How did you fare in meeting your 2013 business goals?
How about preparing for 2014 initiatives?
Throughout the year we saw competition heat up as larger lenders got back into the subprime market, forcing underwriting standards to loosen across the industry. As larger banks and credit unions began offering more pre-crash terms and pricing on subprime auto loans, smaller institutions that focus on subprime lending have struggled to retain organic growth and keep their customer portfolio filled with well-qualified customers.
To regain market-share and outperform organic growth in 2014, subprime lenders need a two-pronged strategy to compete with increased competition for loans.
The first step is to insulate your business from big lender competition. How do you do this? By focusing on your strengths! Those big lenders are still very wary of the subprime market; if there’s the slightest chance of significant volatility, they will jump ship. However, because you’ve weathered the storm through the Great Recession, you know how to manage more volatility in the market.
Part of the reason subprime auto lenders survived was because of their focus on customer service. By fortifying relationships with dealers and customers, and being flexible in tailoring their loans to meet consumer needs, those subprime lenders found a way to flourish in one of the toughest economic downturns in U.S. history. That strong focus on customer service will set you apart as competition increases. Throughout 2014, continue to ask:
- How can we increase efficiency and courtesy in responding to applications?
- How can we provide more value to both our dealership partners and the end consumer?
- How can we increase transparency within our parameters to ensure our dealership partners know which customers qualify for our loans?
The second step in the strategy is to make your auto loans more attractive for greater organic growth. This goes hand-in-glove with insulation as you cannot make your loans more attractive without good customer service. Concentrate on providing tangible value to dealerships by helping dealership personnel present more qualified customers by ensuring they understand your standards, and by responding quickly and efficiently to all applications.
Differentiate yourself beyond terms and pricing with consumer protection products, such as a vehicle return program, a vehicle service contract, or a limited powertrain protection plan. Products like these boost your bottom line, your dealership’s margins and protect the pocket-book of the loan applicant.
By focusing on customer service, flexibility and value, it is possible to tailor your portfolio to perform better in 2014. With over 36 years serving as an industry innovator of consumer and vehicle protection programs, EFG Companies is committed to the continuous development of innovative products and services paired with go-to-market strategies and execution support across a multitude of channels.
Find out how we can help increase your loan volume and performance while providing additional upsell opportunities to accelerate revenue growth. Contact EFG today!