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by
Dave Doff
| 19 February 2020

Personalize your F&I experience to increase profits

Chances are, some of the best experiences you’ve had in your life were personalized just for you. Today’s consumers demand more customized experiences, whether it’s ordering a cup of coffee, planning a vacation, streaming a movie, or buying a car.

Customers can now complete most of the car-buying process without ever stepping into a dealer showroom. As mobile usage increases, dealers who can shorten the deal-making purchase processes — through digitized F&I paperwork and negotiations — may see an increase in their CSI scores and their per vehicle profit on sales.

More consumers demand web-driven experiences

Consumers are increasingly moving to online services across key categories from shopping to transportation. This shift has never been more evident than with cable and satellite TV providers.

In the past, cable and satellite providers didn’t have to adapt to consumers’ needs, as there was little to no competition. Today, however, 69 percent of consumers pay for internet streaming services compared to 65 percent of consumers who pay for cable and satellite subscriptions.

While the stats may seem equal, the trend is generational. Among millennials, 88 percent are now streaming video. For Gen Z, who were raised on the internet, that figure is at 80 percent. That’s a notable increase from 2009, when just 10 percent of consumers subscribed to internet video services.

Technology has greatly impacted the industry landscape, forcing cable and satellite providers to adapt just to keep pace.

We see the same trend in the automotive industry. Car shoppers are increasingly demanding a web-driven experience to buy their vehicles instead of the traditional in-store experience.

This desire is evident with the success of companies like Carvana, who rely heavily on technology and data, and offer customers a completely remote experience. This places all experiences online, driven by customers wherever and whenever they want.

Nowhere is the need for online options more important than during the F&I process. Giving the customers personalized F&I presentations with relevant add-ons — and enabling each customer to build their own menu options online before stepping into your dealership — will increase your chances of making a sale.

Increasing revenue is all in the presentation

Offering customers an online tool to browse vehicles, build quotes and send them to your dealership can boost revenue for your dealership. Though this process many not work for all customers, having the flexibility to adjust workflows and offer options in any step of the buying process will set your dealership apart.

Customers spend an average of three hours at the dealership during the purchase process. Of that, the time spent in the F&I office is the top customer complaint, resulting in a 46 percent customer satisfaction rate & lower than the 77 percent satisfaction rate during the test drive. Streamlining the F&I and paperwork process and offering remote experiences to your customers will enhance the customer experience.

Remote Interviews and Remote Presentations, for example, can eliminate the the time spent in the F&I office. They provide an enhanced interactive and transparent customer experience during the crucial deal-making purchase process. Starting the interview before the customer comes in — and giving them the option to see products on a tablet — even away from the dealership — are two key steps to enhancing customer satisfaction.

Why put your dealership in the same position as cable and satellite providers when you can lead the pack instead of playing catch up?

Use personalization to your advantage

When adjusting to meet changing consumer demands, it’s critical that F&I Managers and dealerships have the best chance of meeting per deal goals. This requires giving customers a personalized buying experience on their terms.

Personalization plays a major role in the overall customer experience. Without personalization, you risk losing sales due to customers glossing over the options that may not be relevant to them.

To help raise CSI scores and increase your per vehicle profit on sales, make sure presentations are tailored to the customer’s needs, including buying history and comparable shopper data.

Preparing your dealership for the growing shift in online purchasing will increase your odds to be the first option for customers.

Read how CDK Global is helping dealers tailor offers for customers to increase sales and improve the customer experience.

Dave Doff
Dave Doff

Dave Doff leads marketing communications for CDK F&I products. He has 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and building brands. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and golfing.