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Leverage Technology in F&I to Increase Revenue

Article Highlights:

  • How your F&I manager can control the customer experience.
  • Make sure your F&I managers are utilizing presentation tools effectively.

There are many reasons why a dealership invests in a digital solution for their F&I department – to cut down on paper, increase efficiency, maintain compliance, or speed up CIT time. Regardless of the main reason, I want to talk about a benefit many dealerships often forget – leveraging customer experience to increase revenue per customer.

Imagine the impact an engaging, digital F&I solution has from your customer’s perspective. A transparent and interactive experience enables them to feel in control, knowledgeable, and at ease. Sounds amazing right? Here’s the catch: a digital solution is only the foundation. Your F&I managers need to know how to leverage it effectively and purposefully to capture more sales per customer. Here are three common ways customer experience is missed, despite having a digital solution.

1. Buying vs Selling

Your F&I managers have a lot of responsibilities on their plate, including selling enough products to make the sale profitable. However, customers don’t want to be sold products – they want the freedom to buy a product. Having your F&I managers effectively utilize sales tools is crucial in educating the customer on what each product offers and how it will uniquely benefit them. It requires an F&I manager to be confident in the technology to create a confident consumer.

2. Lack of Transparency

Satisfaction drops significantly when customers feel information is being kept from them. When a customer doesn’t want a certain product, the F&I manager must go back to the PC to make the change. The act is innocent enough, but the customer doesn’t know what the F&I manager is doing. If there are multiple changes throughout the process, the F&I manager is continuously going back and forth from PC to customer. Every time this happens, the customer trusts the F&I manager less and becomes less likely to buy. When the F&I manager has the ability to make changes in front of the customer, it puts them at ease.

3. Engagement Throughout

A lot can be done to affect a customer’s perception of time. Constant engagement throughout the whole buying process can make time seem to go by faster. There is often a bottleneck at F&I, especially on busy days, meaning your customer will have to wait. Use that waiting time as an opportunity to keep customers in the buying process by giving an accessory presentation. This helps with their overall experience at your dealership, and reinforces ownership of their car before going in to F&I.

Conclusion

Remember, a customer’s experience is driven by the person they are interacting with.  Your F&I managers need to have great tools and be trained to use them effectively.  As you dig in to understand and implement lasting improvements, I recommend seeking the assistance of an experienced consultant. Not only is your dealership unique, but so are your challenges. If you have trouble identifying a solution, or even struggle with where to start, a consultant with background in the industry and perspectives from multiple dealerships can take the necessary time to help you.

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Reynolds Consulting Services

Mike Pishner is accomplished in eBusiness management and strategy, CRM processes, BDC implementation and improvement, and Desk management. He has over 10 years of automotive experience in sales and sales management roles prior to joining Reynolds Consulting Services in 2018.

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