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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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 service while offering most of the same conveniences as a major retail bank.

Just like credit unions, automotive dealerships play a pivotal role in their community. Dealerships provide employment opportunities, give back to the community and have a deeper connection with the customer due to their being the last, physical mile in the vehicle purchasing cycle.

“Dealerships that embrace credit union relationships, and who by culture are active in the community, position themselves as the businesses this large group of consumers wants to engage,” CU Direct Lending (CUDL), a lending group that works with credit unions and dealerships, states in in their white paper: Technology, Relationships Spurring Dealers’ Growth in Credit Union Lending.

Partnering with a credit union opens the doors to increased revenue and opportunity. Is your dealership taking advantage of a credit union’s local presence?

More Than Lending

Bill Rusch, Finance Director at Raymond Chevrolet, offers a surprising statistic regarding partnering with CUDirect: “One hundred percent of deals through CUDL will include at least one additional product, and the majority will consist of two to three products.” While not all transactions between a dealership and a credit union will boast this success rate, there are positive revenue implications for all parties, including the more satisfied customer.

Imagine harnessing the power of trust with a credit union to help grow revenue. When you establish a relationship with a local credit union that will endorse you, or better yet, refer you and your business, the benefits are monumental. Under the glow of a credit union, a dealership has the ability to generate more after-sales and service revenue dollars.

“Buyers quickly see the credit union advantage and thus more likely to also buy GAP, road hazard or a service contract.” He notes, “That makes a difference for us – and it’s better for the member customers too,” Rusch states.

Credit union members put a great deal of faith in their financial institution, so if your dealership makes their list of those they work with, your dealership can see increased revenue and higher customer satisfaction.

The report from CUDL adds, “Credit unions carry a halo effect that helps dealers build consumer trust, confidence and endorsement. No other lending alternative has this affect and benefit to dealers.”

In spite of a decrease in automotive sales, credit unions saw a significant boost in lending. CUDL provided over one million loans making it the highest ranked auto lender followed by Capital One Auto Finance (940,070 auto loans).

No longer a product-centric world, the customer experience is what is helping drive satisfaction, retention and revenue. From that point of view, mapping the customer experience and discovering how the various stakeholders and players can impact each other positively can lead to measurable success. Credit unions can help dealerships provide the level of confidence and convenience that makes the customer-centric world go-round.

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.

Is Your Direct Mail Going Directly to the Garbage?

By Staff Writer on August 15, 2017

You hire a team to design a letter enclosed in an envelope with the recipient’s name. It gets mailed out. The recipient receives it and opts to open it up. Discovering the special sales promotion, they bring their vehicle to your dealership and trade in for a nice, new car.

Or, most likely, throw it in the garbage without even bothering to open it.

It’s not to say direct mail marketing doesn’t work, it’s just that to make it work in today’s digital world costs a bundle.

And when compared to the advantages of digital, well, the average rate of return for…

  • email is $38 for every $1 spent
  • direct mail is $7 for every $1 spent

The best practices for emails are also changing.  So, methods used just a couple years ago may now be a red flag for the recipient. They simply delete the email without opening or send it to the spam folder.

One of the key changes to digital marketing has been the expectation of consumers. They want information you send to be relevant, personal and viewable on their mobile device.

It is imperative that your emails work across devices because you never know how, when or where your customer will be viewing it.

Just six years ago, nearly three-quarters of emails were opened on a desktop computer. In 2016, that rate diminished with 45% of emails being opened on desktops versus 55% on a mobile device.

Dealerships must adapt to how customers are consuming their information and content in a digitally driven world.

According to Experian, personal emails receive 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates.

Personal engagement leads to stronger ROI and higher retention rates.

Just by having the recipient’s first name in the subject line will increase open rates by nearly 20%.

How do you ditch the direct mail and move to a more rewarding platform? A platform that is responsive, offers 1:1 personalization and can build loyalty?

OneClick Loyalty is a software-as-a-service solution designed for easy implementation and to make sure you’re engaging with the customer strategically and not just marketing at them. With a personal message and relevant content geared toward their behavior, your dealership can provide a greater customer experience leading to higher retention rates and increased revenue.