GWC Warranty's 3 latest efforts to help independent stores

GWC Warranty executives visit with dealer clients during this year's National Independent Automobile Dealers Association National Convention in June in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy of NIADA)

GWC Warranty chief executive officer and president Rob Glander insisted the company’s bread-and-butter customers are dealer clients who are those small- to medium-sized independent dealerships that might not move as much metal as the big franchised stores but still want to be successful.

So the vehicle service contract provider has been on a quest this year in particular being that its GWC’s 20th anniversary to give these operators all the tools necessary to make presentations, enhance customer relations and leverage technology.

“Basically, we want to reinforce our brand messaging that GWC is the best in class used vehicle service contract provider, and we do it by trying to help dealers sell more cars,” Glander told SubPrime Auto Finance News during a phone conversation this summer. “We do it by giving them tools, better service, better products, better training and technology.

“This is a way of putting our money where our mouth is,” Glander continued. “We’re committed to giving them technology that’s going to make them more efficient regardless of how comfortable they are with it. It also helps them project a much more progressive image to their customers.

“New-car dealers sell an awful lot of used vehicles as well. We want our standalone independent dealers to be able to play with the same sort of confidence and professionalism that a new-car dealer has when they’re selling these vehicles. It levels the playing field,” Glander went on to say.

It’s not uncommon for salespeople at those franchised stores to be circling the showroom with an iPad in hand ready to help customers. This summer, GWC rolled out its own app for tablets so independents can do the same thing.

Rob Glander

The company highlighted the GWC App features:

— Educational video library

— Interactive coverage selection tool

— Real-time, reactive virtual shopping cart

— Mobile rating engine with VIN scanner to create a fast, easy, user-guided experience for selling vehicle service contracts

“With any technology there are going to be early adopters who are all over things. We do encounter dealers that have tablets in their stores and they’re trying to make use of them,” Glander said. “But we do business with an awful lot of small and medium-sized dealerships across the U.S. They don’t get the training and resources from people coming into their dealerships all the time and offering the most up-to-date tools and technology.

"They’re oftentimes out there on islands by themselves. With the pace of change being what it is, these people have to figure out what they’re going to embrace and have to do it with cost in mind, too,” he added.

GWC rolled out the iPad app ahead of this year’s National Independent Automobile Dealers Association annual convention so company representative could be armed with the technology not only at the NIADA event but also when varios state associations have their gatherings, too.

“We’ve been tablet users for a long time. We’re big Apple people in here,” Glander said. “We said there’s got to be a way to get this technology out there for our dealers. We knew Apple will sell 250 million iPads so you know they’re out there. So how do you play in there? How do you get this in front of dealers in a way that makes it useful for them?”

After brainstorming for several months, GWC generated its app concept and hired a service provider to build the tool with the final step in the process taking about six weeks.

Those four primary app features are coupled with capabilities such as the customers being able to see exactly what level of VSC would do to their monthly payment as well as an eContracting portal so the whole delievery can be completed in a paperless process.

“It makes it very user friendly. It helps the dealer be more efficient and progressive regardless of their comfort level with the technology,” Glander said.

New Benefits for Elite and WealthBuilder Dealers

Along with this summer’s app rollout, GWC Warranty also introduced two new value-added benefits exclusively for its Elite and WealthBuilder Dealers — GWC Virtual Training and Covideo.

GWC’s new Virtual Training platform is an interactive online video training tool that is designed to offer helpful content for every employee in a dealership. Available content topics include:

—F&I processes
—Sales strategies
—GWC product information and more.

Ideal for new employee ramp-up and legacy employee refresher courses, the company also highlighted GWC Virtual Training also boasts testing and reporting functions to maximize retention and track progress. This value-added tool is being offered free of charge to both Elite and WealthBuilder dealers.

Covideo is a customized, branded video email marketing service proven to increase internet response rates by 77 percent, showroom shows by 27 percent, customer satisfaction by 10 percent and sales by 7 percent. Glander pointed out that Covideo is easy to use on any computer or mobile device and is useful for lead follow up, vehicle walk-arounds, thank you videos for buyers and more.

GWC is sharing the cost of Covideo with Elite and WealthBuilder dealers to offer the service at a discounted rate – a price exclusive only to GWC Elite and WealthBuilder dealers.

“At GWC, we help dealers sell more cars by providing products, service, technology and training to help build upon their success,” Glander said.

“In Virtual Training, we are providing a training platform that levels the playing field for many independent dealers competing with larger stores,” he continued. “With Covideo, we are offering a high-tech tool aimed at helping dealers project a more modern, progressive image to current and potential customers.”

To sign up for either of these benefits, Glander explained that GWC Elite and WealthBuilder dealers simply need to contact their GWC dealer consultant.

Online Dealer Portal Celebrates First Anniversary

While the company as a whole turns 20, GWC Warranty also had another milestone this summer as it hit the one-year anniversary of its online Dealer Portal

In one year, the GWC Warranty Dealer Portal received more than 45,000 vehicle service contract submissions, evolving from an online tool for dealers to rate and submit contracts electronically to a comprehensive Web-based platform used by more than 4,000 dealerships nationwide.

With 220,000 logins in the first year alone, Glander noted that dealers have found value in the Dealer Portal’s numerous tools and resources by implementing its flexible functionality into their business’ everyday processes.

With a new release of the Dealer Portal, its list of features now includes:

—Prioritized, rapid-response online claims adjudication for Elite and WealthBuilder Dealers

—Free access to GWC’s Virtual Training Platform: an interactive, user-friendly training resource available exclusively to Elite and WealthBuilder Dealers

—An educational video library with streaming, on-demand content designed to aid in selling a VSC

—Real-time, fully historical “contracts and applications” reporting complete with claims summaries for every contract ever submitted

—A virtual content hub where dealers can download electronic product brochures, detailed component coverage information, cost of repairs statistics and more

—Instant access to frequently used forms and documents, such as a digital sales waiver and user guides for various sales like the GWC Dealer App for iPads

—A comprehensive, up-to-the-minute snapshot of past contracts and rating sessions

—The lead-generating LogoBuilder application that quickly and seamlessly brands dealership inventory with extended protection to help build confidence earlier in the sales process