31 May 3 Tips to Create a Happier F&I Staff
Dealerships across the country struggle with turnover for a variety of reasons…commission-heavy compensation, long hours, lack of respect from management or owners, lack of professional respect among peers. In reality, most dealer personnel stay an average of only 3 years and that cuts across departments (sales, F&I, parts, service).
For F&I managers, though, there are some steps you can take to help reduce turnover and in turn, increase PVR in the process. You may not think the two are related but they are-
1) Provide the Best Training: Whether it’s an outside hire (not from the auto industry) or promoting a salesperson to F&I, offer them the very best training your store can provide. If they feel like you are making an investment in their professional development, that will pay dividends when you see the PVR rise. They will be confident, careful in compliance procedures, and truly enthusiastic when working with customers.
2) Realistic Comp Plan: Highly successful dealers have started adopting a salary plus bonus compensation structure that is taking that edge off pushing unnecessary products and instead encouraging F&I managers to truly be the consultative salesperson your customer needs. PVR increases, chargebacks decrease dramatically, and F&I turnover lowers. Less financial stress for them means higher profits for your store.
3) Balance is Important: Maybe it’s an overused term these days but work-life balance is a real thing. Dealers for generations have made their F&I staff work bell-to-bell especially in busy markets. That day could start at 9am and not end until the last shopper walks off the lot at 10pm. Your staff misses family events, puts off vacation, and rarely has time to attend to important appointments or person matters.
Make a concerted effort to schedule 2 days off a week for each F&I manager. Reduce hours from 80 down to 40-50 hours per week. If possible, staff enough managers to make this kind of schedule work and watch the change in PVR and CSI. Will they make less from working less deals? Yes, but they will be rested, happier, and less stressed which makes the customer experience much better. Happier customers are more receptive customers and that means higher F&I profits.