Most cars carry a spare tire in the trunk. Tucked away under the mat, it is there to get you up and running and back on the road should you need it. If a tire were to go flat, drivers have two options to get the car moving: perform the tire change themselves or call for roadside assistance.
A driver’s decision to call for roadside assistance depends on a number of factors that include the mechanical skills of the driver or his passenger, tools available, the time he or she has to perform the task, and the conditions of the road or environment in which he is traveling. If a contract was previously established, this can also factor greatly into the decision.
Auto Lenders, too, can call for “roadside assistance.”
Automotive account servicing is an area where many lenders may have a need for additional support. From providing outstanding customer care to vehicle disposition, auto lenders have an immense number of activities to manage and prioritize during the life of a lease or loan. To be successful in account servicing, lenders need to execute with the right level of personnel, technology investment, time commitment, partnerships, and dedicated expertise.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) services for automotive finance offer an alternative way to manage the twists and turns of the industry and a business’s evolution within it.
A lender’s decision to utilize outsourced servicing functions, like a driver’s use of roadside assistance, is dependent on a number of factors.
One of the most common reasons companies look to outsourced services is to supplement for gaps within their staffing. Auto lenders growing their account portfolio often find there is not enough volume to staff and support all the activities required in a particular servicing function. Instead of allocating a portion of a full-time customer care associate’s day to title management — an area in which they’re not as skilled — BPO can provide support for these unique functions. Training, turnover, and peak and off peak volume are also staffing gaps which can be fulfilled through outsourcing.
A solid technical infrastructure is the backbone that supports a company’s success, particularly for automotive lenders who rely on a tremendous amount of data flow and interaction among systems. Some lenders utilize highly customized enterprise class systems automated and seamlessly networked together. Others still leverage homegrown, manual solutions — or a combination of the two. No one solution is a fit for all lenders. Outsourcing services bridges a path forward for lenders who aren’t fully committed to full scale hardware and software investments of their own, but have outgrown smaller underperforming systems. Third party providers fulfill the technology tool gap for a fraction of the investment.
Businesses ebb and flow. The time and agility, in which one has to respond to market changes directly impacts chances for success. Whether it’s responding to a new market opportunity, integrating with a new partner, or managing unexpected call volumes, lenders can ramp up quickly by utilizing third party resources. Conversely, scaling back a resource investment in an area like collections — where there are dips in calls during a given period — is easily facilitated by BPO, if necessary.
A lender’s core competency can be a roadmap to guide decisions around which processes to fulfill internally, versus which require external support. New investments in unfamiliar areas may be better suited in an environment where its execution is performed by experienced professionals using proven applications. BPO services can also be the testing ground for lenders, as they build up their experience and staff.
Every good plan includes a good backup plan. As with Murphy’s Law; if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. BPO provides a great “Plan B” for lenders, should their technical infrastructure go down or is taxed for an extended period of time — planned or unplanned. Establishing a contract ensures there is something and someone to call when it is necessary.
Some organizations are fully equipped to handle the lending lifecycle. Others look for a third party to provide support along the way. BPO is a way for lenders to carefully step into new decisions, make calculated ones that enhance their chances for success, or carve out a backup plan. Whatever the reason, with the right partner, business process outsourcing can be a seamless, well-executed extension of a lender’s brand promise.
Next time you’re sitting on the side of the road, broken down or just considering changing direction in your automotive finance journey, consider the benefits roadside assistance can provide.