Poor, or even a lack of, communication between F&I and the sales desk can have a very negative effect on the bottom line of F&I. You might not realize the extent of the problem if you look at the dealership as a whole but studying each department in turn can reveal the truth. No matter how well the sales desk is doing, they're negatively impacting the dealership if they're inhibiting the F&I department from doing their jobs.
Clearing up communication between the dealership's sales desk and the F&I department can make a big different for the dealership's bottom line, and it's something that a lot of dealerships lack. With the help of the suggestions below, clearing up communication, and thus improving your bottom line, should be well within reach.
While they work separately, both the sales desk and the F&I department should try to be as closely involved with each other as they can manage without interfering with each other. Responding to emails and read memos instead of letting them linger and having weekly or bi-weekly meetings are solid first steps to improving communication between the two groups, but that's just not enough for a lot of dealerships.
There are always other avenues you can take to improve communications; assigning a specific go-between, or even a communication board. Some of the options you'll have are more extreme than others. Finding the right option for your dealership can be a serious boon to your bottom line, once the two departments are working together seamlessly.
Keeping an open line of communication between the two can mean the difference between someone having to go out of their way to confirm something, and already having the information at their fingertips. Making the process as streamlined and convenient as possible can be the difference between creating a problem for the F&I department or helping to move the customer along through the dealership with the most efficiency possible.
There are a lot of ways to go about this, but whichever path you choose to go down you'll want to make sure it's as consistent and easy as possible. Keeping it from being a hassle to deal with is key in making sure that it sees widespread use through the dealership.
More than any other tip, this is the one that can really turn the problem around. Sometimes it can feel difficult to keep up communications, especially with how many moving parts a dealership has. But the most important thing is for the different areas of the business, even beyond the sales desk and F&I department, to keep each other informed on what's going on.
Knowing what the F&I department has planned beforehand can solve the problem right then and there.
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