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Creating Value with a Lifetime Warranty

Creating Value with a Lifetime Warranty

by Chuck Chase and Matt Maish

Lifetime warranty programs are an ever-popular offering in the automotive industry. As the industry continues to change, dealers are looking for an edge to differentiate themselves within their market. Current market statistics show that 54% of customers come to a dealership intending to buy but never do, advertising cost per new car is up to $629 and climbing, retail net profit per new vehicle sold in 2017 was $421 and finally, only 30% of vehicles are serviced at an auto dealership today.  

Warranty Forever® is a market differentiating, lifetime warranty program that allows dealers to build value and retain customers with the following advantages:  

Creates Value with a Lifetime Brand:

Consumers will pay for what makes you different or better. The exclusive territories included with Warranty Forever® create a distinct market advantage. This exclusivity allows dealers to build equity through consistent lifetime warranty branding utilized throughout the sales process. In other words, it’s something designed to enhance rather than compete with everything currently in place.

Steps to creating value with a lifetime brand:

  1. Partner with a lifetime brand that provides an exclusive territory preventing competing stores from selling the same value.
  2. Use the lifetime brand in all dealership advertising campaigns to build brand equity.
  3. Leverage the power of social media to interact and draw customers to the dealership through use of the lifetime brand.
  4. Create a program that doesn’t disrupt the environment currently in place inside a prospective new dealership. In other words, create something that isn’t designed to compete with what is in place, but rather, to enhance it.
Creates a Unique Customer Experience:

How do you create a unique customer experience using a lifetime warranty brand? Don’t take our word for it, “Today more than ever the customer experience matters,” says Jim Roche Sr. VP Cox Automotive. “Uber. Amazon. Dollar Shave Club. Open Table. All of these fantastic experiences we have as consumers shape what we expect to happen inside of automotive dealerships.” With such a competitive landscape, it’s important that dealerships differentiate themselves in order to break the tie between themselves and their competition.

Steps to creating a unique customer experience:

  1. Interact with customers by leveraging the lifetime brand from the moment they reach out to you digitally or in person.
  2. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. With such a competitive landscape, what do you currently have in place to break the tie between yourself and your competition? If all things are equal, but one dealer provides the customer with the peace of mind of knowing their most expensive components will be covered for as long as they own the vehicle, and at no cost to the customer no less, which vehicle would you buy?
  3. Teach, implement and monitor a sales process within the service department. The key is holding the team accountable to utilizing it. Remember 85% of new car buyers state their experience with the service department has influenced their likelihood of purchasing another vehicle from that dealership.
  4. Make it fun. People want to be part of the success. Share your dealership successes with customers. For instance: a Warranty Forever® dealership celebrates a customer’s fifth service visit by ringing a large bell and the entire dealership would stop what they were doing, stand up, and start clapping! All of them!
Builds Future Sales Pipeline by focusing on Service Retention:

85% of new car buyers state their experience with the service department has influenced their likelihood of purchasing another vehicle from that dealership. NADA reports customers are 76% more likely to purchase another vehicle from their original selling dealer if they utilize that dealer’s service department for ALL their recommended maintenance. Warranty Forever® is a lifetime program designed to drive the customer back to their selling dealer for all service and maintenance work. Any work performed outside of the selling dealer must be pre-authorized by contacting the program administrator prior to the work being performed. When customers communicate their intent to service their vehicle outside of the selling dealership, our pre-authorization team converts 40% of those customers back to the selling dealer. What would each of those customers be worth over their lifetime if the average bill per service visit was $178? On average, Auto Warranty Forever® dealerships have seen a 70% increase in customer pay repair orders, a 40% increase in warranty pay repair orders and a net return of $1,675 per unit sold. But that’s just the start…

Steps for focusing on Service Retention:

  1. Create a 1st service appointment process, which allows you to spend time and effort with each new customer immediately after they purchase a vehicle. This will show them where to park, what door to walk in, and to whom they should give their keys.
  2. Incentivize your customer to return to your dealership to service with your facility. Price match, provide a free car wash, provide loaners…but whatever you do, make sure the customer knows what you do differently from the quick lube shop down the street.
  3. Make sure you can control the claims if the customer is in your area, so we don’t lose the brand equity and customer experience perception created before the claim.

The industry remains focused on front end sales, but consider this:  If there are 17 million new cars being sold in the United States over the course of a year, but 320 million service tickets being written, where is the real opportunity?  Warranty Forever® is a program that impacts the entire dealership, from sales, through F&I and then ultimately service. This process is bolstered through account management and training by Warranty Forever® Program Managers. These industry professionals ensure that dealership personnel are proficient in the sales processes and best practices required to make the program a success.

Learn more about Warranty Forever® by visiting the official website.

The New Service Contract Alternative


New vehicles are more likely to resemble a rolling computer lab, in contrast to the utilitarian transportation of yesteryear.  As technology continues to advance, with it comes numerous amenities available to today’s car buying consumer. Regardless of the vehicle type, trucks, crossovers or cars, in both basic economy and luxury form, these convenience features are offered as optional or standard equipment. Many of these options are so new, they were not even contemplated in mechanical breakdown coverage a few short years ago. 

The addition of features like back-up cameras, proximity cruise control, lane departure warnings, to name a few, coupled with vehicles’ drivetrain components being built better than ever, can potentially shift the appeal of full exclusionary service contracts. Today’s buyers don’t necessarily want to purchase a full exclusionary service contract, but also don’t want to forfeit the opportunity to cover the technology that makes their daily driving experience more pleasurable. 

Similar to our society’s dependency on our smart phones, drivers have become increasingly dependent on the recent vehicle advancements. If these advancements should fail, or at minimum not function fully, it may result in diminished driver confidence. However, the failure of the feature does not always correlate to reduced mechanical operation of the vehicle.

Extreme Tech, a stated component vehicle service contract offered by National Automotive Experts, has been developed to cover a vehicle’s convenience features, including Bluetooth, back-up camera, proximity cruise control, park assist system, and more, has proven to be appealing to consumers, F&I producers, and dealers. 

CONSUMER BENEFIT: Today’s buyers resonate with tech-speak, more so than mechanical speak.  Consumers of newer vehicles can relate to not having their Bluetooth working properly more so than their transmission failing.  The thought of parallel parking without technology to assist is more alarming to a buyer then their alternator failing.  Also, the repairs (parts and labor) of these new features can add up quickly. Coverage provided by a service contract for these features can prove beneficial, alleviating the potential stress of having to come up with thousands of dollars for unanticipated repairs to these technology-based components. 

F&I PRODUCER BENEFIT: Previously, when a consumer declined an exclusionary service contract, producers were left to step-down to a drivetrain only VSC or drop the service contract all-together.  Now, producers can move to a second or third option on the menu, and still include a value-based VSC to the consumer.  This will add to the overall increase in VSC penetration and PVR to the producer and the department. 

DEALER BENEFIT:  Since an F&I producer can step a customer down from an exclusionary contract into Extreme Tech, the dealership will be able to hold more gross than if no VSC was sold at all. Statistics show customers who purchase VSC’s are more likely to return to their selling dealer for the all-important service work, which greatly increases the likelihood of them buying their next vehicle from the selling dealer – proving to be a win-win for the consumer, producer AND dealer. 

Join Us at the National Career Fair!

National Automotive Experts/NWAN will be in attendance at the National Career Fair!

Time: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 – 11:00 am -2:00 pm

Venue: Double Tree by Hilton: Cleveland-Independence 6200 Quarry Lane, Independence, Ohio 44131

We are looking for positive, customer-focused individuals who are detail-oriented and have proven problem-solving skills. We take pride in working with a sense of urgency while building relationships that consist of an ethical foundation. We reward team members who work towards providing exceptional service levels. Will you be the next NAE Star?

We are looking for talented indiviuals for:

Administrative Support
Business Processing
Client Relations
Human Resources
Information Technology
Shipping & Production
Software Development

We strive to hire people that believe serving our clients each and every day is the top priority, while priding ourselves in developing exemplary products that are built to perform.

Why should you be interested in NAE?

One of our Hiring Specialists will be available to discuss opportunities to join our great team. See you at the Career Fair!

Please take a moment to preview our open career opportunities.



NorthCoast 99 Logo with ERC Purple

Cleveland, Ohio, August 22, 2018 – National Automotive Experts (NAE/NWAN) is proud to be recognized by ERC as one of Northeast Ohio’s 99 best places to work! This is the second year in a row that NAE/NWAN has received the NorthCoast 99 award. The award focuses on policies and practices related to the attraction and retention of top performers, as well as data collected from anonymous employee surveys.

“We are deliberate in our focus to engage and challenge our associates to grow themselves. We believe that their growth will allow us to continue to expand our organization and create an unforgettable experience for our clients,” said Kelly Price, CEO of NAE/NWAN. “My leadership team and I are honored to be recognized for these efforts for the second year in a row. I am reminded daily, that none of this would be possible without the great support team that makes our company what it is today.”

As an award recipient, Mrs. Price and her team will attend the 20th annual NorthCoast 99 awards program on September 18, 2018 at Hilton Cleveland Downtown. The event recognizes all 99 award-winning organizations through a night of entertainment, internationally-known keynote speakers, and inspiring stories of great workplaces. This invitation-only event draws nearly 1,000 business leaders from around Northeast Ohio. Attendees range from CEO’s of the region’s leading organizations to business and HR leaders from each winning organization.

“We’re extremely honored to recognize the 2018 NorthCoast 99 winners. These organizations have earned the right to call themselves a great workplace by their dedication to attracting, supporting, retaining, and motivating their Top Performers. ERC developed the NorthCoast 99 program with the hopes of inspiring local leaders to promote the great workplace movement,” comments Kelly Keefe, President of ERC.

NorthCoast 99 is an annual recognition program that honors 99 great workplaces for top talent in Northeast Ohio. The program is presented by ERC. ERC helps organizations create great workplaces by providing HR resources, training, and consulting services. Sponsors of the NorthCoast 99 program include: Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, CareerCurve, Cleveland Magazine, Corporate Screening, ERChealth, Gino’s Awards, iHeart Media, Mark Wayner Photography and Videography, Meyers, Roman, Friedburg, & Lewis, Oswald Companies, Staffing Solutions Enterprises, and Ultimate Software.