Speed up the car buying process and increase customer satisfaction
Knowing which items to display on your car dealership’s website may seem obvious, but the reality is that many owners are neglecting to post the complete inventory of an extremely important department in the car buying process – Finance & Insurance (F&I). Ultimately, this oversight could decrease a dealer’s ability to serve customers as quickly and efficiently as possible, and in the process create a missed opportunity to drive long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty. Here’s why…
Today it’s a given that most car dealerships have a website that provides a comprehensive display of every new and used car on the lot, including a breakdown of each car’s features and every model/trim level available for sale. Many dealerships also provide a comprehensive online Service and Parts Department that lists everything from scheduled maintenance for oil changes and other most common service work to a parts catalogue to help the dealership sell more from this inventory.
“the more a dealership can do to lessen any "surprises", the more likely these shoppers will walk out as fully satisfied customers.”
This is important because consumers are increasingly going online to fully educate themselves before making a purchasing decision, and car dealerships must be prepared to show a complete picture of what’s included with every sale and what’s available afterwards. It not only helps customers with their research, but also simplifies the buying process. In many cases today, car shoppers walk into the showroom already knowing what they want to buy. Consequently, the more a dealership can do to lessen any “surprises,” the more likely these shoppers will walk out as fully satisfied customers.
But it shouldn’t stop with just cars, parts and service. By not displaying F&I products on their websites, dealerships are missing out on the golden opportunity to provide a complete picture. Doing so will help customers with their pre-sale research and, best of all, simplify and speed up the often time consuming F&I process once they’ve decided on a car. This is important because we know one of the major complaints that customers often have about going to a dealer is how much time it takes to buy a car. So whatever a dealership can do to speed up the buying process will undoubtedly have a positive impact on every customer’s experience.
Dealerships should display all of their F&I products online with full descriptions of financing and coverage options. And here’s a tip to take things a step further. Many F&I product providers will supply videos explaining why the customer needs a particular product. Post those videos to your website and help your customers even more.
It’s also critical to emphasize at every turn that most F&I products are backed by reputable insurance companies and dealers should display this information. It will add an extra layer of credibility to these products.
We’ve seen study after study show that customers prefer a transparent buying process and displaying F&I products on a dealership’s website will do just that and best of all, not hurt profitability. And that doesn’t hurt a bit, does it?
Author: Max Zanan
Max Zanan is co-founder and CEO of Total Dealer Compliance, an auditing firm that provides a comprehensive solution to ensure car dealers are fully compliant with Federal regulations within Sales, BDC, F&I, Fixed Ops, HR and IT departments. Zanan has helped several dealerships mitigate the risks and exposure through compliant practices. Previously, he was executive director at Vehicle Manufacturers, CEO at Elite Auto Group, and general manager at Five Towns Mitsubishi. EMAIL: Mzanan@dealer-communications.com