The Road to ROI with F&I

Clear Communication Flow Between the F&I Department and the Sales Desk

Posted by Vanguard Dealer Services on Sep 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM

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While communication is vital to the success of any organization, keeping a clear flow of communication between the F&I Department and the Sales Desk is essential in a dealership. Negative communication can deliver a stormy impact on employee morale, the profitability of the dealership, and affect the reputation of the dealership's brand. The dealership must make sure that the communication flow between their F&I Department and Sales Desk are active and ongoing. Cohesiveness is necessary to ensure all things needed to keep the dealership in a high-profit margin and a high-level reputation of the dealership's brand. It's equally crucial to keep employee morale high and healthy.

PROCESS DEVELOPMENT

Process development is a key to an organization's success and requires a strong anchor to affirm the dealership's F&I Department and Sales Desk. By having an excellent communication flow, this not only aids in keeping a high profitability margin for the company but protects the dealership's brand reputation along with keeping employee morale high. When employee morale becomes negatively affected, a conflict or divide can flourish between the F&I Department and the Sales Department. As an example, when one department does not get concise updates or information on an order or customer issue, employees will become frustrated with the other department. The dealership risks having the customer becoming caught up in a situation that exemplifies a poor customer experience which will only have negative consequences for the dealership, the brand, and everyone involved.

       Important Note:

  • A process should include the adoption of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program, which will allow for excellent customer service and a concise flow of communication throughout the dealership, especially the F&I Department and the Sales Desk.
  • CRM programs are designed to allow dealership personnel to record events and transactions with each particular customer to keep an internal record of communications with him/her.
  • The first point of customer contact with your dealership would be the one to create an new entry, and the CRM system should assign an account and/or ID number to a customer. Employees are permitted to make additions to the record, which other employees can access, regardless of the department, to view the most up-to-date communication.
  • A turnkey CRM platform can be incorporated or one can be developed 'in-house' through a customized program (if you have employees or consultants with the required data-related experience).

USING FEEDBACK

Evaluation assessments from customers or other employees/departments are essential to the success of an organization. Feedback, whether it's negative or positive, is useful to the dealership. The data aids in defining training necessities and indicating rifts in communication which might be present. By having an evaluation tool on hand, the dealership can intercept problems, which could impact the dealership's brand, customer relationships, or employee morale.

       Important Note:

  • Evaluation forms are great for the dealership to identify problems that could impact profitability, employee behavior, and customer satisfaction.
  • Feedback aids the dealership in not only retaining customers but ensuring a level of trust to cement the relationship.
  • The use of feedback or evaluation tools will keep the dealership and its employees on point to make certain customers are satisfied, the brand is protected, profitability is high, and employee morale isn't lacking.

EMPLOYEE MORALE

Dealerships understand that employee morale can have a significant impact on the success of the organization. If employees don't carry out the dealership's mission and protect the company's brand, profitability issues are going to rise, customers are going to notice 'attitudes,' if you will, and customer relationships are going to diminish. Dealerships must communicate with employees and keep them informed of any issues or problems the company faces when it comes to the aforementioned topics. In order to protect the dealership's reputation and ability to stay in business, there needs to be direct and immediate interaction with employees.

       Important Note:

  • Keeping employee morale high involves establishing regular set meetings, which allow the employees to share any ongoing issues affecting the dealership's primary mission.
  • Employees need to be encouraged and reminded they are all working toward the same end goal.
  • Employees need to know they represent the company in terms of successes and failures.
  • Employees need to understand they have a reputation to uphold when it comes to the dealership's positive reflection and customer relationships.
  • Employees need to be involved in 'team-building' activities, which strengthens the message of the positive impact of everyone staying on the same page.

CONCLUSION

If you want your dealership to remain at the top of its game, taking steps to develop a communication process to keep everyone informed and engaged, and a clear flow of communication is essential. By taking steps to ensure concise and clear communication flow, you protect the company's brand, the company's customer relationships, the company's success in terms of profitability, and the company's ability to keep employee morale at a high-level, which will make sure customer relationships are long term. Please, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need additional information about this article. We will be happy to assist you.

Topics: F&I Managers, Communication, Sales Department

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