The most successful auto servicers know the welcome call is more than just a formality to perform when a new account comes on board. It is the first opportunity to delight and engage borrowers with your brand, capture and share information, and promote the services you provide. For a typical borrower, it is the start of a 36- to 68-month relationship which — if successful — will hopefully be renewed on another vehicle.
Leave a Positive First Impression
54% of consumers said customer service was a top factor when choosing a lender,* behind the best available interest rate and low fees. After they drive off the lot and return home to add another monthly bill to their budget, borrowers are sure to appreciate the effort and personalization made in those initial days to introduce them to the services your brand provides. Making an upfront personal connection with borrowers also ensures the integrity of the sale is carried through and is an opportunity to resolve any lingering grievances a dissatisfied customer may have.
Validate or Capture Information
As a servicer, the welcome call is a great time to verify your customer’s data necessary for successful account management. Does the borrower prefer to be contacted by phone? Text? Email? Re-validation of this information upfront, along with the borrowers contact information and consent ensures solid data integrity and the right communication channel is utilized from the onset. Additionally, the welcome call is a way for servicers to detect fraud early on by reviewing key account and customer information during this interaction.
For subprime lenders, the welcome call can be a meaningful strategy to mitigate risk by verifying the location of the vehicle and other key data that can mitigate the impact of future defaults. Experian reported 60-day delinquency on the rise in the first quarter, and those with the poorest credit ratings still owe more than $213 billion on the vehicles they’re driving which means it’s increasingly critical to capture key data upfront.
Promote Your Services
During the welcome call, take the time to share the variety of channels that make it easier for borrowers to engage with you and their account. Help them enroll for and activate their online account, and present the benefits of accessing it regularly. Let them know its mobile friendly. Let them know about the ease of making a payment. Are they aware of the walk-in payment locations available to them or that they can set up recurring payments? With just a few minutes, servicers can avoid late payments and reduce servicing costs when borrowers are knowledgeable of the methods available to them.
Beyond payments, provide them with a key contact available for support should they need assistance down the line. If they are a lessee, let them know you will be reaching out six to 12 months before the end of the term to review and discuss their options.
A warm welcome can go a long way for both servicers and borrowers. It opens up the lines of communication, sets the standards for the experience they can expect and increases the loyalty to your brand. Ultimately, it establishes the personalization and protection your brand needs moving forward.