Are Your Wait Times Killing Gross Profits?

April 24, 2017

Stop worrying about transaction times and focus on the customer experience! Our industries focus is on how to speed up the transaction process because we believe that’s what the customer wants… But is it? Could customers be looking for a better experience?

We always start the beginning of the sales process with the “meet and greet.” From there, our sales team’s sole responsibility is to create 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 in the right vehicle.

So, what happens once we get commitment from the customer? We put together the deal, get the necessary paperwork ready, and assign the deal to finance.

And now we wait…

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 could mean 30 more minutes or even hours before they make it in the business office.

We see and live this all so often. What ends up happening is, we not only kill the customer experience and get a bad CSI score but we also kill the opportunity to sell additional finance products.

So why aren’t we holding our F&I team accountable to same standards as our sales team?

I believe, the biggest pain point we have with the finance process is customer wait times. So, what are you doing to change this?

  1. Do you know how long your customers are actually waiting for F&I?
  2. Is there a finance queue to make sure the customers are being assigned in the proper order to reduce their wait time?
  3. Are you measuring those wait times to be able to provide the sales professional and customer clearer expectations?

If the sales professional knows the (true) wait time, they can talk with the client and begin going through the book. They can help by making recommendations on some finance products to consider, and providing a tour of service.

But all too often we just let them sit.

Take the cash buyer for example

With cash buyers, we typically would have them wait longer and make the finance/lease deals a priority. Why? Because we assume there’s no money to be made on a cash deal and you’re 100% correct when you leave them waiting for substantial amount of time.

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, you might also kill any opportunity to get referrals at the time of delivery.

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 opportunity to sell them a warranty or wheel/tire protection package 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.

Unfortunately, this simply isn’t happening.

So, we at Nextup studied the finance process and decided to do something about it.

With our most recent release of Transact, we’re able to distribute finance deals to finance managers within our queuing software. We can track and measure deal type, wait times, transaction times, and total deals by type. You can even break it down by 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 in the finance office at the right time and providing our dealer clients with the data they need to manage the 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 are seeing 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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