how Monro leveraged RedPoint to centralize all their customer data and orchestrate all touchpoints for optimal customer engagement. We were joined by Eric Nyberg, the co-founder of Cognistx, the company that developed Monro’s MotoManager app, who discussed the role artificial intelligence played in Monro’s customer engagement evolution.
Monro Muffler Brake is probably one of the most ubiquitous automotive service center brands on the market today. Based in Rochester, N.Y., the company operates 1,140 service centers in 26 states. These service centers operate under 10 regional brands, including Monro Muffler Brake, Mr. Tire, Car X, Tire Barn, and many others. Some of these brands operate within the same market.
Monro overall is the third largest tire distributor in the country, with over 7,000 employees, and is well on its way to $2 billion in sales along with 2,000 locations in its geographic footprint. With all this growth, Tracy said, the marketing team realized they needed to completely revamp their marketing across multiple dimensions. When he arrived at the company in April 2015, Tracy said his first steps were to renegotiate contracts with existing service providers and repurpose those savings in other areas. After initially thinking most of the freed-up budget would go to digital marketing like paid search and SEO, Tracy quickly discovered that they needed a new brand identity and a new customer relationship management (CRM) system first.
According to Tracy, Monro needed a platform that could provide them with enhanced campaign effectiveness and efficiencies, revamp their customer support system, serve up consolidated customer data at the store level, and make dashboard analytics accessible across the enterprise. All of this, Tracy said, was intended to optimize their customer engagement and ensure they could deliver one-to-one personalized communications to consumers.
Breaking down functional and channel-specific data silos is foundational to customer engagement optimization. By unifying customer data and creating a single composite view of the customer, or “golden record,” you can more easily understand your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and interaction history.
In looking to improve their CRM platform, Monro realized that they had a customer database which readily served their direct mail and email programs but didn’t integrate with other data silos. Tracy said that they needed to better relate to their customers to retain and grow them, as well as improve the overall customer experience. To do that, they needed to implement a single point of data control that would give them complete visibility into customer data across the enterprise.
Monro worked with Cognistx to develop a new mobile app for the Mr. Tire brand called MotoManager. The app was created to operate as one component in the customer engagement workflow, which enables Monro to readily engage with their consumer base through a two-way dialog. The MotoManager app leverages artificial intelligence to differentiate products through personalized content, deliver relevant service reminders and easy scheduling, as well as identify effective offers and fill data gaps.
MotoManager will soon be tied into the RedPoint Customer Engagement Hub, which unifies customer data across the enterprise and enables Monro to orchestrate interactions regardless of touchpoint or sub-brand strategy. Leveraging RedPoint’s CEH allowed Monro to move from the static approach of the “vehicle equals the customer” to a more comprehensive understanding of the customer, which can be leveraged by all parts of Monro and their brands.
Through the work Tracy and his team at Monro did to reduce spend on disparate marketing and engagement technologies, in addition to streamlining data and becoming more effective in their marketing segmentation, they are on target to save over a million dollars in operational costs. For a business seeking to manage increased growth like Monro, this can make all the difference.