Secrets to success: engagement and community

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How F&I provider LGM supports its employees to benefit customers

Strong employee engagement is the key for a successful finance and insurance supplier if they want to satisfy OEM, dealer and customer needs, says Drew Collier, President of Corporate Services at LGM Financial Services Inc.

“Having great employee engagement is probably an indicator that the company has great service,” says Collier, referring to the fact that LGM has been named by Aon Hewitt as one of Canada’s “Best Small & Medium Employers,” for two consecutive years in a program that measures employee engagement.

A growing body of research is indicating a direct link between engaged, happy employees and a positive customer experience, which then stimulates the company’s ability to grow, says Collier. “But the whole process starts with an employee who is engaged; so it’s a really important strategic piece for us,” he says.

Another significant factor that supports LGM’s ability to grow while supporting the three branches of its clientele is the company’s involvement in programs that promote social responsibility.

LGM provides its employees with four paid workdays to “get out in their communities and give back,” said Collier.

Collier explained that sponsoring community involvement creates a “virtuous circle” that further engages employees who provide dealers with the resources they need to service and support customers.

Spearheaded by LGM, the Auto Dealers Against Distracted Driving campaign — distractionfree.ca — includes participating dealers across Canada and has collected more than 18,000 individual pledges to “not drive distracted” since it first launched the yearly March program, in 2015.

Transport Canada’s Road Safety Strategy, released in 2015, cites the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study of 2010 that discovered a total of 16 per cent of fatalities and 20 per cent of injuries in the U.S. involved distracted drivers.

LGM’s product-focused offerings, e.g. mechanical breakdown protection, wear, vehicle loss or theft, loan protection, etc., have typically constituted the core of its services.

Currently, however, the company is expanding beyond its traditional focus of products and increasingly looking towards training programs, dealer F&I coaching and new technology solutions to help dealers in their role, to be more engaged with consumers, says Collier.

“Our dealers, of course, are the core of success of the programs, in terms of their ability to service and support customers,” he says.

Collier explains how LGM is looking ahead to later this year at developing new products, such as prepaid maintenance. “It’s another opportunity where you can create a program that makes sense to the consumer because they can roll the prepaid maintenance program into the original vehicle purchase price and finance it,” he says. Consumers will have a three or four year term on their vehicle which factors maintenance into the cost of one monthly payment.

He says that LGM is “moving more and more” in the direction of online claims and “the ability for dealers to have greater control over the claims experience, as well.”

Referring to HUB, LGM’s primary finance and insurance point-of-sale software that went live in October 2016, Collier says that the company sees HUB as a tool that can help create an improved dealer experience, allowing them to serve customers better.

He adds that LGM has made several enhancements to HUB over the last few months, making sure the software is stable and running well.

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