The Road to ROI with F&I

Why Consumers Are Wary of F&I and How to Regain Their Trust

Posted by Vanguard Dealer Services on Oct 21, 2019 8:30:00 AM


With customers preferring root canals and lines at the DMV over buying a car, Dealerships should be focusing more than ever on improving the customer experience. But when what the customer distrusts most are your F&I Department's policies and products, what can you do?

Why Customers Are Wary

The advancement of technology and online consumerism empowers today's car shoppers with more information than ever. Unfortunately for Dealerships, this can be a double-edged sword. Consumers may spend less of your sales team's time on the lot, but they'll spend even more time questioning your F&I department. Reasons for distrust follow below:

  1. The open forum of the internet has allowed unhappy customers to share their bad experiences with Dealerships and financing terms they didn't fully understand. This leads to customers feeling like they're getting short-changed or bamboozled.
  2. More options are available with online financing only a few clicks away.
  3. While they understand tangible car features and price points, many customers don't fully grasp the benefits of F&I products.

How Dealerships Can Regain Trust

Fortunately for F&I Service Departments everywhere, steps can be taken to reduce fall out and promote repeat customers and their glowing recommendations.

  1. Acknowledge that the internet is where customers will go with their complaints - and compliments. By improving the customer experience and encouraging positive reviews on online forums, you can ameliorate negative backlash and splash over from other Dealerships.
  2. Provide upfront and transparent F&I policies and allow access to how your process works online. Keep current rates updated online and encourage customers to come to the dealership for promotional deals. Don't underestimate what people will do for a deal, even if it's small. You may also want to consider online pre-approvals, so their information is already in your system before they show up on the lot.
  3. Offer clear and easy-to-follow information about your F&I products and how they benefit the customer. This can be done online, or through pamphlets or tablets while the customer waits for assistance at the Dealership. Remember, today's consumer likes to feel knowledgeable about the issues surrounding their purchase.

Most Importantly, Maximum Customer Value

While the steps above can help improve trust between the customer and your F&I Department, there is no substitute for quality products. The more value your services bring to the customer, the happier they will be. It's that simple. So make sure you keep your F&I Department up to date on all the latest products available by sending them to yearly conferences and expos. Expand your network so your team becomes the source of information everyone else looks to. And most importantly, don't skimp on improvements in your department.

Understanding the "why" of customer distrust and how to fix it will help your Dealership improve customer service and keep you ahead of the competition. Contact us to find out more about upcoming F&I Conferences and Expos and improve your Dealership, today.

Topics: customer experience

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