Personally, I love coupons; after all, they’re free money to be used for things I was going to buy anyway, right? Professionally, however, I’ve never been a fan of coupon programs. Whenever I’ve seen them used in the past, unused vouchers ended up in dealer drawers or submitted long after the program ended and often resulted in customer dissatisfaction.
Last year, after trying a variety of volume bonus programs, I was persuaded to give a coupon program for our dealers a shot. In rolling it out, we allocated vouchers to our Dealer Consultants and let them distribute them to their Elite dealers as they saw fit, with the only goal being to increase overall sales. Some Dealer Consultants used the coupons to reward their most committed Elite dealers while others distributed them to newly minted Elite dealers in an attempt to drive business their way.
Needless to say, the program was an unmitigated failure. After three months, we had a redemption rate of less than 35%. And as we sat around the conference table puzzling over why it didn’t change dealer behavior, Todd Weeks, AVP of our Eastern Region, simply shook his head said something very profound: Dealers don’t partner with GWC for the gimmicks. They work with us because we deliver on our Brand Promise: GWC Warranty helps dealers sell more cars by giving car shoppers the confidence to become car buyers. We do that by providing Service, Products, Training and Technology.
There are plenty of other VSC companies out there that offer inferior service and products at bargain basement prices. Many of these companies also offer lots of freebies, coupons and other gimmicks. But chances are, GWC dealers are smart enough not to be swayed by those things. Instead, they want to do business with GWC because we are, as Seth Godin would say, a company that offers dealers true value and has the guts to state “We aren’t the cheapest but we’re worth it.”
WHAT AM I READING?
Everyone who is middle-aged at some point begins to question the nagging short-term memory lapses that occur with increasing frequency. Some shrug them off while others of us Google “Symptoms of Alzheimer’s vs. normal aging” with regularity in an attempt to ward off our worries. Patricia Marx chose a different path, researching and implementing as many memory improvement schemes and approaches as possible to see if she could change her brain. This book, which chronicles her journey, is intended to be humorous and at times succeeds. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it since it’s not really a story but more of a compendium of quizzes and anecdotes. But it’s a fast read and if nothing else will cause people to realize they’re in good company in facing up to the mental challenges that come all too quickly with aging.