The Road to ROI with F&I

3 Ways to Speed Up a Customer's Experience

Posted by Vanguard Dealer Services on Jan 6, 2020 9:30:00 AM


Car dealerships are faced with disadvantages in today's fast-paced market.  The belief that car purchasing can be a painfully long process is based on many old traditions at car dealerships that persist today.  Faster sales can be accomplished by improving in three different areas.  Each of these areas is based on building strong relationships and effective communication strategies:  

Customer Relationships

  • Good first impressions are essential.  Salespeople need to listen to the customers' needs and interests and respond with answers, options, and patience.  This article in Forbes from the Harvard Business School tells the story of a professor having a great experience at a rug bazaar, where the vendor offered her food and tea and began a conversation about what she would like in a rug, long before discussing price.  Create an experience for the customer that will make them comfortable with your dealership by providing comfort and options. 
  • Do the prep work.  Efficiency and speed can be developed in a sales process when a sales department is prepared with the answers and the vehicles a customer needs.  If there is one thing that car dealerships should know well, it is car buyers.   Don't guess at a person's interests but be prepared to meet the needs of every type of car buyer out there.   
  • Educate the customer - visuals at a dealership are a great way to help customers stay engaged and can provide great information about not just cars but the car buying process.  An online presence can advertise products and services while also helping customers research and be prepared with the necessary paperwork purchasing a car, helping the process move along faster for everyone.

Departmental Communication

  • Communication between departments is essential for an efficient car sale.  The sale probably starts on the floor, but it doesn't end until F&I (Finance and Insurance) has ironed out the details with the customer.  Establishing both cooperation and boundaries between the sales and F&I departments is necessary to smooth the customer's experience.  Regular meetings between departments can help to iron out who is responsible for each detail of the sale and ensure no one wastes a customer's time by going over things twice. 
  • During a sale, a lot can be done to gain a customer's trust by spending a few minutes demonstrating interdepartmental cooperation.  Make sure there is a hand-off process when a customer is going from sales to F&I.  The salesperson should brief the customer on what's next, and F&I should check-in with the customer on how things are going with the sale before digging into details.  

Multitasking with Teamwork

  • To shorten the sales experience without losing out on keeping a customer happy (and coming back for their next car purchase), everything should be happening in sync.  Once the sales department knows there will be a sale happening, F&I can simultaneously coordinate the proper maintenance package options and prep loan paperwork while prices are discussed.  
  • As soon as a customer shows a strong interest in a specific car, that car should be getting prepped for a test drive and sale, especially while the salesperson is still answering questions and making them comfortable.  
  • While the final steps of the sale are taking place with F&I, be sure the customer won't be waiting any longer by making certain the vehicle is being cleaned, fueled and pulled to the front for the first site of their new car.  

Putting some effort into building teamwork among various departments can not only make a customer more comfortable, but it can also ensure more efficient sales for everyone.  Contact us for more information on how you can ensure a faster sales experience while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. 

Topics: Dealership Customers, Customer Retention, customer experience

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