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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Establish Trust and Sell More F&I

By Staff Writer on January 8, 2018

The economy is strong. Both new and used vehicle sales for 2017 are poised to be higher than initially estimated.

At the point-of-sale, more often than not, customers neglect to invest in warranties and service contracts because they don’t want to expend that additional cost; after all, the economy is cruising, they’re gainfully employed and they know cars are being produced with greater efficiency. Therefore, a customer wants to keep the sticker price low and doesn’t want to extend the lengthy purchase time.

You can’t give up on these buyers though; it’s important for your revenue to come back to them after the sale.

Gabe Garroni, vice president of sales at Ally Insurance, states “…three years into owning that car, everything changes. Service contracts become more important.”

If you don’t communicate with your customers after the sale, you lose the opportunity to sell them on F&I products that benefit your bottom line and their enjoyment of the vehicle you sold them.

Garroni suggests finding the right partners to help maintain communication lines with your vehicle buyers. That’s the precise intention of OneClick Loyalty; a platform designed to engage customers, build a relationship and foster a digital journey to entice repeat sales and service.

Once wary of dealership protection plans, the consumer is more open to the idea now than previously. “Consumers today are more comfortable than ever with the idea of protection plans,” Garroni says. Protection plans are sold, and used, for items such as smart phones and appliances. Having one for your vehicle too just makes sense.

F&I products succeed best when they are demonstrably in the customer’s best interest and delivered at the most relevant time. That’s why it’s important to communicate at key intervals with a clear demonstration of the value prop of the protection plan or product.

Protection plans are more important and relevant than ever. A record number of used cars were sold in Q2 2017, and with newer-model used vehicles, a protection plan is important to preventing long-term costly repairs. Ensuring your customers have established trust with you will help open them up to the idea of purchasing a protection plan through your F&I department.

Through personalization and proactive engagement, your customers will not only be more willing to open emails from you, but receptive to the information, such as F&I products, as well.

Are Your Employees Invested in Your Technology Upgrade?

By Staff Writer on December 18, 2017

After investing a considerable amount of money in upgrades to technology designed to make workers more productive, most dealerships are not seeing their numbers jump at all.

Over the past 40 years, the statistics are virtually unmoved:

  • Sales associates average 10 retail sales per month
  • Technicians average 40 hours per week

The answer isn’t more technology, but the right technology.

So, if you’re investing money into a CRM system, a system designed to manage relationships and turn leads into sales, how much of it are you actually using?

  • 43 percent of dealers use fewer than half the features they pay for!
  • 72 percent would be willing to give up extra features to have a system that is easier to use.

The problem is multifaceted. It’s complicated to use, there are too many features and difficulty in training are just a few examples on why a considerable portion of your investment is going unused.

If technology is complex and the training is time-consuming, then employees are averse to using it. They fall back on old, “tried-and-true” tactics that equate to similar outcomes: 10 retail sales/month.

With so much focus on digital communications and customer experiences, it has never been easier to remain in contact with your customers. But dealers want a cost-effective, comprehensive solution, not just a point solution for staying in touch with car buyers. After all, the cost for conquest is considerably more than retention. After-sales communication is key to retention in both sales and service. A customer bringing their vehicle in for service is far likelier to purchase their next vehicle at that dealership.

“Staying in touch digitally with sales and service customers is an opportunity to interact with thousands of people in an inexpensive way,” states Steve Finlay, WardsAuto.

With OneClick Loyalty, we provide the ease-of-use and ability to stay in contact with customer post-sales. Designed by dealers, for dealers, OneClick Loyalty reduces marketing costs while delivering a personalized experience to customers. You sign up and we do the rest. OneClick Loyalty is a customer relationship platform that you’ll actually use.

4 Ways to Reach Millennials, and Their Parents

By Staff Writer on November 13, 2017

In 2014, Millennials became the largest generation in the United States surpassing baby boomers.

At 25% of the population, Millennials are poised to be 40% of the vehicle purchasers in 2020.

But marketing to them has proven to be challenging, right? The traditional tactics don’t work anymore, and the new strategies seem to leave the older generation of vehicle purchasers in the dust. How do you compromise?

The good news is that you don’t.

Baby Boomers are active on social media and are just as connected as Millennials.

  • 3% of baby boomers belong to at least one social media site (Facebook is the most popular)
  • Baby boomers spend more hours online per week than those between the ages of 16-34
  • Baby boomers are the more likely generation to look for more information after seeing something of interest on social media

Millennials may have grown up on digital but the generations before them have adopted the technology and are extremely active.

Here are 4 ways to reach Millennials, and their parents:


  1. Focus on Referrals via Social Media

Millennials like to share and many strive to get likes and positive feedback for what they put up on social media. In fact, 70% of millennials are more excited about a decision they’ve made when their friends validate it on social media. If you can encourage them to share their experience, this word-of-mouth is sure to garner interest in your dealership.

If a baby boomer sees a social media post from their network, which may include their children and their children’s friends, regarding the purchase of a vehicle, they are likely to search for more information.


  1. Focus on Word-of-Mouth Referrals

More than just a Facebook post, leveraging the power of intent to get your customers to refer your business is a great way to increase both retention and conquest. According to David Neuman, CEO of Gaea North America, “If a Millennial hears a recommendation from a friend or colleague, they are more likely to buy and try a product than if they just happen upon it in a print ad.”

Overall, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision


  1. Engage, Don’t Market

Millennials have many tricks to avoid marketing. Pop-up blockers, ad blockers and DVRs are just a few ways customers can avoid your commercials and marketing tactics. Millennials prefer to be engaged meaning businesses need to provide relevant content that meets their needs, when they need it. If digital engagement to you means batch-and-blasting emails, they will delete your message, send it to the spam folder without ever reading past the headline or unsubscribe.


  1. Tell a Story

Millennial customers like stories, especially if they are in the form of a short video. They are easy to digest and shareable. Stories also humanize businesses and offer a glimpse into what makes your dealership better than a competitor’s. The more a customer, Millennial or Baby Booker, feels a connection with a business, the more likely they are to remain loyal.

At first, the Baby Boomers may have been slow to adopt new technological modes of communication, however, digital has become standard, more comfortable, and much more widely used.


With OneClick Loyalty, a dealership has a path of digital engagement designed to strategically send the right message at the right time. These relevant, personalized interactions encourage referrals and reviews, drive retention and continuously engage with customers helping to increase dealership revenue in all aspects including, sales, F&I and service.

Do Women Trust Your Dealership?

By Staff Writer on November 6, 2017

Let’s start off with some statistics on women and their dealership experience:

  • 50% are dissatisfied with the car they end up purchasing
  • 77% feel they need to bring a male with them to the dealership
  • $500 more money is paid for their vehicle compared to men

What are you doing to gain the trust of women — a combination of 85 percent of those purchasing new vehicles either for themselves or directly affecting the choice for the household?

Both online, and in-person, there are changes big and small a dealership can make to cater to women and to make them feel more comfortable visiting your business.

When over ¾ of women feel they need to bring a man with them to be treated fairly, getting them to trust you is critical for long-term success and to help drive revenue.

How does a dealership gain trust?


Did your female customer have a good experience at your dealership? Encourage them to write an online review about their purchasing or service process. According to CBT Automotive News, “Women are 50% more likely than men to rely on dealership reviews and they prefer reading reviews from women.”

Women are loyal to good service, a study by Erasmus University found, whereas men are more brand-loyal. If a female customer had a satisfactory customer journey and writes a positive review, more women are likely to be persuaded to give that business a try.

Build a Relationship

Every customer looking to purchase a vehicle or is in need of service, deserves respect. Regardless of gender, customers simply gravitate toward those they deem trustworthy. When sales or service representatives take the time to listen to a customer and ask the right questions, it increases the likelihood of higher satisfaction and revenue.

  • 73% said they will service their car at that dealership in the future if they received excellent service
  • More than half said they would bring their car back for service at the dealership where they purchased their vehicle

Relationship-building starts before the point-of-sale and continues well-after. This drives retention and increases dealership revenue without the cost of conquest.


Most vehicle research is completed online, and yet most dealership websites are built to sell cars with marketing strategies that lack emotion or connection. Showcasing vehicle inventory and listing the number of vehicles you have available will hardly build trust or show any real benefit to visiting your dealership for a test drive. What’s the difference between your 100’s of vehicles and your competitor’s 100’s of vehicles?

Sharing why your vehicles are safer and stronger, and built with features that highlight what matters to women, will indicate that your dealership is ready to connect with women and their needs.

This includes the service center. What amenities do you offer to ensure women will want to return to you for service? Do you have a children’s area? Free rental? Shuttle service? What magazines do you have out in the waiting room? It’s important to communicate to your customers, and potential customers, what sets you apart from other service centers.


People talk. If your dealership becomes known as a trustworthy place for women to shop for and service their cars, they will share. Referrals not only show that your dealership is catering to their customer, but it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to acquire and retain new customers.


OneClick Loyalty has been able to connect dealerships with their customers and provide a journey that builds trust and establishes a relationship with female customers. By encouraging referrals and reviews, sharing information about the dealership amenities and connecting with relevancy, OneClick Loyalty can drive retention and revenue from female customers.

Guided-Selling has found that “Women are more likely to respond to email marketing” making it the best way to reach this demographic. “Educate, empower and provide reassurance,” and you’ll see more women eager to visit your dealership for sales and service.

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.

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.

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.