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Improving F&I Processes to Meet Changing Customer Expectations

by Dealertrack
on August 16, 2018

66% of car shoppers are more likely to buy from a dealership with their preferred experience, but less than 1% of car buyers like the current car buying process, according to Autotrader’s Car Buyer of the Future Study. To give customers their preferred experience, dealerships must meet the changing expectations of today’s car buyers.

To create a desirable customer experience, dealers need to create real value for customers while also striving to speed up the F&I process. In a recent Automotive News webinar, Jason Barrie, Vice President and General Manager of Dealertrack F&I, Dealer, teamed up with Kevin Cook, General Manager of Straub Automotive, to talk to adjust the F&I process to streamline workflow and create value for customers.

Kevin knows firsthand how improving customer experience can boost bottom line. When Straub Automotive noticed their customers’ expectations shifting, they decided to switch to a new technology solution that would enable an improved customer experience: Dealertrack eMenu for iPad®.

“Our goal was to take the fear out of F&I,” Kevin said.

Though many dealerships like Straub Automotive see customers approaching F&I with fear, customers still value making a deal in person. In fact, 89% of customers want to sign their final documents at the dealership, according to the Cox Automotive Future of Digital Retailing study. The problem is that F&I has traditionally been a very paper-based activity, which runs counter to the preferences of most internet-savvy customers.

Before switching to Dealertrack eMenu for iPad®, Straub Automotive used non-interactive video tool to aid in the F&I presentation process. With eMenu for iPad®, the dealership was able to shift to a more digital, interactive and personal F&I experience, and F&I profitability quickly increased.

“We introduced the process to the customer and immediately saw about a $150 lift in F&I profitability per car sale, and we knew we were onto something,” Kevin said.

Over the past two years, Straub Automotive has put the eMenu for iPad® mobile technology at the core of their F&I process, reaching 100% utilization by sales and F&I staff. This has resulted in up to 60% penetration on GAP Insurance and an average of $400 additional profit per deal. With one of their dealerships, Cook and his team had initially thought that a 40-50% penetration for service contracts was a good goal, but today they are seeing 75-80%.

To learn more about how to adjust your F&I processes to improve profitability, visit go.dealertrack.com/4ways, and listen to Jason and Kevin’s Automotive News webinar.

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