You probably don’t want to think about it, but your happy and smiling customer who has just left your showroom in their shiny new car could well have an accident in it.
The statistics say it’s very likely and could range from a 5mph shunt in the local Tesco car park to, worse, a high-speed road traffic accident.
But dealers should be thinking about such scenarios. By employing the services of an accident management company, dealers can expect increased revenue and profits. More importantly, though, if they have been looked after well, that customer could return to you for another car in the future.
However, there are many accident management companies out there, so who should you choose?
With a presentation entitled ‘Where are our customers these days?’, Winn Assist Automotive’s Ron Evans-Brookes and Julie Muter told Car Dealer Profit Clinic-goers how they should be picking the right accident management firm for them and their customers.
‘Many dealers have an accident management system in place. All we ask is that dealers consider us next as we can offer something that is unique,’ said Muter. ‘Winn Assist Automotive can help increase revenue potential and profit making – but it’s not all about this. We can improve customer retention – and that’s something that increases revenue and profits.
‘You need commitment and belief in any business decision you take, so if you take away one business initiative or idea with you today it is that you should consider us and the services we can provide.’
Evans-Brookes added: ‘As much as we may loathe customers from time to time, the one single fact remains that whether we love or hate them, dealers have no future business to look forward to without them. But when it comes to customer retention, who really is in control? Is it the manufacturer? Do you have a manufacturer- backed scheme? All manufacturers use a third party business, but are your customers happy? Or is the insurer in control?
‘Believe it or not but more than 50 per cent of motor insurance is controlled by five insurers out of a total of 49 known underwriters. It’s no wonder the average labour rate still sits at a staggering £29.63 as at the end of July 2011. I say staggering because in December 2003 it was £24.15. In just five years it has moved just £5.48. With this in mind, it is little wonder that insurers have tended to ignore traditional dealer bodyshops.’
By not making sure that they are looking after their customers, dealers cannot be sure that customers will turn to them after an accident, said the duo. ‘We all know that accidents can be a distressing time and we shouldn’t be highlighting this,’ said Evans-Brookes. ‘But when is the right time? It’s really reassuring for a customer to know that they can depend on a dealer should that circumstance arise. they are your customer after all. Do you not want to try and keep them?’
This is how an accident management company can help. In the event of an accident, customers can be directed to the dealership to get their car repaired. ‘But a bad experience with an accident management company can both put your customer off you, and you off other accident management firms,’ added Muter. ‘Winn Assist Automotive is different. We are a specialist road traffic accident firm and are a one-stop shop for dealers’ customers.’
Winn Assist Automotive gives dealers their own white-label service with a unique telephone number. It’s branded as the dealer’s giving added value to the customer experience, and when that customer has an accident, they are steered into the dealer’s own bodyshop thereby being in control of their own customer. The accident is claimed on the other driver’s insurance – meaning no increased premiums or excesses to pay – and they are given a like-for-like vehicle.
Winn Assist Automotive also covers diminution. On vehicles under three years old which have been involved in a heavy accident, Winn will pay the perceived depreciation of that vehicle to the customer. That means more cash in their pocket and, because the service is branded as the dealer’s own and they have had a good experience, they will be confident in purchasing another car from the dealer. They also provide dealers with all the stationery they need and encourages them to brand it as their own and hand over to customers when they pick up their new car.