F&I best practices: Understanding 4 parts of the ‘new customer journey’
GWC Warranty wants dealerships to protect one of their most valuable revenue streams — F&I — so the product provider recently broke down the four components of what it called the “new customer journey.”
GWC Warranty went so far as to say in a blog post that, “the days of the linear, one-size-fits-all sales cycle are over.”
Company experts continued with, “Focusing on making appointments and protecting pricing quotes to draw customers to the showroom floor won’t succeed in today’s digitally-dominated market. A successful sales process has to work in an environment where customers do most of the legwork online.”
GWC Warranty dissected what it sees as the four segments of the customer journey along with suggestions dealerships can use to make each portion better for the potential buyer when it comes to F&I products and services.
The company recommended that dealers incorporate clear information, pricing details and open communication to cover more potential roadblocks and learn more about what customers want before they walk in the door or potentially take delivery at home.
GWC Warranty acknowledged, “Buyers can find the right car and the right price on their own — and expect no surprises.”
The company stressed that dealers who appreciate the research their customers have already done and use that as a place to start a conversation can find out exactly where the buyer is in the process and discover what it will take to move the sale forward.
GWC Warranty explained that a customer who’s done hours of research and completed multiple steps of the process online oftentimes has given store personnel clues about what they need to see.
“By building a personalized presentation that engages with buyers at critical touchpoints, dealers can convert an online ‘shopper’ into a buyer,” the company said.
GWC Warranty then emphasized that the earlier dealers introduce F&I in the sales cycle, the more chances stores have to close the deal.
“Customers who are more informed upfront about the protection products and other add-ons your dealership has to offer are more open to their value, no matter what stage of the buying process they’re at,” the company said.