Let’s talk about the frustrated customers in F&I
We all learned the importance of a great “meet and greet.” From jump, the sales team’s sole responsibility is to set the stage for an extraordinary experience for the customer. The sales and management teams work with the customer to understand their expectations. They validate the customers research, educate them, and make sure they land them on the right vehicle.
Fast-forward to getting the commitment from the customer – the deal is put together, the necessary paperwork is gathered, and the customer is sent to finance.
And the wait begins…
The clock is ticking, the customer is getting anxious, and the experience starts to take a turn for the worse. Typically, at this stage, the sales professional will tell their customer “You’re next,” or “Not too much longer,” which could be true. But most likely this means 30 more minutes or even more than an hour before they make it into the business office.
This scenario is all too common. The likely result? Not only has the customer’s experience gone from good to bad (along with the CSI score), but the opportunity to sell additional finance products has all but disappeared.
So why aren’t we holding our F&I team accountable to the same standards as our sales team?
The most common pain point regarding the finance process is customer wait times. So, what can be done to change it?
- Do you know how long your customers are actually waiting for F&I?
- Is there a finance queue to make sure the customers are being assigned in the proper order to reduce their wait time?
- Are you measuring those wait times to be able to provide the sales professional and customer clearer expectations?
If the sales professional knows the REAL wait time, they can talk with the customer and begin going through the book. They can help by making recommendations on some finance products to consider and providing a tour of the service department.
But all too often we just let them sit.
Take the cash buyer for example.
We typically see that cash buyers wait longer than finance/lease deals. Why? Because the assumption is that there’s no money to be made on a cash deal. That is 100% correct, by the way, if they are left waiting for hours while others move ahead of them in line. Would that put you in the buying mood? Of course not.
Think about it. Once they finally get to the business office, they just want out. The excitement left an hour ago and now you’re trying to upsell them. Good luck.
Oh, and by the way, forget about asking for referrals.
But what if we made them a priority and moved them into the business office at the time of commitment when they’re the most excited about their purchase? Do you think the chances of selling them a warranty or wheel/tire protection package would increase?
Of course, it would!
Monitoring transaction times isn’t just about getting people in and out quickly. It’s about holding your entire team accountable to deliver the same positive experience to every customer. From sales, to finance, and even service.
That’s what keeps people coming back.
So, is there anything can you do?
With Transact, Nextup’s finance solution, you’re able to distribute incoming deals to finance managers, track and measure deal type, wait times, transaction times, and total deals by type. You can even break the numbers down by individual finance manager.
What we have found is that queuing up the finance team with our automated technology eliminates cherry picking, decreases the overall wait times, and most importantly, increases the value of the opportunity. We’re getting those customers into the finance office at the right time and providing our dealer customers with the data they need to manage customers’ expectations in a more efficient and effective way.
Your team now has 100% visibility of the showroom and can see every opportunity pending in finance at the time the deal was assigned to the next available finance manager. Our dealers see a significant increase in products sold, better CSI scores, more referrals at the time of delivery, and most important, a happy healthy dealership.
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