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Dealers Embrace Automated Safety Recall Technology to Generate More Revenue

Automation increases profits while saving staff time and improving compliance.

If you are anything like most dealers, your major business interests are to make/save money while providing excellent products and services to your customers. 

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As the pandemic swept across the country last year, it had an immediate impact on the making/saving money side of the equation. Dealers everywhere were scratching their heads and asking, “Where can I make money now?”

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One surefire strategy? Increase your safety recall service revenue. With more than 20% of vehicles on the road having open safety recalls, there’s “money in the VINs.” Your customers’ VINs hold significant value for generating additional warranty reimbursement.

Dealers can increase revenue while improving vehicle safety for their customers.

Several dealers we talked with have turned to automating the recall-identification process — and it’s paying off.

Imagine generating an additional $200,000 next month. And then more than $20,000 each week, thereafter. This is what the average AutoAp client has seen — ranging from $45,000 to more than $670,000 initially and $6,000 to $88,000 weekly thereafter, depending on the size of the dealership, dealership group and the number of vehicles they have sold.

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By setting up a process and automating it, we can learn about customers’ vehicle recalls — often before they receive a mailer from their manufacturer!

We talked to three dealerships in two states with 15 stores to learn how they made up for lost revenue by proactively reaching out to their customers to repair safety recalls.

How do they do it?

“Although we have always been a good community member and reached out to customers to get their recalls repaired, with sales revenue at reduced levels and recalls still being published nearly every day, we saw the chance to automate our manual process to identify customers with open safety recalls,” Pat Davis, fixed operations director at Coughlin Automotive Group in Ohio, said. “This isn’t a ‘one and done’ approach. By setting up a process and automating it, we can learn about customers’ vehicle recalls — often before they receive a mailer from their manufacturer! Automation is the key here. Since we automated, we’ve identified a couple thousand recalls as a result!”

Mitchel Bone, dealer principal at Wilson County Motors in Tennessee, said, “This has been a real lifeline. With receipts down significantly, we automatically receive a weekly report that provides our customers’ vehicles that are affected by a newly issued safety recall, so we can pick it up and get it repaired. With an average of $343 in warranty reimbursement and additional customer pay services, this has been a great tool for customer outreach. We’re not trying to sell them anything; we’re trying to help them. And, we’re making money at no expense to the customer. Our CSI improves and we have another chance to make a customer for life.”

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“I don’t know why any dealership would not automate this process,” Tim Copenhaver, dealer principal at Champion Chevrolet, also in Tennessee, said. “We have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential revenue, and our customers appreciate that we are being proactive and taking care of a safety issue without them having to leave their home. Besides, the ROI has been tremendous! With some customer-pay, this has been fantastic.”

The things they all have in common? 

1. They care about their customers and their safety.

2. They are proactively identifying open recalls, reaching out to customers who have vehicles with open safety recalls, picking up and repairing vehicles, and delivering them back to customers. 

3. They leverage technology to automate the recall-finding process to get customers back into the dealership – often before they are notified (via mail!) by the OEMs. Even better, customers usually have services they’ve been postponing, so there’s a double-positive.

4. They selected AutoAp, Inc. — the leading vehicle safety-recall, monitoring, business intelligence and reporting company — to automate this process for them and save them considerable time and money. 

“While there were several companies purporting to provide quality safety recall services, AutoAp, Inc. was the only one that we trusted to reliably check every vehicle every day without fail,” Bone said. “They often tell us about affected vehicles before our OEMs do.”

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“Our goal is to help our dealer clients generate additional revenue they normally wouldn’t see with their manual methods while reducing their liability,” Mark Paul, AutoAp founder and CEO, said. “Think of it like, ‘Lower Liability = Increased Revenue’ and ‘Manual Processes = Lower Profits.’ Because safety recalls are published almost every day, there seems to be an unending supply of warranty reimbursement revenue that just shows up week after week. Unfortunately, because errors and delays are rampant in safety recall information, finding missed recalls is more important than ever.” 

With dealership team members already spread thin, using them to manually hunt for open recalls costs real money. Think about it — if an employee spends just a couple of hours a day searching, a quarter of their salary goes to tracking down vehicles to repair. How much is that setting you back? And are they catching all of them?

Automating the recall-identifying process is a far more efficient and cost-effective use of resources.

After implementing the necessary processes and their technology to handle recalls — and building safety into their cultures— dealers show an 83% reduction in open rates in inventory for best-practice dealers. This translates into thousands of profit dollars each month. 

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Closing out “found” recalls not only increases revenue, but it also reduces liability and just makes good business sense. 

And, automation increases profitability.

For more information, visit http://autoap.com, http://coughlincars.com, http://wilsoncountymotors.com and http://championjc.com.


To help dealers increase revenue while decreasing liability, in 2019, Mark Paul, founder and CEO of AutoAp, published the book Safety Recalls: Think You’re Covered? – Mitigate Your Liability and Increase Profitability, a reference guide and user’s manual to help auto retailers unlock these hidden profits through automated safety recall management. 

Additionally, the company recently launched a new service so dealers can assess their own safety recall management performance. By taking just a couple minutes to respond to a survey, they can obtain specific and actionable recommendations to help them further increase revenue and find more vehicles with open safety recalls. (Readers of this article can obtain their assessment at no cost by using the code “AutoSuccess2021” at http://www.autoap.com/assessment.)

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