Nissan Dealers To Get Wireless Access to Customer Data

Anyone who has ever bought a new car knows that salespeople like to cruise the lot, looking to help customers, but the salespeople must sit down at their desk to pull up the information needed to start the purchase process. But not for much longer.

Soon Nissan and Infinity dealers will be able to access Nissan's customer resource management information directly from the show floor over two-way pagers, according to Ted Ross, a corporate marketing manager for Nissan North America Inc., in Gardena, Calif. "Our retailers work best when they're on their feet, and not chained to a desk," says Ross. "We might have the best information in the world, but they have to go to their desk to access it, and that's inconsistent with how they do business."

Because Nissan's CRM system is entirely on the E.piphany Inc. platform, says Ross, the car giant's wireless effort is being enabled by three new means of wireless access to E.piphany's E.5 CRM platform, which was launched in July. E.piphany is now shipping its Real-Time Personalization for Wireless, which makes it possible for customers to receive personalized marketing offers and recommendations on microbrowser-enabled devices. And on Oct. 13, the company will release the E.piphany Wireless Dashboard application, which will enable employees to wirelessly access a company's information on E.5, as well as the E.piphany Wireless Service Portal.

E.piphany is providing the wireless access links to E.5 customers at no additional charge, but some changes to company information will be necessary to render data in a standard format, according to Brad Wilson, product marketing director for E.piphany Inc., in San Mateo, Calif.

"As long as you have a microbrowser that deals with HTML 3.2, we can format to that," says Wilson. Nissan is using two-way pagers to provide customer leads to 150 Infinity dealers, a branch of Nissan, but intends to roll out the full wireless access to the E.piphany CRM system to 1,100 Nissan retailers within the next six months. That will open the door to a variety of services, including enabling them to check a customer's history or offer special deals based on their financial situation, says Ross.

Ross says, "Their ability to utilize day-to-day wireless technology will significantly change and improve our ability to provide them with information on the fly."

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