Developed by General Motors (GM), OnStar was the automotive industry’s first embedded connected car system, debuting in 1996 in select Cadillac models. Vehicle diagnostics, the OnStar feature that most benefits GM dealers, came out in 2005.
Since then, GM has stayed at the forefront of trends and continues to provide OnStar service for vehicle owners. So what can OnStar do? And what are the benefits of OnStar? Let’s go over some of the most popular plans and features for customers and dealers alike.
What Is the OnStar Safety & Security Plan?
The OnStar Safety & Security Plan is one of the most basic OnStar plans a customer can buy. It offers:
- 24/7 OnStar Emergency Advisors: OnStar Advisors are always ready to help, including during medical emergencies, extreme weather, and other crises.
- Automatic Crash Response: If a customer is in an accident, OnStar automatically notifies an Emergency Advisor, who can send help even if they can’t ask for it.
- Roadside Assistance: Need help changing a tire? Ran out of gas? Customers just push the blue button and an advisor will help them find the service they need.
- OnStar App: With the Guardian app, customers can request OnStar services from any vehicle, and add up to seven other people to the account.
What Is OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics?
OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics is another popular feature that helps customers keep their cars updated and maintained. Here’s what it does:
- Runs checks on key systems and sends customers a monthly report with service recommendations. For paid plans, customers can get real-time alerts via text and email.
- On certain models, it predicts potential issues with parts like the battery, fuel pump, fuel pressure sensor, and starter motor, before they occur and sends Proactive Alerts.
OnStar Proactive Alerts were the industry’s first technology of its kind, rolling out in 2016. Both of these features of OnStar benefit customers by helping them keep their vehicles in top condition.
What Are Dealer Maintenance Notifications?
Dealer Maintenance Notifications (DMN) are alerts that the OnStar platform sends to dealers when a vehicle needs service. For example, if a car is due for an oil change, new tires, or 60,000 mile checkup, OnStar automatically notifies the dealer so they can contact the customer. Customers need to opt-in to DMN, either during their OnStar setup or by speaking to a service advisor at any time.
What Are the Benefits of OnStar and DMN for GM Dealerships?
The benefits of OnStar for customers are clear: improved safety, theft prevention, and more. But did you know that OnStar benefits your dealership, too? Here’s how.
1. Improve Fleet Management
OnStar tracking isn’t just for customers. It can help you prevent the theft of your dealership’s cars from the lot. Third-party devices can be removed, but OnStar is embedded in the system itself. AutoZone transitioned more than 90% of its fleet to GM vehicles for this very reason. In addition, OnStar alerts can help you keep up with maintenance, just like they do for customers.
2. Get More Service Leads
You know you need auto sales leads. With increasing competition from independent shops, you should also be thinking about service leads. The OnStar dealer center automatically sends DMN alerts to your dealership, providing you with the easiest service leads you’ll ever get. And with a solution like Better Car People’s Connected Response™, you can follow up faster: Our platform responds to DMN alerts in 10 minutes or less, increasing your close rate, margins, and more.
3. Provide Out-of-Warranty Service
OnStar now generates DMN leads and sends alerts for ten years, giving dealers valuable information and leads long after a warranty has expired. Providing out-of-warranty service is another way to generate revenue for your service department and beat the competition from third-party shops.
4. Create Happier Customers
The benefits on OnStar for dealerships can last well beyond the purchase date of a vehicle. When a customers’ car is well-cared-for, it will run more smoothly and experience fewer issues, boosting your brand reputation in their eyes. And when you provide excellent, timely service, they’ll keep returning to your dealership again and again – and refer you to others to do the same. Satisfied customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers are essential to success.
Having the right tools is also essential for your dealership’s success. After all, if you don’t respond quickly to your DMN leads, they could go stale. Customers will look elsewhere for service, especially if it’s cheaper to go to a competitor.
Better Car People can help you not only make the most of your DMN leads, but also uncover new service leads from your manifest lists. Over 1200 dealers already use Connected Response™, and we’ve booked more than 2 million appointments. Our platform connects with your operational support system (OSS) and takes the heavy lifting off your team. Book a quick, 15-minute meeting with one of our experts to learn how you could see more OnStar benefits for your dealership.