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"Keeping" the Customer Relationship

In the previous edition of this series, the importance of “keeping” the customer relationship positive and paying was noted as one of THREE Keys to success in auto finance.

While this series is designed to address the THIRD Key to success; namely, “Recovery” and recovery strategies, a little more about “keeping” customers is worth noting.

Most everyone “claims” to know how to keep a customer, but too few companies have a consistent process for ensuring that important “key” reality. Such an effective policy can only be set at the top executive level.

Everyone wants better (and verified) application information but in the competitive frenzy to take the contract from the dealer, too much is overlooked; too little and unverified information. How regularly do you contact the customer AFTER the deal is done and possession has been delivered? Not to sell more product or service but to maintain a strong repoire with the customer.

When employment goes awry and/or payments become irregular and increasingly late, what kind of contract accommodations are being OFFERED? Do you offer extensions, short term contract payment reductions, contract transfers or reassignments (with or without recourse against the original customer) or, yes, even a short forbearance?

Though hard to pull the statistics, customers who have a good relationship with their lending company will ask for that company again. It comes from knowing the finance company will work with you when times are tough, not just when they are good.

There are many articles about building and retaining customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is the result of consistently positive emotional experience, physical attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, which includes the product or services.

So how important is a car to the average person? Some believe it is the most significant purchase an average American will make in his lifetime (home ownership aside). Most Americans attach a great deal of significance to their auto or truck ownership. Americans are emotionally attached to their car. Indeed, too often, that vehicle is the singular issue in contested divorces throughout America; second only to children and pets (guess which one).

Point being, a company that goes out of its way to help its customer keep his/her dream car or truck will likely gain the loyalty of that customer and reap future benefits as that customer matures (and, hopefully, accumulates wealth!)

But then, again, you already know this. So what exactly are you doing about it?

COMING NEXT: “Recovery & Recovery Strategies…Why?” the THIRD KEY to success

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