Buyer Education in F&I Starts Online - Tell More, Sell More

In the current age of digital retailing, dealerships have come to embrace (quite by necessity since COVID) having a strong online platform for customers to shop for and purchase their cars, even as life has just about gotten back to normal. 

As government agencies like the FTC and their recent proposal for more disclosure and transparency over many facets of the car buying experience have put a spotlight on the need for a better, more informed process. 

Two of the larger generations of car buyers are more immersed than ever with online everything. Delivery, shopping, social media, and yes, car buying. Millennials and Gen Z research everything to not only find the best deal but to make sure they know what they are walking into when buying from their local dealer. 

As more dealerships have had to respond to this in the last few years, some have resisted putting TOO much info online, particularly regarding F&I products. This is a missed opportunity, though. Educating your buyer beforehand can be the key to getting more sales when/if they do eventually come in to do their deal.

Many dealerships offer transparency when it comes to unit pricing and even service prices for common maintenance but rarely do you see much information on popular F&I products.

Educating your customers on what the products are and how they benefit you during your car ownership can make all the difference in demystifying their entire experience. For decades, car buyers have detested this part of the process more than any other. So why not change all that in the digital age with as much helpful information as possible?

But many still don’t.

Why keep these products a secret? How is that affecting PVR and penetration at your store?

Here are a few benefits to offering more upfront information to your customers about F&I products available to them:

  • Information Matters - A study from 2019 revealed that car shoppers were 83% more likely to buy 1 or more F&I products if they had the information on its features and benefits before they came into the dealership. Of course COVID has changed that with more buyers going online for the whole transaction but that fact alone shows that offering product information online can only help sell more.

Show examples of the range in VSC costs from model to model. Explain GAP in detail and paint a picture of the benefits of it. Show pictures of what damaged alloys look like while explaining Tire & Wheel advantages. It won’t scare them off from buying but rather help encourage questions when they come into F&I…and that’s where your staff can shine. 

  • CSI Can Benefit Nicely- Your CSI ratings will increase with a higher level of transparency. Car buyers are already a bit defensive when dealing with F&I due to awful stereotypes from the past…so why not shock them with an entirely new approach? Upfront information and even in some cases, upfront bundle pricing if you have them in place. They will appreciate the new way of doing business and your ratings will improve as a result. Increased transparency will go a long way to busting old stereotypes.

  • Your Value Prop Strengthened- Local car shoppers are having to travel outside of their market these days to find the car they want (and not always successful thanks to the chip shortage). It’s more important than ever to find ways to position your dealership as the best local choice for vehicles. If something as simple as giving customers all the info they need for F&I products upfront gets more lot traffic, why not try it? Set yourself apart. 

Be the dealership that is doing things differently.

  • Be Creative and Have Fun - There is no excuse to not be leveraging the power of digital media when designing a webpage that helps to educate your customers on all F&I products and services. Explainer videos can be fun and able to break down the more boring aspects of some products into engaging visual learning. 

Blogs are helpful, too. Any content that can help explain the benefits in easy to understand language can serve well to make sure your customers know everything they have to before coming in. 

truWarranty is here to be the F&I provider that can help you strengthen your product menu and be better equipped to roll out this next-gen level of customer education. Setting your dealership apart starts with administrators like us who, like you, do things differently. Give us a shout today to learn more…we’d love to meet you!

date published
August 26, 2022

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