Why It’s Important to Offer Video Calls with F&I & Tips for Making Them To Notch
Before the pandemic, not many F&I managers ever thought much about having a video call with a customer to discuss financing options. Now we don’t think twice about it. For F&I staff in particular, being able to have a video call with a prospective customer can make or break a deal.
There are still plenty of car shoppers that want to do most of their initial research online before ever committing to come into the dealership. A recent study by CarGurus in late ‘22 revealed that 70% of buyers wanted to do more of their purchase at home and that 56% wanted to handle their financing online.
What does this say? Car shoppers have grown to like the convenience of doing their research from their couch and want to be more prepared before making the trip to the lot.
Some dealers may not think video calls move the needle very much for closing rates or PVR but there is enough consumer sentiment out there to say the opposite. Give our car buyers the option to have a video call with an F&I manager so they can be better informed and ready to consider financing AND F&I products.
How Does Video Help..Really?
Human connection is something all buyers want to some degree. That can be in person or online but it’s still having your seasoned and knowledgeable F&I manager chatting with and educating a potential buyer. Answering important questions and establishing a sense of trust in your dealership at a time when trust is in short supply.
There are software platforms entering the market that make this level of connection easy. Recording a video call can be valuable for compliance reasons and being able to answer questions AND counter objections in real time can make all the difference when trying to close on products.
Buyers want to be educated and being able to do that face-to-face, even virtually, is an invaluable tool for them to feel better equipped to make a large financial decision.
It’s Not Going Away Even if the Pandemic (Mostly) Has…
A survey by Capital One showed that 2/3rds of respondents wanted more enhanced digital retail tools and 3 out of 4 car shoppers wanted more upfront information about price AND finance options.
This lean into online options for putting a deal together are not going away. Dealerships who are equipped and embracing the ability to communicate virtually for customers who request it are better prepared to make more deals and have shoppers who are ready to make a deal.
Tips for Your Best Video Call
How does your store ensure that your staff makes a positive impression and maintains a high level of professionalism while on video?
Let’s look at 3 tips to help make sure your staff is presenting themselves in the best possible light every time while on video with car buyers…
1) Watch the Background - Ditch the beach background and opt for something more professional, like the back of your office or dealer branded background.
Don’t have anything messy in the background if you opt for the back of your office. Put your lunch bag away and tidy up.
2) Smile and Use the Best Angle: Smile. It’s such a simple thing but when the video connects, there is a narrow window to make that positive first impression that you are happy to be helping them with this big financial decision and you appreciate the time they are taking to speak with you.
And try to look even with the camera or up slightly...people hate seeing others look down into the camera.
3) Be Seen: Remember the last time you had a Zoom call, and it was so dark you could barely see the person you were talking with? We all do. If your office has natural light available, open the windows and be seen. Chatting with someone who looks like they are in a cave is not very endearing. Get a light ring...it helps a lot.
All of these tips should be easy to implement. In an environment where customers have become accustomed to the quick video chat to work out their deals, it’s important to let customers know video calls are always available and that it’s a pleasant and professional experience when they do.
Discover the significance of the walkaround process in achieving higher F&I PVR (Per Vehicle Retail) figures. Learn how an effective walkaround strategy can optimize your dealership's finance and insurance performance.
No F&I manager likes a cash deal. Most see them as a ‘dead’ deal where there is little or no chance to sell any F&I products.But it’s really not a lost cause at all. Sure it’s a little more challenging but in this current market, there is still a way to make these deals a positive one for F&I.