Toyota Motor Corp. is launching a service-reminder program for customers that the automaker will oversee but will be controlled by individual dealers. The software keeps tabs of service on every Toyota vehicle at any Toyota dealership.
For instance, if a Camry owner just had an oil change, the software will ensure the next correspondence is not about an oil-change promotion.
Instead, it could be about a brake special or another offer, based on the vehicle's service history and mileage, according to Toyota's vice president of dealer operations Dave Camden.
In January 2011, most dealers will get the software, which has been in the works for two years. Dealers will control when and how many service promotions are sent to customers. The program aims to build customer loyalty.
The program's tricky part is how it handles communications with a customer who bought a car from one dealer but might live closer to another dealer. Or maybe the customer went for service at one dealership, had a bad experience, and since then, has gone to another dealership.
Camden said the logic in the software should stop duplicate correspondence from dealers. He added that there is a chance a customer might get a "conquest" mailer, but the company aims to minimize that. [via autonews - sub. required]