Your F&I department is a key influencer on your Parts & Sales business. Every department at a vehicle dealership depends primarily on an unpredictable flow of new and returning customers to make revenue quotas, but the sale of an F&I department product is a predictable opportunity to generate additional Parts & Sales revenues.
It may not seem obvious at first, but customers who purchase products directly from your F&I department automatically become qualified prospects for parts and service sales. For example, F&I products such as PrePaid Maintenance Plans, Paint-less Dent Repair, and Tire & Wheel Protection all mandate customer visits that open the door to additional sales by the Parts & Service departments.
Many vehicle owners go off-dealership for repairs and service after they lease or purchase a vehicle. No matter what the reasoning, it's an issue that exists. However, there is a likely chance that customers who purchase your F&I products will go to get their vehicle work done at your Service shop and purchase the necessary parts from your Parts department.
Consider the ripple effect:
- An F&I product customer makes a prepaid maintenance plan appointment. Your Service team walks the customer through the maintenance completed on this visit, and then makes purposeful, reasonable suggestions for additional safety or incidental products. The customer may purchase these immediately (or at a later appointment) from Parts. Your Service department does the installation.
- A customer who might otherwise go elsewhere for dent repairs makes an appointment to have the paint-less repair work done at your dealership. Your Service team may find other dings/dents or repairs that should also be brought to the customer's attention. Work for these may be added or scheduled for another appointment. Your customer's experience may translate into sales initiated by a referral to family and friends.
- Road hazards are unavoidable and customers with the F&I product, Tire & Wheel Protection, will be sure to make an appointment to fix or replace affected tires and wheels. An appointment is always an opportunity to talk with customers about parts and accessories they may not be aware are available. When your team takes an honest interest in your customers, they will be more likely to listen and act on purchase suggestions. When this occurs, they become great sources of referred business.
By their very nature F&I products cause customers to return to the dealership for service. This is when the Parts & Service teams can grasp the opportunity to get to know your customers, to assess their needs and make recommendations for additional products and service. Selling these additional products and services is one way that F&I products can improve your Parts & Service business.
F&I products also indirectly improve your P&S business. By offering services and parts that customers would otherwise not be aware of, your F&I department has increased the number of opportunities your P&S team has to get to know their customers. Vehicle owners are typically not shy about sharing their dealership experiences with friends and families. When there is an established strong rapport customers will refer family and friends for routine service, window etching and for dent and tire fixes.
Vehicle owners are drawn to repair shops that are highly recommended, and customers who find excellence in the work done by your P&S teams will be walking advertisements for your dealership. Your parts and service personnel should be encouraged to build strong relationships with every F&I product customer. A relationship built on honesty, reliability and product excellence will improve your Parts & Service revenues as well as expand your customer base.
Contact us today for information on our Vanguard Dealer Services F&I products that will improve your Parts & Service Business.