Customer satisfaction steps up a gear for Chorley Group with FullCover

Cooper Solutions’ short-term insurance solution and licence checking simplifies vehicle handovers and delivers extra income stream

Award winning Chorley Group, operating six key dealerships and four franchises across the North-West of England, has chosen FullCover from Cooper Solutions as its preferred fleet management system and short-term insurance provider.

The business initially adopted FullCover at Chorley Nissan, the UK’s largest volume, single Nissan dealership, but quickly established that its ability to streamline the car handover process for its customers, and the additional income revenue it delivers through collision damage waiver (CDW), would an invaluable addition to the Group as a whole.  The system has now been rolled out to encompass its dealerships across Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Operating five of the world’s largest motor franchises incorporating Nissan, Hyundai, Kia and MG Motors, the Chorley Group’s fleet management task is potentially complex.  However, FullCover has enabled the Chorley Group’s network of locations to efficiently manage all current, future and historic appointments for sales, aftersales and bodyshop loans, while incorporating instant online driving licence checking.

Stephen Mellett, Group Aftersales Director says: “Using FullCover has had a number of benefits for us. Being able to check driving licences in real time means we can process the handover of loan cars quickly, so customers can get on their way without having to wait around as paperwork and forms are completed. We’re also able to process any Motability customers through the system efficiently, so all customer usage is recorded in one place. FullCover integrates with our existing dealer platform, meaning we can book straight into our diary screen, which has streamlined our booking process.”

Chorley Nissan Blackpool was the first adopter of CDW; now utilised by the whole group. Traditionally, customers have to shoulder a high insurance excess if they want to drive a loan car, but this is no longer the case as Stephen Mellett explains: “We also benefit from the additional revenue provided through CDW, which means that the customer is fully insured with a very low excess, with the added benefit of this having a positive impact on customer satisfaction. We currently recover between 70% and 110% of our insurance premium spend by offering CDW to our customers.”

The Cooper Solutions team has collaborated closely with Chorley Group to unravel some areas which were not working for them or their customers.  Crucially, the partnership with Cooper Solutions and FullCover has turned what were headaches for the dealership, into a profit-making opportunity for them whilst enhancing customer satisfaction.  

“Dealers need to be on top of their forecourt fleet and courtesy cars at all times to  boost profitability and of course, make life better for customers.  Whether customers are test driving cars for sale or returning for servicing or aftersales care, FullCover supports dealers in meeting their needs. By working in partnership with dealerships like Chorley Group, we can tailor our solutions to maximise return on investment for them.  It also means we can ensure their customers reap the benefits and reward dealers with their on-going custom for years to come,” concludes Dean Pipitone, Director of Cooper Solutions.

Allen Ford utilises FullCover to streamline fleet management

Cooper Solutions brings improved customer experience and additional revenue

Allen Ford, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Ford cars and vans to both businesses and private motorists, has streamlined its entire loan fleet management process through FullCover from Cooper Solutions. FullCover allows Allen Ford’s network of 30 locations across the south of England and the Midlands to efficiently manage current, future and historic appointments for all sales, aftersales and bodyshop loans.

Having used FullCover in previous roles with other dealerships, Allen Ford Group’s Southern Service Director, Bill Davies, introduced FullCover to the group last year. He commented: “FullCover takes away all the hassle of loan fleet management. It has been specifically and expertly developed so that all of the information is easy to see. We can now accurately monitor performance at user, dealer and group level. This is possible through the extraction of customer loan charges from CDK using an ODBC licence, allowing us to make the best decisions to improve efficiency and increase profitability.”

The integrated FullCover solution includes instant online licence checking and cost-effective daily rate insurance for drivers aged between 18 and 85 to ensure dealerships can easily fulfil their duty of care obligations and provide financial protection for Allen Ford in the event of an accident.  Cooper Solutions data shows that 1 in every 50 service customers do not meet the criteria for courtesy loan insurance and should in fact not be driving. FullCover instantly identifies these drivers.

Bill Davies continued: “FullCover gives us the opportunity to generate revenue from the CDW offering, which pays for our insurance cost, whilst also providing a valuable additional service to our customers. Initially we were concerned that a higher level of cover might encourage drivers to perhaps act recklessly but we aren’t experiencing that at all. It’s a genuine win-win for both the driver and the dealership.”

Dean Pipitone, Director of Cooper Solutions added: “The other dealer groups in the Allen Motor Group, SMC Cars and Essex Auto Group, have used FullCover for many years. Now, with Allen Ford Group also utilising the solution, the entire Group is seeing the benefits, as are its customers. Arriving at the service desk, Allen Ford customers now find that their car has been booked in, in advance, making the courtesy car changeover slick and efficient.  Their driving licence is checked quickly, enabling the customer to drive away within minutes. This improvement in customer experience is invaluable, even without the added benefits of improved efficiencies, lower cost and increased profitability.”

Are your customers doing their shopping on a test drive?

The test drive process is a vital element of the customer purchase journey and substantially increases the chance of securing a sale. Well, that’s the perceived wisdom among dealers, at least. The idea is that once a customer is behind the wheel, the benefits of the vehicle speak for themselves, especially when it comes to considering an upgrade.

We conducted a survey of 200 used car buyers and the results show just how important extended and unaccompanied test drives are. In fact, 49% of respondents said they would feel more positively about a dealer if they were offered an extended or unaccompanied test drive and would welcome the opportunity to make a more informed purchase decision.

Whilst 43% said they would use the opportunity to show the car to friends and family to gauge their opinion, the vast majority (89%) admitted that a positive response would likely swing a sale. A further 15% would take it to show off to colleagues at work, for that all important second opinion, with more men (18%) than women (13%) saying they would do this. Nearly a third (32%) said an extended test drive would increase the chances of them ‘falling in love’ with the car they were test driving and 20% said it would increase the probability of them buying that make and model of vehicle.

Women (25%) are more likely to do day-to-day errands in an unaccompanied test drive car, compared to 23% of men. However, it’s clear that both genders like to test a car to make sure it fits their lifestyle, whether it’s doing the supermarket shop, packing for a trip or fitting in the golf clubs and yoga mat.

When it comes to testing the driving of the vehicle itself, overall performance was rated the most important factor, closely followed by visibility and ease of parking. Whilst 42% of men tested a car for motorway driving, women were more likely (38%) to make sure there’s enough space in the boot.

That time alone in a car allows potential buyers to test a car for comfort, equipment and handling, as well as lifestyle features, such as space and in-car gadgets. It also takes the pressure off customers, without the salesperson accompanying them. However, our survey suggests that some customers may be tempted to take liberties with a test drive, when it comes to speeding or driving on a motorway. Dealers need to consider both quality short term insurance cover, in the event of an incident, as well as the tracking of traffic offences or charges, enabling them to offer unaccompanied test drives with confidence. Crucially, this means dealers can enhance the customer experience and boost their bottom line, by making the most of new sales opportunities.

Test drives drive sales

Cooper Solutions highlights the power of the unaccompanied test drive as EV and Hybrid popularity rises

Cooper Solutions is calling upon dealers to recognise the power of an unaccompanied or 48 hour test drive as new research from What Car? reveals more and more consumers expect to test drive more than two models the next time they buy a car. Nearly 32% of car buyers surveyed by daily rate insurance provider, Cooper Solutions, said that an extended test drive would increase the chances of them ‘falling in love’ with the vehicle they were test driving. Despite this, data from Cooper Solutions shows the average test drive offered by dealers lasts just 46 minutes.

Of particular interest to dealers will be the view of What Car? that the rise in choice and popularity of electric or hybrid vehicles will increase demand for test drives of these vehicles, but that it will be a new experience for millions of drivers and they will want to understand what they are buying. This is supported by the findings of the Cooper Solutions survey that revealed 1 in 4 car buyers like to test a car to make sure it fits their lifestyle, which is all the more important if a customer is considering switching from a petrol or diesel vehicle to an electric or hybrid model.

The study also shows that the all-important test drive is more likely to seal the deal, with 43% of buyers saying they would use an extended test drive as an opportunity to show off a potential purchase to friends and family to gauge their opinion and a staggering 89% – admitted that a positive response from loved ones would likely rubberstamp their decision.

Dealers will be concerned to learn that the study by What Car? also showed that 62% of buyers still find contact with dealers difficult. However, the good news is that half of car buyers surveyed by Cooper Solutions said they would feel more positively about a dealer if they were offered an extended or unaccompanied test drive which would help them make a better informed purchase decision.

Dean Pipitone, Director of Cooper Solutions explains: “Those dealers allowing their customers to fully immerse themselves in the driving experience over an extended period of time, are much more likely to benefit. Dealers need to actively encourage customers to go beyond trying out the comfort and the way the vehicle handles in terms of performance, instead focusing on how the car can satisfy their daily needs. Most importantly, it’s the opportunity for other people to admire and envy a potential purchase, particularly if this is an upgrade, where the test drive process substantially increases the chances of a sale.”

*The Cooper Solutions survey results are based on 200 responses from consumers aged 18-55+ conducted by Gorkana Surveys.

Keep more of the profits yourself

Just moving from physical to an online auction platform could more than double trade sales profits

Looking at over 71,000 car sales, our research confirms that physical auction fees are usually bigger than the profits that selling retailers make. That ratio simply isn’t good for business for today’s retailer.

Retailers using physical auctions are usually happy as the results are better than they were used to getting when dealing with local traders, and the transaction is transparent and secure.

What they don’t realise is the stark difference in transaction costs between the physical and online auction route, and this will always reflect in the profits made. Given their business model, the physical auction houses need a high transaction cost to pay for their overheads. With lower buyers fees, sellers tend to see bigger profits as buyers have ‘more in the pot’ to bid with.

FullAuction has sold over 69,000 franchised retailers’ trade cars since it was launched – savvy retailers already use the platform as part of their core disposal strategy.

Specialist Cars Collaborates With Cooper Solutions To Achieve A Seamless CDK Drive Migration

Partnership removes an age old IT challenge for dealers

Specialist Cars, one of the largest privately owned BMW and MINI retailer groups in the UK, has undertaken a seamless DMS migration to CDK Drive, and benefited from strengthened financial and forecasting capabilities, thanks to its partnership with Cooper Solutions.

In addition to the move to CDK Drive, the DMS provider of choice for BMW and MINI, Specialist Cars was able to create a bespoke solution that maintained access to Cooper Solutions’ range of services, including FullForecast, FullCover and FullAppraisal.

“We have been utilising FullForecast for over a decade, and it revolutionised our business from the outset. To this day, it continues to deliver a level of forecasting and accounting that is superior to any alternative solution on the market. So when the time came to switch to a new DMS solution, it was crucial for us to be able to continue benefiting from its real-time financial reporting. Any sustained interruption would have had a significant impact on the business and our daily operations,” explains Clive James, Finance Director for Specialist Cars.

In addition to avoiding disruption to daily financial reporting, Cooper Solutions enabled Specialist Cars to mitigate risk on customer courtesy and demonstration vehicles by ensuring FullCover’s fleet management and daily rate insurance offering was sustained throughout the migration.

Specialist Cars believes that the success of its seamless Drive migration was driven by a team of experts within the Cooper Solutions business, who combine powerful knowledge of state-of-the-art IT systems and algorithms, with a coherent understanding of motor retailing processes. Continues Clive James, “More than just a provider of technology solutions, Cooper Solutions understands motor retailing, delivering bespoke, dedicated services that cater to our needs which strategically support our business. This is why Cooper Solutions continues to be a first choice partner for Specialist Cars.”

Andrew Whicher, General Manager at Cooper Solutions adds, “This successful migration builds on our long-standing relationship of over 14 years. Not only were we able to ensure the smooth, consistent operation of our solutions which Specialist Cars rely upon daily, we were perfectly placed as a consultant to assist them in the mapping of thousands of accounting codes that enabled quick and easy reconciliation of accounts, whilst retaining prior year information.

“This was only achievable because at Cooper Solutions we have a team of passionate motor industry specialists, working with dealers to maximise the benefits of today’s technology in building business profitability, alongside customer loyalty and retention.”

VW Trust Group Streamlines Its Courtesy Car Fleet Operations With FullCover

Cooper Solutions’ partnership boosts customer satisfaction and brings financial gain

VW Trust Group’s partnership with Cooper Solutions is benefitting from utilising the FullCover fleet management system, helping it improve the management of, and insuring, its courtesy car fleet. Thanks to the collaboration, VW Trust’s courtesy car service is also now a profit earning opportunity for the business, delivering real added value to customers.

Operating in the West Midlands, VW Trust Group has a fleet of over 40 courtesy cars across the Group’s 6 dealership locations and FullCover from Cooper Solutions streamlines the entire short-term insurance administration process for the fleet. Complementing the Group’s existing CDK dealer platform, the automated system also validates the driver’s licence details, making bookings much quicker for both dealer and customer, whilst bringing greater peace of mind for VW Trust Group that it is financially protected in the event of an accident. The capability to extract customer data from the CDK dealer platform, eliminates duplication and ensures accurate reporting. FullCover includes a day rate insurance option for customers as standard, enabling the VW Group to benefit from a lower insurance premium for its own motor trade policy.

The Cooper Solutions team provided coaching and training sessions from the outset of the collaboration, ensuring the VW Trust’s customer service team knows how to maximise the benefits of FullCover. Not only does the system’s suite of accountable reports put users in control of their courtesy car fleet, it expedites the claims process, providing a seamless conclusion for the benefit of all concerned. Furthermore, meeting GDPR requirements, FullCover removes the need for the Group to store physical loan forms and copies of driving licences.

“By working closely with Cooper Solutions, we were able to put the spotlight on an area of our business that was not yielding results for us or our customers, crucially, we’ve been able to turn a loss making administration process into a profit earning, added-value customer service,” explains Andrew Hockedy, Managing Director for VW Trust Group.

“FullCover keeps track of our courtesy cars, speeds up bookings and reduces our overheads – not least of which because it protects our claims history and reduces our own insurance premium. These benefits have all been key to us in improving performance across our Group. FullCover has made a tangible difference, backed by ongoing expert support from the Cooper Solutions team.”

Dean Pipitone, director of Cooper Solutions, adds, “We will continue to work closely with VW Trust Group to help them deliver an enhanced customer experience that protects their business. FullCover is designed to put dealers in control of their fleet, offering detailed reports and a streamlined process that generates revenue and boosts customer retention.”