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Zach Zulauf

5 mins

The Role of Customer Success in Vehicle Reimbursement Programs



In the world of SaaS and vehicle reimbursement programs (VRPs), it’s not just about keeping customers happy, it’s about ensuring they get the most out of the services they use. To differentiate yourself in the vehicle reimbursement space, it’s important to recognize that customer success must go beyond your typical account management. 

You and your vendor should focus on your customer journey, ensuring that every aspect of your vehicle reimbursement programs aligns with your needs and goals. Your vendor’s support team, also known as customer success managers (CSMs), are dedicated to providing real-time support and excellent communication, ensuring a timely and fulsome onboarding process and long-term customer satisfaction.

Defining your success

Going beyond account management

Traditional account management often focuses on upselling and cross-selling, often overlooking the actual needs of the business. A customer success team should be committed to understanding customer needs and providing solutions that improve their experience without mindlessly hustling for add-ons. By prioritizing strong relationships and real-time problem-solving, businesses ensure that their customers feel supported and valued. Prioritizing customer success boosts customer retention thereby optimizing the profitability of their vehicle reimbursement programs.

A knowledgeable customer is a happy customer

Education and empowerment should be at the heart of every customer success strategy. A well-informed customer is a successful one. It’s important for a CSM team to work closely with customers to teach them how to optimize their vehicle programs — from understanding the intricacies of FAVR (fixed and variable rate reimbursement), to mastering mileage tracking, to understanding the complexities of compliance with IRS regulations.

The importance of IRS compliance

Understanding commuting rules

An important aspect of vehicle reimbursement is understanding commuting rules. Commuting mileage, which refers to the distance traveled between home and work, is not considered reimbursable business mileage. We’ve seen companies come to us with no commute rules in their FAVR programs, putting them at risk of non-compliance. This lack of knowledge can lead to taxation, but with guidance from a reliable and proactive vehicle program provider, customers can implement clear commuting rules and ensure their mileage reimbursement practices are aboveboard.

Risks of non-compliance

Ignoring IRS rules can hurt you, it can lead to unnecessary taxation. Non-compliance doesn’t just hurt your business financially, but it can damage a company’s reputation and trust with employees. 

Customer success managers should help you mitigate these risks by providing you fulsome education on IRS guidelines and helping you develop robust, compliant vehicle reimbursement programs. This kind of consultative approach not only protects your business against potential pitfalls but also fosters a culture of transparency and trust, ultimately leading to a healthier customer experience and, therefore, better business outcomes.

The consultative approach

Deep program knowledge

Having a deep understanding of your vehicle program is all a part of your VRP success. A proactive and engaged customer success team will educate their clients on every aspect of their vehicle reimbursement program. According to the testimonials of many vehicle reimbursement program users, vendors will often keep them in the dark to increase upselling opportunities, but a good program partner will prioritize transparency and education.

Tailored customer success calls

During our customer success calls, we tailor our advice to align with each client’s specific program goals. Whether the focus is on maximizing tax savings or creating a thorough employee benefit program, we see to it that our approach meets these objectives.

For instance, a company looking to save on taxes will receive detailed advice on optimizing their FAVR program and understanding the variable rate. On the flip-side, if the goal is to improve employee satisfaction through a car allowance program, we focus on benefits and employee-centric strategies. This personalized approach ensures that our clients achieve their unique goals efficiently and effectively.

Achieving program goals

Aligning with customer objectives

Ensuring that the goals of a vehicle reimbursement program are met should be a vendor’s top priority. Maybe the client’s aim is for cost efficiency, or tax compliance, or maybe they’re looking for employee satisfaction. By focusing on customer needs and leveraging their expertise, they should be able to help businesses achieve their desired outcomes. Cardata’s customer success team continuously monitors and optimizes the client’s program to stay aligned with these goals, ensuring ongoing customer satisfaction and retention.

Examples of success

Our approach has led to numerous success stories. For example, a client struggling with IRS compliance and inefficient mileage reimbursement saw significant improvements after we revamped their FAVR program. We helped them introduce automated mileage tracking for their drivers and clear commute rules, which not only ensured compliance but also reduced administrative burden and costs. Another client aiming to boost employee morale through a car allowance program saw a pretty notable increase in employee satisfaction and retention, thanks to Cardata’s tailored guidance and support. These examples illustrate how our consultative approach delivers tangible benefits and aligns with our clients’ objectives.


A consultative customer success approach is invaluable and offers numerous benefits. By prioritizing education and compliance, a program provider empowers their clients to make informed decisions and optimize their vehicle reimbursement programs. Cardata encourages businesses to choose a service provider that values transparency and deep program knowledge. With our customer success strategy, clients can be confident in achieving long-term benefits, from cost savings and compliance to improved employee satisfaction and retention. At Cardata, we’re committed to helping our clients succeed at every step of their journey.

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