Accommodate and influence . . . don’t lend

The entire auto shopping experience can be very stressful for your members. With so many expensive options available, members can be overwhelmed with the experience.  They want to make the right decisions when it comes to what, where, and how they buy.

The average car shopper will spend 108 days in the market for a vehicle before purchase (Cox Automotive, January 2018). During this time, they are highly susceptible to influence through education and personalized accommodation.  Credit unions are uniquely positioned to make this process much easier for members by working closely with them through the entire purchasing process. Your credit union can guide auto-shopping members to make informed and logical decisions that result in greater value.

This approach can be considered radical to traditional credit unions, in part because it doesn’t involve lending or rate promotion. Although auto loans are considered the bread and butter of a credit union portfolio, rate and financing are only one part of your members’ car purchase process, and usually one that your members are least enthusiastic about. It’s no secret that credit unions typically offer the best interest rate on an auto loan, but for many members, that is not enough.

Your credit union has the ability to influence car shopping members with more than rate. Engage your members by accommodating them at every step of the car purchase process. These members demand more from the organizations with whom they do business, therefore your credit union must strive to accommodate them.

Provide for the member’s needs and act as a guide through the car purchase process. What kind of car is best? Where can I find the closest trusted dealership? Is this a good deal? This guidance goes beyond just promoting auto loan rates, it solidifies the relationship with the member and allows your credit union to remain top of mind. Educating your membership helps to build trust while steering them in the right direction.

Anything that the credit union can do to make the process less stressful for the member will be appreciated and will increase the likelihood of the member returning, again and again. That member is also more likely to consider other products of the credit union and to recommend your credit union to others.

Credit unions are uniquely positioned as the best alternative for potential car buyers; an advantage that can be used to grow business overall.

Robert O'Hara

Robert O'Hara

Robert O’Hara, vice president of strategic alliances at GrooveCar, is a veteran of the credit union industry having worked as director of lending and operations at a Long Island ... Web: Details