Fewer car buyers are willing to spend a long time in a dealership finance and insurance office. And they really get impatient waiting to get in.
That is why Patricia Ballin, finance director of Fletcher Jones Motor Cars in Newport Beach, CA, has six finance managers, a special finance manager and two assistants to streamline the finance process for customers. No one waits long.
“Generally, we can get people in and out in 15 minutes unless they are detail- oriented and want to read everything presented,” she says of the Mercedes-Benz dealership that is No.9 on the WardsAuto F&I 150. “Our job is to give everyone adequate time to review and understand the process. We never rush our guests.”
More of the F&I process will be automated in the future to speed transaction time, says David Robertson, executive director of the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals.
More transactions will be paperless as more companies moving into electronic applications and e-contracting.
But despite the emerging technology, F&I remains a people business, says Robert Gault, F&I director of Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, TX.
He says he works to assist customers in reviewing options and learning how F&I products can help them protect their vehicle investment.
Gault also works to make people comfortable while they share personal information and tries to set the right mood at the Texas store.
“We wear shorts five months of the year, jeans the rest of time,” he says. “We are relaxed and casual. We work with people.”