CENTREVILLE, Va. –
CARFAX says a program that it started in 2019 can help dealerships drive service traffic during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the program, called CARFAX for Life, dealers can use the CARFAX name with tools such as specially branded service reminders. The reminders still direct customers to the dealership, but unlike typical reminders, the reminders come from CARFAX. That leads to four times the engagement on average, according to CARFAX.
Paul Nadjarian, who is general manager of CARFAX’s service shops division, said in an interview with Auto Remarketing that CARFAX works with more than 30,000 dealers. Customer loyalty, if not the key attribute, is one of the key attributes of a highly successful auto dealer, Nadjarian said.
“We believe that leveraging the CARFAX brand and all the data we have, we can create a loyalty program for dealers that would help them with customer loyalty and thus help their business,” Nadjarian said.
CARFAX for Life encourages people to “favorite” their program dealership and provide feedback. Those customers have their vehicles serviced more often. CARFAX says the average favorite spends an additional $62 per year and is 21% more likely to return to the same dealer.
The company said billions of dollars in car maintenance goes unperformed every year.
CARFAX designed CARFAX for Life to help keep car owners safe by “getting the needed service done at the right time.” The company said it solicits 100% verified ratings and reviews, which can improve the dealer’s reputation and Google rankings.
CARFAX for Life is currently free for eligible dealers to try through Sept. 30.
“CARFAX for Life has really closed the circle for us,” Priority Auto Group marketing director Matthew Pennell said in a news release.
Pennell continued, “We don’t have information the same way CARFAX does. CARFAX is able to send our customers manufacturer-suggested maintenance, so it’s not us telling them to come back and buy tires, but a trusted third-party with accurate and pertinent data. Their e-mails to our customers have a 30% open rate, which if you know anything about it, is unheard of.”
Most of Priority Auto Group’s 17 dealerships have been on CARFAX for Life since the program started in early 2019. Its dealerships have collectively more than 58,000 favorites from customers on CARFAX Car Care, which was formerly called myCARFAX. The company signed a dealership to the program in April, and in one month that dealership went from zero favorites to 1,100.
“During these times we need all the help we can get as it relates to driving people to the dealership,” Pennell said. Priority Auto Group sent 24,000 emails in April to service customers through CARFAX for Life. The group saw 5,000 service visits from those reminders.
Nadjarian told Auto Remarketing that CARFAX for Life’s mission is “to help tens of millions of people take better care of their car.”
“That’s what my role is at CARFAX,” Nadjarian said.
He continued, “And [CARFAX for Life] also helps dealers drive better customer loyalty.” He added that “it fits within our mission to help tens of millions of consumers and it also helps with our mission to help our dealer partners drive a more successful business.”