Jennifer, DriveTime and SurgeryPlus

When you are a single parent of three children, you’re constantly juggling a number of balls in your personal life—sick kids, school, accidents and the list goes on.  Personal time or luxuries are rare, “if ever” occurrences.  Plus, finances are always tight.  There’s just no way around it. And you’ll have emergencies, like ER’s for the kids periodically, but that’s almost expected.  You just don’t expect it to be you.

Jennifer is a single mother of three. She’s worked at DriveTime for over five years in customer service and customer relations.  It’s a bit crazy at times balancing kids and work, but she loves her life feeling fulfilled at home and at work.

One day her knee started to bother her. Thinking it was just sprained, she decided to “wait it out” until it felt better. There’s always something not quite working right; it will be fine.  And who has time for that kind of thing, anyway? A month later, and it’s still hurting.

So, she went to the doctor and ended up getting an MRI.  They were pretty sure it was a torn meniscus. While a fairly routine procedure and typically highly successful, it’s still surgery involving anesthesia and a 4-6 week recovery period with physical therapy.  You also have to work your way through the bewildering world of doctor’s offices, surgery centers, insurance and just the logistics of the whole mess. As she spoke with friends who had the procedure, she also was hearing about $1,000+ deductibles and out of pocket expenses. With three kids, there was no budget for “her emergencies”.  She hardly slept that night, tossing and turning her way through various worst case scenarios.

As she was getting ready for work that morning, still fretting about what she was going to do, she noticed a pile of junk mail she needed to get through. As she glanced through it, she noticed a letter from DriveTime that had been in the pile for a while.  Saved from immediate recycling, she opened and read the letter. She found a member card in her name for a service called “SurgeryPlus”, provided by Employer Direct Healthcare.  As she read the materials, she couldn’t believe it worked that way.  She was certain it was a scam, and not really something from her employer.  On a whim, she called the number.

Jennifer spoke with a SurgeryPlus Customer Care Navigator, Whitney.  Whitney explained the SurgeryPlus value proposition and assured her it wasn’t a scam (Jennifer still didn’t believe her and confirmed everything with the Benefits Department later that day).

In a subsequent email to Jennifer, Whitney explained:

“Thanks for calling to learn more about the benefit that Drivetime offers you! I have listed below the physician option that we discussed. Take some time, and think about the decision. Remember, that Drivetime cares about their employees, and offers this great benefit to them! I look forward to hearing from you!”

The value proposition? Use a SurgeryPlus provider and there is no deductible or out of pocket expenses.  Essentially, there are no additional costs other than just paying your premium; SurgeryPlus is a benefit otherwise included as part of the DriveTime Benefits program.  SurgeryPlus works with an exclusive group of surgeons nationwide to ensure best cost and quality for DriveTime and its employees. Rather than just drop the savings to the SurgeryPlus or DriveTime bottom lines, the program is structured to eliminate the emotional and financial stress for DriveTime’s employees:

  • Shared savings: eliminate deductibles, out of pocket and travel expenses for employees (high deductible plans with Health Savings Accounts are handled differently), and still drive savings to the bottom line for the DriveTime benefits program reducing DriveTime and employee costs for the procedure and long-term for employee premiums

  • Vetted surgeons: a curated national network of elite, high performing surgeons that have been rigorously screened, reducing the risk of surgical complications and ultimately leading to better outcomes and lower costs

  • Concierge service: simplify the medical experience by managing all scheduling, logistics, and transfer of medical records from start to finish

But there was one potential curveball. (Isn’t there always a curveball in this healthcare business?!) The SurgeryPlus provider was over an hour away. While not a deal breaker for anyone living in the Phoenix metro area, SurgeryPlus provided options for Jennifer:  if she did not want to drive both ways for the procedure the same day, at no cost to her SurgeryPlus would cover one night in a hotel close to the outpatient center and provide a debit card for gas and food.  Wow!

Jennifer’s follow up note to her SurgeryPlus Customer Care Coordinator:

“Thank you!! I still can’t believe this service is offered by my company. I had even emailed my Benefits team to confirm. I had stayed up the night before worried if I had to have surgery and how I would pay for it. Then in the morning, I opened up my mail and this card was my miracle. I shared my story with DriveTime. They were happy I have benefited from the service. “

At DriveTime, we have had a long-term focus on employee wellness and wellbeing.  We have a wellness program that now spans ten plus years.  One of our long-term goals is to continuously provide a comprehensive benefits package at an affordable cost for all of our employees. We do this by focusing on the cost of our healthcare providers, how our employees use the healthcare system and our employees’ wellness.  SurgeryPlus addresses all three of these pillars:  lower cost (for us and our employees), use of the system (better providers and white glove service), and wellness (better outcomes=healthier employees).

Jennifer is ecstatic:

“I love what I do at DriveTime and have always felt DriveTime consistently tries to act in the best interests of us, the employees.  SurgeryPlus is another example of what I love about DriveTime.  A cutting edge, innovative solution leading to a win-win for DriveTime and us, the employees.  I’m telling everyone about my experience, and particularly about SurgeryPlus.  I know this may sound a little dramatic, but I really felt this was a mini-miracle for me and my family.  As a single parent with three kids, I honestly didn’t know what I would do and the idea of finding thousands of dollars was daunting to me.  And then I opened the mail…. Go figure!”

Note to employees: You might want to read what we send you. Ask Jennifer how that works.

“We’re very pleased with our relationship with DriveTime and the opportunity to have been of assistance to Jennifer.  We appreciate her kind words about her experience with us.  It’s a reminder of why we do what we’re doing—at the end of the day it’s really about the Jennifers of the world.  We’ll keep working hard to deliver this level of value and service to all of DriveTime’s employees,” said John Zutter, CEO of Employer Direct Healthcare.

DriveTime: “The Genius Way to Buy a Car”

DriveTime, announced the launch of its “The Genius Way to Buy a Car” campaign this week.

The national spots showcase two fictional brainiacs, mathematician Gunter Zoolof and marine biologist Dakota Isaacs, who claim remarkable academic and scientific achievements, yet fail to be true geniuses because they didn’t bypass the notoriously unpleasant car buying process by using DriveTime. “The Genius Way to Buy a Car” began airing this week on national cable networks, including A&E, ESPN, History, Discovery and USA, among others, while also broadcasting in 68 local markets nationwide.

See The Genius Way to Buy a Car commercials here!

The “Genius Way to Buy a Car” challenges the used vehicle industry’s outdated advertising model that primarily focuses on unrealistic sales, limited discounts and loss leaders that benefit the dealership and not the consumer.

Consumers want a dealership experience, but they are demanding a fundamental change in the way the industry visualizes and delivers that experience.  With the “The Genius Way to Buy a Car,” DriveTime delivers that paradigm shift for consumers. This campaign’s imagination, creativity and humor highlights the enormous divide between the “industry way” and the “Genius Way.”

DriveTime’s “Genius Way” focuses on delighting customers and begins with listening to what they say they want and includes:

  • National presence with 15,000+ vehicles
    • 2nd largest used vehicle retailer focused solely on used vehicles
    • 145 dealerships in 27 states
    • Over 1 million cars sold
    • $2 billion+ every month in consumer requested credit
  • Intelligent online tools
    • Online financing including down payment and credit score
    • Superior mobile customer experience
  • Quality vehicles
    • 5-day free return
    • Free Autocheck available on every vehicle
  • Dealership experience
    • 90,000+ 5 star reviews
    • “Click” and “brick” connected retail
    • Proprietary point of sales systems allowing for speed of purchase
    • Salaried sales advisors delivering an experience, not a sale
  • Market based pricing
    • No haggle pricing
    • Live market based pricing

Anne Elisco-Lemme, Executive Creative Director, Duncan Channon:

“Why is it that we’ve all somehow agreed that buying a car will be a complete drag? No matter how much we demand smarter, more convenient ways of purchasing other items in our lives, we reluctantly go through the old-school drudgery at the dealership when it comes to one of the biggest purchases we make,” said Anne Elisco-Lemme, executive creative director, Duncan Channon. “But the smart people at DriveTime have developed an incredible set of online tools that give their equally smart consumers everything they need to make an intelligent and pain-free purchase – lightning fast. It might not be Carmichael’s totient function conjecture, but it’s pretty genius.”

Scott Worthington:  Vice President/Retail and Marketing:

“Our strategic pivot is grounded in listening to what we know car buyers want — to make the car buying process easy by setting a transparent expectation about the price of car and down payment online, and then over-delivering on that promise at one of our 145 dealerships,” said Scott Worthington, Vice President, Retail and Marketing, DriveTime.

Duncan Channon, DriveTime’s agency of record since 2012, created the spots with visual effects partner Freefolk and director Pelorian Brothers.

For more information on DriveTime, please visit drivetime.com.

About DriveTime
With “The Genius Way to Buy a Car”, DriveTime is transforming the buying and financing of a used vehicle. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, DriveTime is the nation’s second-largest vehicle retailer focused solely on used vehicles. DriveTime operates over 140 dealerships nationwide with annual sales exceeding 150,000 used vehicles, 1.2 million+ monthly visitors to its website, drivetime.com, and over $2 billion in consumer credit requests each month. DriveTime now provides used vehicles and used vehicle financing to the full range of customers in the market today, including competitively priced, lower mileage used cars. DriveTime offerings include used car features on its online inventory; speed of financing including a credit score and the starting down payment in less than two minutes; prices on every used vehicle online and at its dealerships; no haggle pricing; salaried associates trained to help our customers find the right used vehicle for them; and a five day, no questions asked used vehicle return program.

DriveTime Names New CEO

DriveTime, the nation’s second largest used car retailer focused solely on used vehicles, announced the appointment of a new CEO this week.

Mr. Don Reese will join DriveTime as its new CEO beginning in late March.  Mr. Reese will also be appointed to the DriveTime Automotive Group and Bridgecrest Acceptance boards of directors.  Mr. Reese replaces DriveTime’s previous CEO, Mr. Ray Fidel.

“We are very excited and pleased to welcome Don to DriveTime,” stated Ernie Garcia, Chairman. “Don’s considerable leadership and operational experience in new and used auto sales, as well as his background as a CFO, make him an ideal candidate to lead DriveTime at this time. We continue to reinvent our dealership and digital customer experiences and offerings, and expect to begin acquiring new car dealerships beginning in 2018.  I also view him as a very valuable addition to our boards.”

Mr. Reese has over thirty years of experience in new and used auto sales, leadership and finance having spent:

  • 11 years as the COO/CFO for the Maroone Auto Group,
  • 6 years as a Senior Vice President in operations and finance, and covering the Midwest Region, for AutoNation,
  • 15 years with the Gurley Leep Automotive as COO, and
  • Was most recently COO for Sheehy AutoStores

About DriveTime

Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, DriveTime is the nation’s second-largest vehicle retailer focused solely on used vehicles.  DriveTime operates over 140 dealerships nationwide with annual sales exceeding 150,000 used vehicles, 1.2 million+ monthly visitors to its website, drivetime.com, and over $2 billion in consumer credit requests each month. DriveTime now provides used vehicles and used vehicle financing to the full range of customers in the market today, including competitively priced, lower mileage used cars.

Transforming the buying and financing of a used vehicle with a fair and transparent experience, DriveTime offerings include used car features on its online inventory; speed of financing including a credit score and the starting down payment in less than two minutes; prices on every used vehicle online and at its dealerships; no-haggle pricing; salaried associates trained to help our customers find the right used vehicle for them; and a five day, no questions asked used vehicle return program.

For more information on DriveTime, please visit drivetime.com.

DriveTime Opens 145th Dealership Nationwide

DriveTime, the nation’s second-largest vehicle retailer focused exclusively on used vehicles, announced the opening of its 145th dealership in Van Nuys, California. Van Nuys is located in the San Fernando Valley region of metro Los Angeles.

The dealership is DriveTime’s 6th in the state of California. Located between Costco and Target at 5835 N. Sepulveda Blvd, the store will be open Monday through Saturday.  The store has over 14,000 square feet of retail space designed specifically for today’s consumer and room for over 100 vehicles.

California has been a great home for us and we are excited we have this opportunity to better serve the greater Van Nuys community.  With our competitively priced, low mileage vehicles, cutting-edge digital retailing and a customer-friendly sales process, we look forward to meeting their needs while contributing to the growth and development of the area,” said Scott Worthington, VP/Retail Sales, Marketing.

For more information about DriveTime, go to drivetime.com.

About DriveTime:

Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, DriveTime is the nation’s second-largest vehicle retailer focused solely on used vehicles.  DriveTime operates over 140 dealerships nationwide with annual sales exceeding 150,000 used vehicles and 1.2 million+ monthly visitors to drivetime.com. DriveTime now provides used vehicles and used vehicle financing to the full range of customers in the market today, including competitively priced, lower mileage used cars.

Transforming the buying and financing of a used vehicle with a fair and transparent experience, DriveTime offerings include used car features on its online inventory; speed of financing including a credit score and the starting down payment in less than two minutes; prices on every used vehicle online and at its dealerships; no-haggle pricing; salaried associates trained to help our customers find the right used vehicle for them; and a five day, no questions asked used vehicle return program.

8 Features of DriveTime’s New Mobile Site

More consumers are shopping for their next car using their mobile devices, and we wanted to upgrade our mobile site offerings in an effort to capture those potential sales.

On February 13th, 2018, we announced the launch of our new mobile site with innovations designed to extend to both the customer experience and the technology we’ve employed

in launching the site.

When visiting DriveTime.com on their mobile device, customers will now see:

 

– Improved and faster page navigation when customers are on our site (single-page application platform).
– Changes to content layout and imagery based on user behavior.
– Content tailored to the phone location (geolocation logic).

 

Our new mobile site includes:

—Enhanced vehicle photos.
—New search filters to enable customers to find exactly what they are looking for in DriveTime’s new used car inventory, including the number of prior owners and accidents.
—Market price comparisons on thousands of used vehicles.
—Three-day guaranteed online pricing of customer trade-ins that’s being tested in select markets.
—Easy to find AutoCheck vehicle history reports on any of the 15,000 DriveTime used vehicles available nationwide.

At the same time, we emphasized that we’ve retained all existing customer-friendly features of the DriveTime experience, including:

—Streamlined contracting and e-signing
—Speed of financing online with a credit score and starting down payment in less than two minutes
—No haggle pricing, a no questions asked five-day used vehicle return program
—Salaried sales advisers at dealerships, focused on helping our customers find the right used vehicle for them from the thousands of used vehicles available

“There are a number of off the shelf mobile or website products offered by vendors to the new and used car industry. With over 1.2 million users each month on our desktop and mobile sites, we elected to custom develop our mobile site based on what customers are telling us they want — quick and easy access to the information they want to see, a customer experience game changer in used vehicle retailing,” said Scott Worthington, DriveTime’s vice president of retail marketing. “We’re just beginning to reimagine the entire vehicle retail experience,” Worthington added.

We needed cutting-edge technology to deliver these unique, new customer experiences.

Don Irwin, director of IT, and Shawn Curran, managing director of retail and marketing product development, said, “With 125-plus IT employees at DriveTime, we have a large pool of IT expertise to draw on to review and execute exciting new technologies that allow us to truly enhance the customer experience within the used car industry. And, the mobile site was a key priority for our digital retailing initiatives. Because of our customer experience focus, load time and navigation performance were critical concerns during the development of the new site.

“It was also a lot of fun to dig further into SEO compatibility because of our unique approach with the single-page application platform,” they continued. “Our team also implemented a best in breed solution incrementally delivering data as required to make the used car shopping experience as fast as possible. We accomplished this using the Angular 4+ client-side framework and Node.js for the server build, and for data and other dependencies we were able to use bleeding edge technologies like Azure CosmosDB, Azure Search, Azure CDN, Redis Cache and Azure Service Bus,” Irwin and Curran went on to say.

“From an IT perspective, we had a blast with this project,” they added.