The pandemic has had widespread and long-lasting effects on society and industries, including the automotive industry. Is finance and insurance a thing of the past at auto dealerships?
As social distancing took effect, schools and workplaces adapted by moving online, and shoppers began buying everything online. The finance and insurance (F&I) department also turned online, adapting to new technology and learning how to engage with customers in a new digital landscape.
What is Finance and Insurance?
The F&I department is the part of the dealership that suggests optional services and products such as Service Contracts and GAP protection after a customer purchases a vehicle. These services and products are offered to help the customers protect their investment and often come in a bundled package.
Is the F&I Department Still Relevant Today?
Previously, F&I only served to prolong the vehicle purchasing process. Now, in this new digital landscape brought on by the pandemic, dealers have been abandoning their F&I office in favor of turning it into an extension of sales or turning the car-buying experience entirely virtual.
This begs the question, has F&I become obsolete? The answer is no. The F&I landscape is changing as a result of the pandemic, but it is not without its uses.
F&I Department Turns to New Tools, Software, and Creative Solutions
The F&I department has adapted its tools and methods in order to stay on top during the changing pandemic environment.
With the right tools and software, you can continue to increase your margins and keep F&I relevant in this digital landscape. This can mean the difference between prolonging the F&I process as opposed to accelerating it. In this technologically advanced age, customers want an Amazon-like shopping experience: they want it to be easy and efficient.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to F&I, so it is important to be aware of the customer’s needs before trying to sell them add-ons. The right tools can help make this process easier and more efficient.
Other dealers are focusing on their finance marketing options to appeal to the consumers who are worried the pandemic and its lingering effects will keep them from qualifying for a new car loan.
The transformation of the F&I process into an online experience is also advantageous because the digital dealership has made it easier for customers to finalize their vehicle purchases.
For dealers who wish to continue to grow and profit in the F&I field, it is critical that they adapt to the digital landscape and have the proper virtual tools and integration tools.
Learn More About F&I and How to Improve Your Sales Skills Today
The pandemic has forced F&I services to adapt to the changing and digital landscape, but those services are far from obsolete or a thing of the past.
No one knows F&I better than us at The ACE Group! We offer hands-on experience, essential F&I services, and products that will help you boost profits! Contact us today to learn more about our F&I services.