Alison Izurieta

CRM Manager (Jefe de CRM!), Casabaca Toyota

Supernova Award Category: 
Next-Generation Customer Experience
The Organization: 

Founded more than 60 years ago by three brothers, Casabaca Toyota is family-owned and is the largest dealership in Ecuador with 9 locations. Customers look to Casabaca not just for premium cars, but for luxury experiences and they have become a new, innovative standard in an industry that’s remained mostly static in the region. Casabaca has a passion for quality and grows through innovation and an attitude driven by customer excellence.  With over 150,000 vehicles sold its goal is to become a leader in the South American automotive market.

The Problem: 

About 5 years ago, Casabaca’s customer experience and sales processes were as they had been for years - the account teams relied on paper, phone calls, and manual workflows to create leads.  They decided it was time to implement basic CRM capabilities and started working with SugarCRM to digitize some processes like collecting data and sending invoices. From there, they branched out accessing analytics around customer behavior like how many times a buyer had visited a dealership, which products/services were offered to them, how long they were in the dealership, or if they scheduled a test drive or meeting. The team used SugarCRM to house the company’s customer data, making it easy for sales reps to find what they need, and ultimately sell smarter, not harder. 
But the pandemic changed all of that in 2020 as public places were closed and companies were forced to conduct business almost 100% digitally. To stay afloat, Casabaca needed a way to interact with prospects and customers online, especially when a visit to the dealership wasn't possible. Using the data it already had, the company needed to find a way to build deeper customer relationships with better tracking, nurturing, personalized content, and lead scoring. Alison Izurieta, CRM Manager at Casabaca said "...we were sitting on a (data) goldmine, but we didn’t know how to use it.”

The Solution: 

Casabaca realized it needed to increase its digital capabilities quickly and integrated their public facing (website, chat) and backend systems to their SugarCRM solution. They also implemented a digital sales funnel of online leads, combining it w/the existing physical sales funnel to capture & monitor opportunities from all sources. Whereas Casabaca previously didn’t have any information on a prospect visiting the dealership for the first time, the digital sales funnel allowed reps to track where a new lead is and where they came from (website, ads, or other channels.) Sales better understood what the prospect was looking for by taking some of the guesswork out of selling. Per Alison, “CRM is software, but it’s also strategic and helps us create happy customers that are going to buy from us again and helps us support our community and solve the problem of mobility.” 

The Results: 

Before: Casabaca's processes and customer data tracking were traditional.
Now: Casabaca's new sales processes are digital and it has been able to increase its sales communications reach including extensive use of chat, voice, and email (all integrated into its CRM); since implementing the digital sales funnel in June 2021, it converts 3% more leads.

Before: Customer interactions happened only in the dealership.
Now:  Casabaca effectively interacts digitally; digital engagement has opened up new markets (e.g. the Amazon and the coastal region.) 

Results for new "Appraisal System" integrated into CRM: a 70% increase in the number of cars appraised; a conversion rate from offer to buy increased by 5% in the first 2 months of implementation

Digital engagement has been about more than business results for Casabaca. It has also allowed the company to better serve the community in its time of need (they've developed a new offering for handicapped prospects by driving cars to the customer to test drive as other transportation options shut down during the pandemic.) They leveraged digital engagement (and CRM capabilities) to track and create customized offerings for this population.

Finally, by talking to buyers before seeing them in-store / scheduling meetings during the pandemic, Casabaca was able to sell almost its entire inventory in 2021!



Metrics for Phase 1: 

  • move to a digital platform (SugarCRM)
  • augment customer database (Casabaca increased customer information input by 50%)
  • create a customer information page (consolidate CRM customer information in one window to increase customer service)

Metrics for Phase 2:  digital transformation

  • provide customer traceability from the method of contact to showroom visit to sale; help identify sales mix
  • integrate digital channels to CRM to align with the marketing campaign - have marketing metrics for each campaign such as cost per lead and volume of leads
  • create a sales process using the digital funnel
The Technology: 

Casabaca leverages two SugarCRM solutions for it's headquarters and the rest of the dealerships:

  • Sugar Sell Advanced
  • Sugar Enterprise

Casabaca has integrated its ERP, website, chat, customer service, etc. with its SugarCRM solution allowing the company a more complete view of their customers as well as new ways to track and respond to customer insights (e.g. sentiment analysis reports for both the customer/prospect and the employee.)

Disruptive Factor: 

The impact of using CRM and expanding it was monumental for Casabaca. It not only kept the company afloat during the worst pandemic of the last hundred years but also helped engage buyers in new regions (the expanded use of CRM, coupled with new business approaches, disrupted the competitive landscape). In fact, integrating new technology and processes into Casabaca's CRM is now just part of doing business! A good example of this is how Casabaca has created a new "Appraisal System" to address an underserved market: used cars.

Ecuador's used car market isn't regulated - buying and selling used cars is mostly done through bartering. Casabaca created a model leveraging their own historical data (how much they pay/sell for used cars) and built a system similar to CarMax. The new Appraisal System, a collaboration between the analytics and CRM teams, is integrated into Casabaca’s CRM so specialists can efficiently run and track each appraisal and make an initial offer to the customer!

However, change can create some pushback and Casabaca's use of SugarCRM did initially face a challenge with some sales managers more comfortable with traditional methods of selling. In time, the company was able to attract and retain personnel that would reflect their business going forward and its commitment to leveraging new tools to increase productivity and improve customer experience.

Shining Moment: 

There isn't just one shining moment - Casabaca is continually looking for new ways to leverage the benefits of its SugarCRM solution. In addition to the Appraisal System, other data now integrated into the CRM include: service and maintenance, Casabaca's credit system, and data from a new sales program run by the customer service team. And, there's more to come as the company looks to leverage CRM for more prescriptive analytics as well as sentiment analysis.

About Casabaca Toyota

Founded more than 60 years ago by three brothers, Casabaca Toyota is family-owned and is the largest dealership in Ecuador. Customers look to Casabaca not just for premium cars, but for luxury experiences. Casabaca has a passion for quality and grows through innovation and an attitude driven by customer excellence.