A smooth transition to a new service contact provider is possible with the right preparation
by Alan Miller

Anyone associated with the automobile industry has probably noticed how much faster the pace of change has become in recent years. Change is inevitable and, at the dealership level, you have to manage change every day. Sometimes a decision that created change years—or even just a few months ago—can become outdated with the presence of new information and resources.

This can be especially true when you consider making a decision to change vehicle service contract providers. Programs change, and over time it is important for dealers to evaluate whether their service contract provider still meets their needs. Changes in product, a company’s financial strength, underwriting and selling opportunities all are valid reasons to consider changing service contract providers.

As with any change in life, it is always best to make a change on your own terms before you are forced into implementing change on someone else’s terms. At CNA National, we take pride in being efficient administrators of change, from our own internal processes to proven processes with our dealerships.

And in the end, our dealers realize that “a change can do you good.”

Managing Change at the Dealership
We have identified five key areas that should be addressed when managing change at a dealership:

1) The commitment to change must be fully embraced by the dealer and the dealer’s management team.

2) The necessary resources to manage the change have to be identified before the process begins.

3) There has to be a documented process for how the change will occur.

4) The necessary management oversight has to be in place for the execution of change.

5) A follow-up plan must be designed and implemented to ensure the change process is working.

The completion of these five key areas ensures successful change, whether you are changing personnel or service contract providers. With service contracts, make sure your provider has a specific plan on how to implement a change, not ambiguous actions that are not effectively documented.

Managing Change from Within
Internally, we have developed several processes at CNA National for managing and implementing change. Whether it is by personnel or processes, these strategies are designed to benefit the dealer’s operations.

For new dealership installations, CNA National provides additional personnel to assist our agents. We also have regional vice presidents (RVPs) who serve as resources for agents. Each of our RVPs has firsthand experience in the automobile industry and is well versed in the principles of quality customer service.

Working with our local agents, our regional vice presidents can help dealerships in several ways:

  • Training on product knowledge and effective sales techniques
  • Training office personnel in electronic procedures for e-contracting and all administrative processes
  • Training the service department on the proper method of handling claims
  • Training cashiers to collect deductibles

As part of our proven, documented processes to ensure success in change, CNA National has written an installation manual specifically tailored for dealerships, regardless of their size. Along with service contracts, CNA National does an excellent job managing change for our GAP and tire-and-wheel products, as well as providing a smoother transition with our e-contracting options.

Changing for the Better
While change is inevitable, it does not have to be a painful process. With experts in every part of the dealership’s business, including reinsurance and profit-sharing programs, we can also advise dealers on the best way to maximize profits for long-term wealth-building and financial security.

At CNA National, we embrace change by positioning our dealers for success. We work hard to make change work for you, ensuring that switching to CNA National isn’t just an event; it is the beginning of a very profitable process.

Author Information
Alan Miller is senior vice president of sales for CNA National Warranty Corporation, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. Miller has 25 years of automotive industry experience in sales and as a director of finance & insurance operations.

CNA National is recognized as a leader in the vehicle service contract industry. CNAN was the first service contract company recognized for “Highest Overall Dealer Satisfaction” by J.D. Power and Associates and has been named “Best Provider” in Auto Dealer Monthly’s Dealers’ Choice Awards for 14 consecutive years (2005-2010, 2012-2018 for service contracts and 2011-2013 and 2017 for reinsurance). CNAN has had the exclusive endorsement by the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) since 1995.

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of CNA, one of the nation’s oldest and largest insurers with $55 billion in assets.