Stop The Waiting in F&I-Go Digital
Americans spend billions of hours a year, waiting in line. Dealerships today work hard to move customers through the buying process faster. As one of our studies has shown, shaving even 15 minutes off the F&I process makes customers feel better about the experience.
The wait time is only one variable in customers’ overall perception of their experience, however. There’s a psychology involved with waiting.
Customers tolerate longer waits if the last moments of that experience are positive. Further, they’ll grumble less if they’re kept preoccupied while the clock ticks.
Test this psychology yourself. Set a kettle on the stove to boil and wait for it, or set the kettle and check your favorite news feed or texts on your smartphone while you wait. Which experience do you prefer?
Few people remember the words said in a conversation or a transaction, but most people remember how they feel about the experience. Occupying customers during a wait makes time “feel faster.”
Dealerships that use digital F&I platforms leverage this psychology to their favor—and their customers’. When transactions are smooth, and processes are easy and fast, potential irritants evaporate.
Science has revealed that pleasing activities can release the chemical dopamine in the brain. One emotion this hormone creates is a sense of happiness. Happier customers not only tend to buy more, but they also return to buy again, whether for vehicle services or another vehicle.
Don’t dismiss this as just millennial-aged buyers being impatient—it may not be the case. It’s generally true, however, that individuals born before 1986 grew up in a world where manual processes were the norm, and it was accepted that some transactions and processes just took longer than others.
For consumers born later—into a digital world—transactions and processes are expected to be fast, streamlined, and easy. For consumers of all ages, studies show that slowing down, standing in line, and feeling like you’re wasting time makes you irritable, impatient, and may even fire off pain receptors in your brain.
Although consumers demand faster interactions, they continue to expect transactions and business engagements to be more satisfying and transparent. They want a more intuitive in-store experience and a seamless online experience they control—and they better be fast.
What does this mean for our industry and your dealership? Dealerships that employ processes and tools that reduce time, speed processes, and meet the demands of the modern consumer have a huge advantage. Creating that fast, high-end push-button user experience will create conditions for better results.
In the automotive retail space, producers and agents are already helping their clients understand, appreciate, and use some of the leading technologies that help deliver a faster, more transparent, and often expectation-busting experience. With that in mind, consider the following systems at your dealership. Are they creating delays in your ability to meet customer expectations?
Your engagement systems
Get customers engaged in the F&I process while they’re still shopping your dealership online, and in the showroom, as the deal moves along. Online F&I engagement tools, which many dealerships have been using for years, help start the process. The online experience lets shoppers feel more in control of events.
Online engagement systems should include online credit applications and rate and payment calculators. Continue the engagement in the showroom, consider MaximTrak’s FLITE™. Through FLITE’s smart survey, customers connect their lifestyle needs with the real-world, and then are presented with tailored, yet unbiased options to protect their vehicle.
Your delivery systems
To what degree does your website enable shoppers to make their own choices—or at minimum, review F&I information—online? Can shoppers purchase service contracts, and add tire and wheel or other packages via website e-commerce functionality?
Is the F&I process streamlined, automated, and focused on presenting clarity, building confidence, and answering questions? When these tools deliver speed and link consumers’ expectations to the act of purchasing vehicles and aftermarket products, they connect the value of each product to how it enhances customers’ lifestyle goals.
Your closing systems
It used to be a dealership’s engagement, delivery, and closing system were one: the F&I professional in the seat across from the buyer. Delivery used to be by just the F&I manager, but today is one of several ways a dealership must engage customers.
First, and it might seem obvious: Be sure F&I personnel are well-trained, their tactics and handling skills are updated and polished, and they’re customer-focused. Second, put all the products you sell on a menu you present to every customer.
With consumers—both online and in your store—demanding faster interactions, they continue to expect transactions and business engagements to be more satisfying and transparent. They want a more intuitive in-store experience and a seamless online experience they control. If you don’t offer them, you’ll create the opposite of happier customers.
Take Advantage of Our Digital Solutions
Hand your customers a tablet and they can fill out a RouteOne online credit application. Our Mobile Point of Sale App gives you the flexibility to work with your customers wherever you both may be; on the lot, in your showroom, wherever. The customer can complete a credit application on his or her own or as guided by you. The app captures and presents the credit application and related information on a tablet that connects directly to the RouteOne system. In addition, your customers can take a smart survey with MaximTrak’s FLITE- tool. Consumers are asked a series of questions and the technology will recommend products that suit their individual needs lifestyle.
Click here to discover how dealerships like yours are using MaximTrak’s leading F&I menu technology to increase profits, reduce friction, and transform the customer experience.