Spread The Word

To Succeed in the Lucrative CPO Market, You Need to Make a Commitment – and Make Sure Your Customers Know It

As many as 60 percent of all pre-owned customers are interested in seeing a certified vehicle, and the CPO market continues to grow – 2016 was the sixth consecutive year of record CPO sales.

Those statistics lead to an important question dealers should be asking themselves: “How can I get my share of that segment?”

It’s simple. Find a certified pre-owned program you like and start advertising.

When starting a certified pre-owned program, it is best to remember a saying I once read in a fortune cookie: “Who saw the antelope jump in the forest?”

That might sound silly, but it points out that while few of us will ever see an antelope jump in the forest, everyone can visualize it because they have read and seen pictures. No event can be widely known and accepted unless it is publicized with a message broadcast to the public.

That’s the message of that supposedly ancient Chinese proverb. If you want your program to succeed, you must be ready to broadcast your commitment loudly and constantly to everyone.

When deciding on a CPO program, the gains must be weighed against the costs. And the best way to achieve a positive in that equation is to make a full commitment to the program.

Your commitment needs to be accepted by everyone involved – your employees, customers and even the people you get your inventory from.

In order to broadcast that commitment, you must analyze why you are starting this project in the first place.

In the car business it is always about profit, which usually comes from selling more vehicles or making more on the ones that we sell. For dealers, that is the purpose of a certified pre-owned program.

The logical first step is to analyze what commitment you are making.

In some cases a dealer will be changing his market niche to a certified pre-owned inventory or elevating his inventory to more current models. Most dealers, though, will still be acquiring the same type of inventory, and will most certainly be getting it from the same places.

For them, the commitment isn’t to better cars or inventory. Rather, it’s to providing a better ownership experience for the customer.

CPO accomplishes that by backing what customers purchase in a manner that gives them the peace of mind that they did the right thing by buying the vehicle from the dealer that they purchased from.

That’s a long way of saying the commitment is just the right thing to do.

And if you are going to do the right thing, you might as well do it the right way. When looking at CPO, you need to have a program that follows three main criteria in governing the quality of the warranty.

First, you must have an administrator that has the capacity and desire to pay claims promptly. That is easily ascertained by looking at the administrator’s other customers. You’ll want to partner with someone who has partnered with the giants in your industry.

Second, the idea of CPO is to sell more cars and create more repeat business. That means the CPO program you commit to must have an unremitting drive to customer service.

Remember, the customers who interact with your claims administrator are going to be in what is for them a crisis situation. When it comes to encouraging repeat business, it’s here the difference in warranty companies is felt.

The third criterion is name recognition. Not simply because the name is recognized, but because the name is known or can be explained as synonymous with high ethics in the used car business.

Once you have found that, you’ll have something worth broadcasting.

When a dealer makes a commitment to any program, it is critical to the success of the program to broadcast it to the widest audience. The beginnings of success depend on how this project is presented to all parties.

Studies show that resolutions of any kind made in quiet are not as successful as those that are written, posted and told to as many people as possible.

Kevin Corley, owner of Second Chance Auto in Charleston, S.C., recently made the CPO commitment. He chose to use the NIADA Certified Pre-Owned program because it provided the necessary three criteria.

Since General Motors and Microsoft had done due diligence on the administrator, he felt he could trust it to pay claims. He found the principles NIADA was founded on mirrored his. And he saw the NIADA shield would be recognizable in his advertising media, helping to brand him as a certified pre-owned dealer.

Once Corley had made his commitment, he wanted to make sure that everyone knew what he now represented at his car lot.

“Kevin is so excited about representing this program,” said Mike Sims, an NIADA CPO program representative, “that we actually baked a cake.”

Corley demonstrated his commitment in a meeting with his entire company. In that meeting, he expressed his wish for the employees to embrace the program – and he capped the meeting with the aforementioned NIADA-themed cake.

He explained that when you start a program with a special event like the cake ceremony, the employees know it is different – and a very important.

Once he had announced the program to his people, Corley immediately wanted to get the word out to his clients. So he broadcast the announcement of his new program on his number one marketing tool, Facebook Live, from which he can broadcast his entire operation to the customers – from coming off the truck through make-ready to on the lot.

The result?

“We had 363 likes from broadcasting the cake ceremony in a matter of minutes,” said Corley. “The thing is, if they are watching on Facebook Live, they are in the market to buy a car, whether they know it or not.”

Second Chance Finance Manager Milan Edwards said the Facebook broadcasts make a big impact on consumers.

“By the time customers watch a car go through the inspection process – the cleanup process, even pulling the car off of the truck – on the Facebook Live broadcast, they are ready to belong to something special,” she said.

“Since the store has been involved with NIADA Certified Pre-Owned, we’ve sold 26 vehicles. Nine of those were CPO deals that would have gone somewhere else had we not notified our constituents of our commitment to this program.”

Donald Holt, Edwards’ associate in the finance department, pointed out that only one of those nine early CPO sales was hesitant to extend the warranty protection with an extended service contract.

“And her husband was a mechanic,” he said. “Once they know the program, it is not selling to get them to do the upsell. It’s just filling out the paper work.”

Making sure the public knows about your commitment to their vehicle purchase is important in driving customers from the Internet to your car lot.

Having vehicles marked as certified pre-owned on your dealership website is a good start. A deeper dive is using a CPO program that coordinates with websites such as Carfax or eBay. When you post your CPOs and they show up at the top of the selection criteria because of certification, it allows you to charge into the growing millennial CPO market.

Dealers can also broadcast their commitment to CPO by emphasizing the program in their lot decorations.

“NIADA Certified is actually a full marketing program that allows the dealer to maximize exposure to the public of his certified pre-owned program,” Sims said, including numerous marketing materials to dress the lot for the success of the program.

Corley’s business partner Derrick Middleton said the pole banners provided by the NIADA program “create an atmosphere or excitement and tell the customer we have cars that have been given special consideration.”

And that excitement, combined with a strong CPO program, can give independent dealers a boost in their competition with franchise dealers for market share, said Natalie Suarez, national director of the NIADA program for administrator Warrantech.

“Those dealers who fully commit to a program such as this find that the more they promote the certified pre-owned concept, the easier it is to compete with the local new vehicle franchises for certified buyers,” she said.

“When they are part of the NIADA program and use their online and on-lot methods of marketing their vehicle as certified, dealers see an increase in all traffic – phone, Internet, appointment and walk up.”

Dealers who have been successful in implementing programs such as NIADA’s say it is extremely important to get the information out to your potential customers before they are looking so they know they can find a certified pre-owned vehicle on your lot.

And, they say, it is equally important to continue to broadcast the program’s benefits once the customer is on the lot.

Auction Direct USA is one of the nation’s largest used vehicle operations, with stores in Rochester, N.Y., Raleigh, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla. In 2016, its managing partner, Todd Hoagey, was named NIADA’s CPO Dealer of the Year.

Broadcasting its commitment to NIADA Certified Pre-Owned has been incorporated into the dealership’s sales system.

When customers arrive at Auction Direct they are met by a salesperson who “walks their wall.” The wall shows the story of the store, including how and why Auction Direct adopted its marketing system. And it all starts with the commitment the store makes to the customer through the CPO program.

“Starting the sales process with the certified pre-owned explanation is integral in establishing a trust between us and our customers,” Hoagey said. “It makes it clear up front that this store is special and the customer can feel safe with our process.”

One way to advertise the program is to dress the cars on the lot to identify them as having gone through the 125-point inspection required for NIADA certification. That can be accomplished with windshield banners that are visible from the street, as well as mirror hangtags that remind customers the vehicle has been through a special process and therefore is provided with coverage that most pre-owned vehicles don’t have.

So who saw the antelope jump in the forest?

Almost no one. But through broadcasting the beauty of the event, everyone knows about it.
When you broadcast in all of your media – Internet, newspaper and radio/TV ads, on your cars, in your sales process – you can get that all-important bump in sales.

“Once customers know about this program, why would they shop anywhere else?” Second Chance Auto’s Milan Edwards said.

The key is making sure your potential customers know about the program and your commitment to their ownership experience. That includes consistent messaging and using identifiable logos that flow throughout your advertising, allowing you to be successful by branding yourself as a dealer customers can count on.

For more details about Warrantech feel free to visit: https://warrantech.com/blog/may-2017/spread-the-word/

How To Beat The High Cost Of Appliance Repair

It’s inevitable. No matter how well your home appliances are built, at some point they will reach their life expectancy and stop working. So can you afford to be without yours for long? Do you have a backup plan in place? And, more importantly, do you have enough money saved up to cover the repair or replacement?

According to Home Advisor, the average cost to repair an appliance is $170. But prices can vary greatly once you include such variables as the make, model and age of your appliance, as well as parts, labor and applicable service fees. For more accurate pricing, you can visit Home Advisor’s site to search by location or use the figures listed below as a rough estimate of what you might expect to pay per appliance.

Average Repair Costs

Air Conditioner $200-400
Clothes Dryer $100-400
Dishwasher $100-200
Furnace $100-130
Microwave $75-150
Range/Oven $400-700
Refrigerator $200-400
Washing Machine $120-500
Water Heater $90-110

Now consider your own budget. If you have enough money set aside to cover all of the above, then you’re probably not too concerned. However, a recent survey by GoBankingRates showed that 69% of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. So if you fall in that category and suddenly find yourself without something as important as your refrigerator, the problem can go from bad to worse. There’s the added stress of having to spend your time being forced to go out to eat and the increased frustration of losing even more money due to food spoilage.

So how do you avoid this scenario? “While some maintain consumers should put aside cash for repairs and replacement of essential electronic products or appliances, it is not possible or practical in today’s economy,” says Timothy J. Meenan, Executive Director of the Service Contract Industry Council. “An extended warranty [service plan] can help consumers manage unanticipated, unbudgeted expenses.”

It’s worth noting that just one service call can more than make up the price of an extended service plan. That fact alone makes it worth owning one. But when you consider that an extended service plan also provides you with added peace of mind, immediate assistance and may even cover ancillary damage such as food loss, suddenly it becomes an invaluable, yet inexpensive plan to help you manage the welcomed inevitable.

Want to know more about the benefits of owning an extended service plan? Visit our site or call us at 800.833.8801.

For more details about Warrantech feel free to visit: https://warrantech.com/blog/april-2017/how-to-beat-the-high-cost-of-appliance-repair/

Dealerscope Warranty Roundup: 2017 Goals & Strategies

Sean Stapleton, president & CEO of Warrantech, recently spoke with Dealerscope magazine as part of a discussion on upcoming company initiatives. The following is an excerpt, providing a brief glimpse of what Warrantech has in store for 2017 to help businesses increase their extended service plan offerings and give customers the most value for their money and a worry-free shopping experience. 
Warrantech has developed a revolutionary new customer loyalty program for its partners that is designed to generate both recurring protection plan revenue and long-term customer retention.
The program allows retail partners to offer their customer base customized protection bundles for major appliances, mobile devices and connected living products owned by the customer, regardless of where the product was purchased. Partners have the ability to offer their customers monthly product protection subscriptions designed to enhance the customer’s experience with a full menu of features including 24/7 tech support and seamless repair/replacement solutions.
The program can be customized to provide disappearing deductibles for services or products provided to customers under the plans procured through the participating partners, thereby incentivizing customers to remain loyal to the partner retailer. Moreover, the rich data from the program can be monetized to help deliver targeted and personalized product offerings to customers based on their recent program usage.
Look for the full article in the March 2017 issue of Dealerscope or online at http://bit.ly/2mKB0iJ   
And be sure to keep up with us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn so you can learn more about our innovative products and services as they become available.

Extended-Service Contracts Help Build a Comfort Zone – and Long-Term Relationships – with Customers

The following is an excerpt from an article by Jeff Crider, which appeared in the 2017 Jan./Feb. issue of RVBusiness. The full article can be found at: http://bit.ly/2m9hhac
“The quality of RVs in general has improved, but there are more and more gadgets,” said Joe Suttera, Warrantech’s vice president of specialty products. “From a warranty standpoint, there is certainly a lot more risk than there ever has been when it comes to these units.”
The continued growth of the RV industry in 2017 is good news not only for the nation’s RV manufacturers, aftermarket suppliers and retail dealers, but also for the companies selling extended-service contracts to this emerging wave of RV consumers.
   In fact, the extended-service-contract business is booming, companies told RVBusiness, due to this sustained increase in the sales of new and used towable and motorized RVs.
   Indeed, the industry is currently experiencing its eighth consecutive year of growth, with wholesale shipments of new RVs expected to increase 4.4% in 2017 to 438,000 units, according to projections by Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan’s Consumer Survey Research Center.
   That continuous flow of new- and used-vehicle sales creates huge opportunities for dealers to sell their customers extended-service contracts, the cost of which is typically added to the vehicle loan at the time of purchase.
   Regardless of whether their RV is new or used, consumers want to have peace of mind knowing that unexpected repair costs will be covered when their vehicle’s warranty runs out. While manufacturers provide different types of warranties to cover things that can malfunction in the mechanical and living areas of an RV, warranties only last for specific periods of time. Extended-service contracts have been designed to extend warranty protections for additional periods of time with varying levels of coverage and cost.
   Extended-service contracts are also available to cover things that are not typically covered by factory warranties such as roadside assistance, tire-and-wheel coverage and paint-and-fabric coverage.
   Millennials, in particular, are in tune with the latest innovations in technology and they want it to work.
   Extended-service contracts can cover these items after the warranties expire to give consumers peace of mind with their RV purchases, regardless of whether they have new or used vehicles.
   Bill Gilman, senior vice president of sales for Warrantech, an AmTrust Financial Company based in Bedford, Texas, said there were more “fit and fitness issues” with RVs back in 2007 when the RV industry was struggling through the Great Recession. The downturn forced many RV manufacturers out of business. But while the quality of today’s RVs has significantly improved from 2007, Warrantech and other extended-service contract providers see plenty of potential risks to cover.
   “The quality of RVs in general has improved, but there are more and more gadgets,” said Joe Suttera, Warrantech’s vice president of specialty products. “Now you’re covering 50-inch flat-screen TVs, full walk-in showers. From a warranty standpoint, there is certainly a lot more risk than there ever has been when it comes to these units.”
   As one might expect, companies that provide extended-service contracts closely monitor their claims reports so that they can price their contracts accordingly. They also monitor feedback from RV dealers and periodically either update their extended-service contracts to cover new products or develop entirely new types of extended-service contracts for dealers to sell.
   Extended-service contract companies offer a variety of educational programs and increasingly sophisticated electronic programs to expedite contract sales and claims processing.
   But the time to make the initial pitch to consumers is in the F&I process when they’re purchasing their new or used RVs. That’s when dealers have an opportunity to educate their customers so that they know the differences between warranties and extended-service contracts.
Warrantech Automotive, an AmTrust Group Co.
Bedford, Texas
Product offering: Warrantech markets exclusionary and stated extended-service contracts using the CampersEdge brand name. The company covers motorhomes valued at up to $5000,000 and with up to 100,000 miles. It also covers towable units valued at up to $150,000 and that are up to 15 years old. The company also offers specialty contracts for RV technical assistance; 24/7 roadside assistance; windshield repairs; painting and interior; tire and wheel coverage; as well as key/remote replacement coverage. Warrantech also provides Towbusters coverage with 24-hour emergency towing, roadside assistance, lost key and lockout service, map routing assistance and theft as well as hit-and-run protection. The company also offers guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage.

Is Your Extended Service Plan Program Fully Supported?

Having an extended service plan program that fits your business model is important. But it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Have you considered how your program is supported? Without the proper infrastructure, it might not be as effective as it could be. Making sure your customers are taken care of is as essential as the contents of a well-designed service contract and vital to the overall success of your business.
At Warrantech, we continuously strive to improve the quality of service provided to all customers. We believe that quality has to be the foundation of everything that we do and everything that we represent. To us, customer service is not just a team or a process, it does not have a starting point or an ending point – it is part of the culture in everything we touch.
To bolster this approach, Warrantech employs a dedicated Quality Assurance Department that reports directly to our Call Center Director, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and effectively managing the workforce to optimize service delivery. This department serves as the foundation for our call center as they monitor all personnel on a daily basis and provide performance feedback on:
• Professionalism
• Customer interaction
• Procedural adherence
• Claims adjudication
• System usage
• System documentation
• Call lengths
We also make sure that customer service is readily available. Customers can file claims through a dedicated toll-free phone number, email, web chat or Claims360, our proprietary online platform. We even support mail and faxed claims as well.
To handle escalated customer issues and complaints, we have created a Presidential Team. This team, which is located within the call center, maintains a close relationship with each of our partners, the Account Manager(s) and executive teams. Their task is to work with a client in the event of an escalation to ensure the best possible service. This team receives referrals from the call center associates, direct from our clients, from executive escalations and from all forms of social media.
Any customer who seeks to speak to a supervisor or is contacting us for the same issue on more than one occasion is immediately transferred to the Presidential Team. These associates are equipped with advanced customer service training and problem resolution and have the full power and authority to make the appropriate decision by working with the client to ensure that together we are achieving customer satisfaction. The Presidential Team member owns the service experience through completion and documents every aspect of the resolution.
The information that is recorded by the Presidential Team is reviewed monthly by call center management and Warrantech executive management, as well as the training department to identify process and procedure improvements needed to avoid future escalations. Supervisors use the feedback from the Presidential Team in their weekly meetings and individual coaching sessions with their associates. This approach creates a customer who is not only satisfied with the outcome of the transaction, but a customer who walks away from the experience with a positive outlook on the service contract, Warrantech and, most importantly, our clients.
Warrantech Support Process At A Glance
  • Every customer contact is recorded and stored
  • Appropriate staffing levels are maintained and based on program, time, date and SLAs
  • Unique telephone numbers and websites are utilized for each client
  • IVR is used to appropriately route calls based on program, contact type, etc.
  • IVR provides contact center associates with customer information prior to transfer
  • OEM and/or partner calls can be immediately routed to the appropriate entity
  • All customer contacts are monitored in real time to ensure that all service-level agreements are met

 

Visit warrantech.com or give us a call at 800.833.8801 to learn more about how we can support your business.

Sym-Tech Dealer Services & AMT Warranty, a Subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Announce Partnership that Provides the Canadian Market with Enhanced Services and Product Offerings

Sym‐Tech Dealer Services (the “Company” or “Sym‐Tech”) announced today that AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFSI), through its subsidiary AMT Warranty, has partnered with Sym‐Tech through a minority investment in the Company.

“We are very pleased that AMT Warranty chose to partner with Sym‐Tech,” said Brad Wells, CEO of Sym‐Tech Dealer Services. “AMT Warranty’s automotive expertise as well as their underwriting, OEM, insurance and reinsurance knowledge and experience will allow for an expanded offering of F&I products and services for clients in Canada.”

Sym‐Tech drives improved business office performance. A full suite of F&I products, industry‐proven training and in‐dealership development, as well as F&I menu and proprietary technology, combine to drive dealer performance and profitability.

Sym‐Tech’s 40 year history of serving Canadian dealers, combined with AMT Warranty’s extensive insurance services and solid financial backing, create a unique partnership that provides Canadian OEMs, auto dealers and automotive dealer groups with one of the most comprehensive offerings available. The full suite of solutions includes:

• A complete line of F&I products and programs
• Training and in‐dealership development
• Proprietary F&I technology
• Expertise in underwriting, actuary, insurance and re‐insurance services

“AMT Warranty has experienced tremendous success in the United States and we look forward to extending our success to the Canadian marketplace through a long‐term relationship with Sym‐Tech,” said Sean Stapleton, President and CEO of AMT Warranty. “Sym‐Tech has a solid reputation, one of the best F&I software platforms in the industry, extensive knowledge of the market and significant experience. Importantly, Sym‐Tech’s vision, values and strengths are strongly aligned with AmTrust.”

About AMT Warranty

AMT Warranty Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFSI), provides finance and insurance products to automobile, RV/trailer, marine and powersports retailers, manufacturers and financial institutions. AMT Warranty offers innovative F&I products, program development and customer support. With over 25 million active contracts, AMT Warranty has a reputation for providing highly scalable and financially successful programs. By incorporating extensive industry knowledge, customized program options and a customer centric approach to service, AMT Warranty has become the leading provider of F&I products in the aftermarket industry.

About Sym‐Tech Dealer Services Inc.

Founded in 1971, Sym‐Tech Dealer Services Inc. is a leading Canadian F&I provider to the retail automotive industry. Sym‐Tech is a performance‐driven company with the mandate to help improve business office performance. Sym‐Tech offers F&I products, industry‐proven training and in‐dealership development, as well as F&I menu and a proprietary software platform (d.a.v.e®) which drive dealer performance and profitability. For more information contact: Samantha Sampson, Sym‐Tech Dealer Services 905.889.5390, ext. 2930 or samantha.sampson@sym‐tech.ca or visit http://www.symtech.ca.

To know more about Warrantech and services feel free to visit  –

Article Source – https://warrantech.com/blog/september-2015/sym-tech-dealer-services-amt-warranty,-a-subsidi/