Why Your Dealership Should Embrace the Credit Union

By Staff Writer on February 27, 2018

There’s something about a credit union. Known for their local presence and ability to provide a better, more-personalized banking experience, credit unions are well-positioned to provide a higher level of …

Why Your Dealership Should Embrace the Credit Union

By Staff Writer on February 27, 2018

There’s something about a credit union. Known for their local presence and ability to provide a better, more-personalized banking experience, credit unions are well-positioned to provide a higher level of …

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What’s More Profitable than Selling Cars?

By Staff Writer on October 30, 2017

What’s more profitable than selling cars? F&I

“Without a doubt, dealers are doing a much better job in selling product than what they used to,” says DealerStrong President Greg Goebel. This has led to consistent growth in profit this year and remarkably exceeding vehicle gross profit by more than double in some areas.

2015 was the first year in which F&I exceeded vehicle sales, however, the trend reversed last year. But, in 2017, F&I has retained its ability to outperform vehicle sales profit throughout the year due in part to shrinking margins.

Why the trend?

Goebel continues, “The dealers are becoming much more proficient, and finance companies are allowing much more significant F&I profit.”

Aggressive sales tactics are a thing of the past and many in the Millennial generation, as well as Generation X, will no longer accept it as part of the car buying experience. So, how does a dealership add to their bottom line via the F&I office without turning away customers?

According to Lloyd Trushel, F&I trainer, “The 1970s strategy of simply overcoming objections doesn’t work anymore.”

These old-school tactics are met with well-informed and skeptical customers. Trushel suggests personal engagement. Building trust is key to providing great service and retaining customers (and customer retention is far more cost-effective than conquest).

What happens if the customer purchases their car and leaves without an extended warranty, protection plan or other F&I product or service from your dealership?

Don’t consider it a lost sale yet.

By continuing to interact with your car buyers after the sale you can entice them to return to your dealership for service. As they do so, your dealership brand builds trust, opening the door to suggest the products they neglected at the time of sale.

It’s never too late to increase profits through F&I even after the sale because continuous, positive engagement increases the likelihood your buyer will return to your dealership for their next car and, therefore, meet with the F&I rep once again.

With OneClick Loyalty, you’ll have a platform designed to engage the customer and forge a relationship throughout the entire ownership lifecycle. Based on industry-leading customer experience algorithms, your dealership can strategically target the right message, at the right time to the right customer. This means you can market your extended warranty or service contract products, add-ons and additional F&I services even after the customer has left the lot and at times in the lifecycle in which they are likely to purchase.

Best of all, this level of engagement gives you the opportunity to turn a car buyer into a customer for life.

With almost 8 in 10 Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, the idea of a $1,000 repair bill is crushing. Your F&I department can help ease the burdens of unexpected car repairs as the power of OneClick Loyalty continues to build trust between you and the customer.

How to Find Alternative Revenue Sources Amid Slowing Sales

By Staff Writer on October 23, 2017

Manufacturers are already pulling back inventory, how will your dealership maintain revenue with less vehicle sales?

Recently, General Motors announced its plan to lay off employees from its Detroit-Hamtramck plant starting Oct. 20 with a full shutdown commencing Nov. 20 until the end of the year. Shuttering a factory for five weeks is GM’s way to control inventory.

While September was a great month for vehicle sales boasting a 6.1 percent increase from September 2016 figures, estimates are mixed on vehicle sales projections for 2017 with a consensus showing 17.6 million; or just about as many sold in 2016.

If your dealership relies on new vehicle sales for revenue generation, there may be headaches in the forecast. Areas in the south, especially in the Houston area where Hurricane Harvey totaled over 1 million vehicles, there will be a major uptick in new vehicle sales but in other parts of the country, the jury is still out.

The good news is all the new vehicle sold will need routine maintenance and repairs in the coming years. Even if there is a decline in new vehicle sales, your dealership can entice customers to return for after-sales service; a crucial step in increasing retention.

But expecting the customer to show up is not a given. Less than half will maintain their vehicle at a dealership more than two times, and considerably less will stick around after the warranty expires. Research shows that the average dealership could generate over $100,000 more in gross profit simply by improving the customer experience.

Now is the time to build a true relationship with your buyers and create a positive experience to ensure they choose your dealership for their vehicle servicing as opposed to an independent shop.

But spraying-and-praying emails or blasting commercials in hopes it will drive customers into your dealership is an expensive game and far from an “experience.” A broad approach does not offer the customized or personal solution customers now expect from every company they interact with.

How do you make a personal connection with a list of thousands of people? With OneClick Loyalty™ we use industry-leading customer experience algorithms designed to hit the customer with relevant content at just the right frequency.

The result?

Dealerships avoid over communication and communication fatigue while delivering the right message, to the right customer at the right time turning dealership data into a comprehensive customer experience.

When customers are engaged with relevant content, they feel they have a better connection with the company in which they do business. In fact, customers are twice as likely to return for service and six times likely to purchase a new vehicle if a dealership interacts with them just five times.

Vehicle service is a $99 billion business with just 30% going to dealerships. It’s time to maximize the power of service retention.

Learn more about OneClick Loyalty at www.OneClickLoyalty.com.


Do Customer Reviews Matter for Your Dealership?

By Staff Writer on October 16, 2017

Our culture demands feedback and expects experiences to be tailored to our needs based on our collective thoughts. If it doesn’t, or it goes beyond our expectations, customers are apt to tell others.

Google and Facebook make reviewing a business easy and, with the prevalence of social media, every individual is now entitled to share their voice with the masses.

Scary? For sure. In a customer service survey, 95 percentage of respondents who had a bad experience shared it with someone as opposed to 87 percentage who shared their good experience.

While the percentage difference doesn’t seem to be much, over half of those with bad experiences told at least 5 people whereas only one-third of those with good experiences told at least 5 others.

Bottom line: People who had a bad experience are more likely to share and, when they do, they share with more people.

Ask for reviews, not ratings:

5 stars on Google is great but people want stories to back up the rating. 10 high ratings over the course of a month is downright suspicious unless there is something to back it up.

Chris Sutton, vice president of U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power states, “…what customers really want to look at are the verbatim comments in a review— where customers like them are talking about the experiences they had.”

It’s also important to ask for reviews. Those most likely to write reviews are the ones who had a tremendous experience or a terrible one. Getting those whose experiences were good, but nothing special are critical too because they legitimize the reviews.

Respond to reviews

Claim your business on Google so you can write comments back to those who review your dealership. The act of communication is vital. It allows the dealership to thank those who left positive feedback and show appreciation, while also addressing the negative feedback and showing genuine concern about the customer experience.

In our social media-driven world, customers who felt wronged are more likely to voice their opinion online as opposed to face-to-face. Sometimes people want to show their outrage to as many people as they can while others use it as an outlet as opposed to having an awkward confrontation by speaking directly to management.

Either way, this reality can sting a dealership and occasionally cause a backlash as some managers and owners may not take kindly to a public lashing.

Avoid the negative remarks and ask for the opportunity to make it right. If you can identify the customer, contact them and inquire about their experience. If not, give your phone number in the comments section and insist they contact you so you can remedy the problem.

“What we’ve found is that if a dealer has more than five bad reviews, the consumer is automatically going to try another dealer,” Andrea Riley, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer for Ally, mentions adding, “Dealers need to make sure that if there is a bad review, they’re correcting the situation.”

When responding to online reviews, address each one individually. Having a robotic response like, Thank you for your feedback, may give the perception that you don’t really care. Try something more specific like, Thanks for the review. We love getting positive feedback like yours and we’re glad we had you in and out of the service bay in under an hour.


With OneClick Loyalty, a dealership can utilize the platform to encourage feedback and guide the customer toward review sites. This feature allows dealerships to ask for reviews after service and sales; the closer the customer is to the point of sale or service, the likelier they are to act on it.

Where to Find Your Best Leads

By Staff Writer on October 9, 2017

It’s not news that it costs 8-10x more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current customer yet dealerships continue to pour 22 percent of their budget into marketing; most of which is geared toward conquest.

Conquest leads, especially those generated from the Internet, are often dead-ends. Dealerships today are inundated with massive amounts of ‘customer’ leads of both suspect origin and quality.

One place you can be sure to mine for quality high ROI leads, however, is your existing customer base.

Here are 3 areas where dealerships can focus to generate leads, raise retention rates and increase revenue from existing customers.

Your Best Leads Are Existing Customers


The great thing about leases is you know exactly when the customer will need a new vehicle. It’s truly one of your best leads.

Unfortunately, only about half of dealerships actually communicate with their customer during the lease period and struggle to keep the customer when it’s time to turn in the car. The customer often receives their lease package at the beginning and that’s the last piece of engagement between the lessee and dealership.

When met with wear-and-tear fees, overage charges and a lack of understanding of the lease-end process, the customer is confused, frustrated and upset which leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

Lease from there again? No way!

J.D. Power and Associates suggests, dealers and lenders should give customers lease-end information including wear-and-tear charges, how to buy the vehicle and pre-inspections at the start of the lease as well as near the end.

“Consumers that walk out of the dealership fully informed, [with] the terms and conditions, are much more satisfied,” says Jim Houston, senior director of J.D. Power’s auto finance practice.

Reminders and communication throughout the lease term allow a dealership to fully engage and increase the likelihood of retention.


What if you knew what your customers intended to do upon lease-end or as they continue paying off their vehicle. By maintaining communication with the customer, you can learn if they are in the market for a new vehicle while their current vehicle is in equity or if your current lease customer intends to purchase or lease their next vehicle.

Equity puts both the dealership and the customer in a prime spot. Customers in equity will find it’s advantageous to sell or trade in their vehicle and dealerships can leverage this position to sell a customer a new car while acquiring a used car, most likely with low mileage, that they can resell.

It’s a win-win for both parties.

If you know the customer is starting to look for a new vehicle, you can have your sales team follow up with them and educate the customer on incentives, promotions and deals to steer their decision to your dealership.

One of the best ways to retain a customer is to make them decide on purchasing or leasing a car from you before they even begin to look elsewhere.

Knowing their intentions puts you ahead of the competition.


What better lead generator than to have the customer bring it right to you?

When a dealership provides a high-level of service and an emotional connection with the customer, they are more likely to recommend your dealership to their friends and family.

Most people are on the lookout for a service center they can rely on and a dealership that is easy to work with when purchasing a car; a referral means your customers are vouching for you and telling those in their social network that you can be trusted.


OneClick Loyalty makes retention easy and cost-effective. With targeted communication and by delivering the right messages at the right time, dealerships can take advantage of the platform’s data to acquire reliable leads and focus on retention and referrals to drive revenue.

Are You Ready for the Downturn? Be Prepared with Service

By Staff Writer on September 26, 2017

“The U.S. auto industry’s seven fat years of rising new-vehicle sales are over,” claims David Kushma, Deputy Editor of Fixed Ops Journal.

In his commentary, Kushma cites the gruesome predictions for sales numbers in 2017, 2018 and 2019 — U.S. sales of new cars are trucks are going to fall.

Estimates show that over 2 million less vehicles will be sold in 2019 than in 2016 averaging almost 10 cars per month, per dealership. Amid falling sales, dealerships must emphasize service unless they can afford to sell 100+ less cars per year.

How do you entice customers to bring their car in for service?

You can do direct mail and hope the coupon lands in the mailbox the day before a customer needs an oil change or you can blast out emails hoping that your message gets seen and opened — and then wish the recipient needs that service at that time. But this scattershot approach removes a personalized approach that the customer demands. Timing and relevance of the message is everything if you want to drive behavior and not cause communication fatigue with customers.

OneClick Loyalty is designed to deliver the right message at the right time via personal owner websites direct from the dealership. And that message tells the customer about your dealership and why they should return for service offering them the right functionality and conveniences that brings them back.

Service is a $99 billion opportunity for dealerships to engage with customers and offer a level of service they can’t get anywhere else.

Service starts on the dealership’s digital properties such as their website or social media. It is almost certain that a customer will visit a dealership’s digital properties prior to bringing their vehicle in. They’re looking for a variety of information including pricing and coupons, reviews, service scheduler, as well as amenities such a shuttle service or free WiFi.

In a recent webinar hosted by Automotive News titled: “Turn One-Time Visitors into Lifetime Customers – The $99 Billion Opportunity,” the speaker, Jim Roche, mentioned how necessary it was for a dealership to put the cost for services right on the webpage. He compared the lack of a price to buying an airplane ticket online not knowing the cost, going to the airport and then finding out the price you have to pay after boarding your flight.

It’s hard to compete with the third-party service centers and quick lube spots that offer oil changes right now for $20.

But it’s proven that people will pay more for better service. In fact, 53% of consumers expect dealerships to offer higher quality service; those consumers are also willing to pay 10-15% more for dealership work.

The expected downturn provides dealerships with the opportunity to show off their service bays. It will keep revenue steady and initiate a springboard for turning car buyers into customers for life.

With OneClick Loyalty, dealerships can compete with the service centers and provide a better customer experience throughout the ownership lifecycle.

Do You Really Want to Retain Customers? Or Are You Just Saying Thank You?

By Staff Writer on September 19, 2017

The salesperson closes the car door and, through an open window, shakes the hand of the car buyer. “Thank you for your business. Enjoy your new ride!”

“Thank you,” the customer responds.

They put the car in D and drive off the lot.

When will you see the customer again?

Does the customer even want to see you again?

They probably spent the last several hours haggling over the cost of the car and features with one car salesman then a used car salesperson about their trade-in value, and then an F&I salesperson who hiked their monthly payment up with questionable add-ons.

They twiddled their thumbs as the salesperson disappeared for long stretches of time and scrolled through their phone impatiently as hour-after-hour passed.

Why would they want to come back?

It’s no longer about selling someone a car, it’s about giving them an experience — a reason to come back before their 6-year car loan is paid off. And, the truth is, dealerships start off at an immediate disadvantage because the last mile of the car purchase is extremely frustrating and painful for customers.

Dealerships must adapt to changing expectations to provide a customer experience that encourages retention or risk losing out to industry disrupters like Carvana, CarMax or cars.com.

You sold the car, now it’s time to sell the service.

Service Department

It’s not that the experience is horrible with a dealership, it’s just unexpectedly time-consuming, frustrating and overwhelming.

We all know it is imperative for your salesperson to introduce your customer to the service department during delivery.

According to Fixed Ops Journal, “Customers who were shown the service department were 1.5 times more likely to return to the dealership for service…”

Currently, only about 41 percent of buyers were introduced to the service department and 53 percent of those buyers said the introduction was pivotal in their decision to return for after-sales service.

Factory-certified technicians, competitively-priced oil changes, comprehensive auto body repair, and more — let your customers know every benefit in visiting your service department.

Scheduling Service

DealerRater.com conducted a major survey asking those who recently took their car in for service at a dealership if they knew the dealership had online scheduling.

40 percent had no idea.

And of those who did know about the convenient service — only one-third used it.

As Millennials become the dominant spenders, they’ll continue to seek out the businesses that understand their expectation of convenience (this begins at the sales process).

Most people have access to a computer and the Internet from various devices at home or work. Advise them of the convenient way to book their next service appointment anytime, day or night.


It’s no longer enough to have a decent cup of coffee in your waiting room. People value time more than coffee — in fact, most will probably pick up Starbucks on the way in.

How do you make their life easier?

  • Free WiFi — What better convenience for someone who needs to work remotely than the ability to access WiFi?
  • Concierge Service — Pick up and drop off allows the customer to take care of their car during office hours and also makes life easier on those who would rather get chores completed around the house than flip through magazines in a waiting room.
  • Free Rental — What if you can hand over a set of keys to your customer and say, “Do what you need to do, we’ll call you when your car is ready?” The value is twofold. They can continue with their day on their terms and you are giving them a new car to test drive.

What other amenities do you have that third-party car care centers do not?

Customer retention begins at the beginning. Build on the excitement of a new car purchase by digitally engaging with that customer and sharing the advantages of visiting your dealership for after-sales service.

Inform your customers about your service department, online scheduling tool, dealership amenities and much more with OneClick Loyalty — a comprehensive customer retention solution built by dealers, for dealers.

It’s time to drive sales and service retention rates and revenue at your dealership.

60 Seconds to Increased Revenue

By Staff Writer on September 12, 2017

According to a Google Automotive Shopper Study, 46% of consumers visit a dealership’s website after watching video content.

In another study by Google, 70% of people who used YouTube as part of their car buying process were influenced by what they watched.

Are you connecting with the next generation of car buyers? By 2020, 40 percent of the car buying customers are expected to be Millennials

Customers of all ages though are utilizing the Internet to do extensive research on their cars, and many are making the decision to buy, even before stepping foot into a showroom and test driving a vehicle.

There are countless automotive enthusiasts and car buyers engaging with one another and using social media for research, advice and to show off their passion about cars. #carporn is a consistently trending hashtag amongst car enthusiasts (You can look it up – it’s Safe For Work).

What can a dealership do to digitally engage with an audience who could be interested in buying at any moment?

Asbury Automotive Group used $1,000 to promote a video on Facebook for its Nissan dealership in Tampa and sold 31 cars from 142 leads! The campaign lasted 11 days and they used a targeted approach gearing the content toward a Spanish-speaking audience. Facebook Ads allows you to strategically choose a variety of demographics to engage with to maximize your ROI.

Want to Make a Video?

It’s actually not too difficult or expensive.

Have a smart phone?

Inventory videos can show the product inside and out – just keep them under 60 seconds. Even capturing a video of cars coming off the truck can garner interest.

Short promotional videos regarding service and specials can increase retention – just remember that consumers want to see relevant content so if you are trying to sell them and not engage with them, they will likely look elsewhere.

Once you capture the video on your smart phone, you can simply upload it to your Facebook page.

Getting Them to Facebook

With OneClick Loyalty, we get your customers to Facebook immediately. It starts with the customer sharing news about their recent car purchase. Their excitement is directly connected to a dealership and their friends and family can now react.

How important is this?

70% of millennials show a higher level of excitement about their purchasing decision when their friends validate it.

Getting your customers to utilize your Facebook page opens the door to countless new possible customers while also helping to retain your current car buyers for service and sales down the line.

While many dealerships are tempted to post their latest commercial to their Facebook page or YouTube channel, vehicle walkarounds and service tips are even better at educating the consumer and driving traffic to your website, your showroom and your service bays.

60 seconds may be all you need to help increase revenue and retention.

The Easy Money You Aren’t Making

By Staff Writer on September 6, 2017

It’s no longer news that most dealerships lose money on the sale of a vehicle and try to make up the losses in F&I and service.

What about accessories?

Accessories are a $40 billion per year industry with consumers spending money on everything from steering wheel covers to floor mats to bike racks.

Dealerships only realize 8% of it, meaning there is over $36 billion being spent elsewhere.

It’s time for dealerships to grasp onto the lucrative accessories category to significantly increase profits.

Where to Begin?

If you’re advertising accessories and want to help people decide what might be best for their vehicle, think about where you live.

Accessories are not universally popular, but rather, can be determined based on region. On a cold, wintry day in Michigan, offer heated seats – many chilly consumers wouldn’t mind the added comfort. For Arizona residents, tinted windows may be the way to go, plus you can ensure they comply with the law regarding how dark windows can be.

Here are some of the most popular accessories found intermittently in the top 5 best sellers throughout the United States:

  • Floor Mats – Ranked 1st or 2nd in almost every region
  • Window Tints – Popular in the south and west, as well as portions of the Midwest
  • Alarms and Recovery – These rank on the lists but don’t encompass the top spot. Besides keeping the vehicle safe, most insurances will offer a 10% discount on the comprehensive coverage premium when cars are outfitted with a theft-deterrent.


What if you knew how to help your customers get the accessories they need based on their interests? Most car buyers will purchase from you then get the add-ons they want at a later time somewhere else.

But, what if you knew they loved biking or skiing or surfing or drove long distances on open highways? This means you could make your message relevant to your customer. What good is offering a ski rack if they don’t like skiing? How beneficial might a hood shield be for those who want a higher level of protection against bugs and stones?

There are many ways to find out what the customer would need added to their car. A salesperson should be able to get some information from the customer simply by asking what they like to do for fun. However, if you are not able to acquire this information or you want to offer accessories to existing customers, a survey can provide the answers.

Simple surveys asking to identify areas of interests or driving patterns can provide a dealership with the right tools to sell accessories.

In a world where everyone wants to be unique and customize just about everything to fit their lifestyle and interests, you can provide the means to help them meet their needs. Car seat covers, interior accessories, even license plate frames can help increase a customer’s excitement level for their vehicle.


OneClick Loyalty gives the dealership a personal approach to engaging with the customer. With surveys and promotions right on the customer’s personal website and tailored to that individual, a dealership can learn more about their customers and increase retention by offering the types of products and services that speak to them.

Erasing the Stigma That Dealers Are Untrustworthy When It Comes to Vehicle Service

By Staff Writer on August 29, 2017

“Customers believe they will be overcharged, labor costs are too high and they won’t get an accurate estimate of the total cost up front.” – Richard Truett, Fixed Ops Journal, June 19, 2017

There is a stigma that dealership service centers rip off customers. If there is a silver lining to the dealer service “stigma” cloud,” it’s that many people feel the same way about independent car repair shops and chain store service centers.

Pull up any forum regarding dealership service and you will find customers angrily venting, while others praise dealerships as the only place they’ll go for service.

You’re Not Alone

There is a reputation out there regarding mechanics, just like there is for almost any other business.

Lawyers are thought to be conniving, unethical and will do anything to win. But I’m sure we all know good ones we trust and believe are honest people. Politicians lie, cheat, steal and pander for votes. But there are many on all levels who are in it to honestly serve their community.

And service managers and mechanics? They prey on just about anyone because they know the inter-workings of the engine and most people don’t.

Fight Back

The first step is to accept the stigma exists.

Now, you can be the exception to the rule.

When you have a reliable, honest service center, you can be the place that your customers suggest to friends and family. Referrals are the best form of advertising and having a customer advocate who trusts you with their closest friends is the perfect way to increase retention and boost revenue.

Most likely you are honest and you run a good shop, so how do you ensure word gets spread?

Ask your customers via digital engagement to:

  • Refer friends and family
  • Leave positive reviews
  • Rate their service experience via social media
  • Take a simple customer satisfaction survey

Gauging Your Customers

You may think you’re doing a great job, but it’s critical to understand the customer perception from their service experience. Suggested repairs may be viewed as fishy or an interaction with a service rep or mechanic slip up could signal trouble.

With OneClick Loyalty, you can easily find out what worked for the customer and what didn’t. Not only can your customer receive a follow-up service satisfaction survey, engagement can also encourage positive reviews, let managers know negative feedback immediately, and put a human connection between your dealership and customers.

Proactive engagement has been proven to increase retention rates and revenue. Fight the stigma and win with OneClick Loyalty.