There’s no doubt that the greatest obstacle to success in F&I and CSI is the time it takes to complete the F&I portion of the car-buying process. From relying on technology to experimenting with hybrid sales/F&I managers, there have been endless suggestions, discussions and debates on how to meet this ongoing challenge.
After all the trial and error, the end result is often the same: Customers still complain that it takes too long to complete a vehicle purchase. In fact, according to a 2014 customer-experience study conducted by Autotrader, customers spend an average of 61 minutes in the F&I office — more than two-thirds of the ideal 90-minute transaction time consumers desire. But the blame shouldn’t fall squarely on F&I, as the sales team can disrupt the flow to F&I by failing to follow a specific set of steps that lead to a successful handoff.
The good news is speeding up the F&I process can take little or no effort — just as long as the sales and F&I teams work from the same playbook on a consistent basis. Now here are my recommendations for creating a more efficient F&I process.
Every dealer knows that incomplete and incorrect paperwork passed from sales to the F&I department causes delays, but there are three more common culprits you may not have considered:
- Procrastination: When F&I managers wait too long to get involved in a sale, customers have to wait while they review the details of the transaction. F&I managers should be prepared to greet their customers and establish a connection when the customer is ready.
- Violation of Protocol: Your F&I team must follow a planned sequence of steps to set up their product presentations, get the proper documentation signed and put the vehicle on the road. Any variance will cause a ripple effect throughout the process.
- Drawn-Out Pitches: One symptom of a lack of F&I training is a long-winded product presentation. F&I managers should know their products and stick to the script, as wearing down customers with wordy presentations hurts production and generates poor CSI scores.
Click below to read the full article: