GM Financial credits enhanced end-of-lease procedures for its 79% lease retention rates, Bob Beatty, executive vice president of customer experience, told Auto Finance News.
At the beginning of this year, GM Financial brought the management of the end-of lease experience, which used to be handled by a third-party vendor, in-house. The captive dedicated a team that has grown to more than 100 people, from 20 employees in January. “They are there specifically and exclusively to service the end-of-term customer, so they’re specially trained in all things end-of-term,” he explained.
On the dealer front, Beatty said the company is allocating more resources to training sales reps and dealers directly, to handle the more than 500,000 vehicles coming off-lease in GM Financial’s portfolio. “It really hit its stride this year, and a lot of dealers had some end-of-terms, but this year they’re really peaking out so we’ve been dedicating a lot of time to make sure they’re really ready and able to handle the end-of-term customer,” he said.
The majority of that training zeroes in on communication, Beatty noted. “When I read customer surveys where a customer expresses any dissatisfaction in their end-of-term experience, it invariably goes back to communication,” he said. “They didn’t have all the info they needed. That’s really the crux of it.”
Other key messages covered in training include what to expect in the off-lease experience, what excess wear-and-tear looks like, and ensuring reps are well-informed on the new-car lineup.
Additionally, Beatty said GM Financial will push information of those customers coming off-lease to dealers through a leads pipeline, so the dealers can put together personalized offers.
According to research from IHS Markit, GM Financial’s lease retention rates hit 79% for 2018. Meanwhile, vehicle owners who financed their original purchase with GM Financial and returned to the market in 2018 “remained loyal” to GM at a rate of 68%, according to IHS.