Automotive Consumer Study - S15

Mixing human and digital interactions
Information isn't the only thing your customers want. They're also
interested in an experience that is as convenient and friction-free as
possible. This is a major factor behind converting more parts of the
buyer's journey into digital formats. Online purchasing can be a highly
user-friendly process, making VFI a natural addition.
Mixing digital features with good old-fashioned human interaction is the
crux of the modern auto buyer's journey. The online elements add speed,
convenience and a feeling of reduced pressure. The human side of things
provides validation to the 44% of shoppers who told Automotive News'
researchers they would probably not buy an F&I product unless they had
spoken with a staff member about it.

Strategic development should link the new VFI strategy with overall
dealership objectives. Everything from purchasing hardware and software
to employee education should flow from this initial strategy. By
implementing a sturdy framework for F&I professionals to take on this new
methodology, you can set them up for success. JM&A Group's guide to this
process can help you through it point by point.
Giving yourself a path to ongoing profits
F&I revenue is essential for your dealership's ongoing success, and you
can lock in even more profits with a properly installed VFI platform.
Customers who are able to perform important steps of the path to
purchasing online, including viewing VFI meetings and signing paperwork,
are providing essential data while they do so.

Creating this positive, best-of-both-worlds experience for your customers
means getting staff on board early. From the earliest stages of
implementing VFI, it pays to educate both the F&I department and sales
staff about how the potential to host VFI meetings creates a smooth path
to purchasing that buyers will react to.

A customer who logs into your dealership website to review F&I product
information after the purchase is creating rich information for you to store
in a customer profile. The more steps of the journey you can put into a
digital format, on a well-designed and easy-to-use website, the more touch
points you'll have for collecting this data.

The technology tools should be on par with employees' skills and
preparedness. Your dealership needs to have a strong website
architecture with a customer-facing account management portal, as well
as internal features your team can use to follow up with and reach out to
buyers. There must be a consistent, integrated online experience that
spans both online and in-person interactions to match today's buyer
journeys.

With that data in hand, you are better equipped to serve buyers in the
months and years ahead. You can offer personalized deals and discounts
or promote purchases in the fixed-operations department, creating a
lasting connection between dealership and customer. In these ways,
enabling digital research isn't just about research, and VFI isn't just about
F&I. These are both components of an overall move to a data-rich version
of the customer journey that is a perfect subject for business intelligence.

Source: Automotive News Research & Data Center
© Copyright 2020. Automotive News. All rights reserved.

16



Automotive Consumer Study

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive Consumer Study

Automotive Consumer Study - S1
Automotive Consumer Study - S1
Automotive Consumer Study - S2
Automotive Consumer Study - S3
Automotive Consumer Study - S4
Automotive Consumer Study - S5
Automotive Consumer Study - S6
Automotive Consumer Study - S7
Automotive Consumer Study - S8
Automotive Consumer Study - S9
Automotive Consumer Study - S10
Automotive Consumer Study - S11
Automotive Consumer Study - S12
Automotive Consumer Study - S13
Automotive Consumer Study - S14
Automotive Consumer Study - S15
Automotive Consumer Study - S16
Automotive Consumer Study - S17
Automotive Consumer Study - S18
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