Is Your Website An Effective Channel For Meeting Your Member's Automotive Needs?

As credit unions continue to face strong competition in the automotive financing arena, they should take a second look at strengthening a channel they already have: the Internet. Enhancing your online capabilities and automotive resources and positioning your site as an effective self-service channel for members will enable you to better meet member needs and increase the chance that members will turn to you for their auto loan needs. You'll also be better positioned to inform members about the pitfalls of 0% financing and help them resist pressure from dealers to use the dealer's preferred lender.

 
 

As credit unions continue to face strong competition in the automotive financing arena, they should take a second look at strengthening a channel they already have: the Internet. Enhancing your online capabilities and automotive resources and positioning your site as an effective self-service channel for members will enable you to better meet member needs and increase the chance that members will turn to you for their auto loan needs. You'll also be better positioned to inform members about the pitfalls of ''0%'' financing and help them resist pressure from dealers to use the dealer's preferred lender.

A recent Callahan & Associates survey of more than 18,000 credit union members provided feedback on how credit unions could improve their websites to better meet their members' automotive research needs. Analysis of the responses yielded a clear picture of what online members want from their credit unions-a one-stop resource for their automotive purchase and financing information.

In addition to basic information like rates and types of loans available, members wanted more details about loan qualification requirements and other financing options like refinancing or using other types of loans. Half or more of those surveyed wanted their credit union to provide information on automotive pricing, negotiating with dealers, and safety information. And about one-third were interested in receiving ancillary services such as auto insurance quotes and mechanical breakdown insurance through their credit union websites.

Once you attract members to your site by offering a range of auto-buying information, you must also meet members' needs with your online application in order for your site traffic to result in increased loan volume. In the Callahan & Associates survey, member feedback revealed that although only one-fourth of online members had applied online for their current credit union auto loan, many more could be convinced to try it if they had better information about the process. Without entering the online application, can your members find out these three key pieces of information?

  • What information they will need to fill out the form and the security of entering it online
  • How quickly they will get a decision
  • How they will receive a check

If this information is not readily available, members are not likely to try it, particularly if they have any apprehensions about the process to begin with.

 

 

 

Sept. 22, 2003


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