03 Aug Get Out Ahead of F&I Complaints Now Rather Than Later
We all know the old saying…a customer has a good experience and they tell one person. They have a BAD experience and they tell 10 people. If this bad experience was at a dealership, however, the stakes and the potential costs are much higher. Fines, bad PR, and a ruined community reputation can have far reaching impacts that can affect your bottom line.
The good news is that there are some common-sense strategies to help your store combat customer complaints in the F&I department and minimize their impact across the organization.
Let’s take a look at some easy ways to safeguard the department and minimize the damage…
The Paper Trail
Keep accurate records of everything a customer says, everything they sign, and everything pertaining to their interaction with staff. It cannot be said enough…having proof of everything throughout the F&I experience can be the difference when an accusation is levied. This also applies to any electronic communications such as emails between the customer and the F&I staff.
It’s easy to get so busy and wrapped up in closing deals that customer complaints go unnoticed for too long. Sometimes management has so many erroneous complaints to address that the serious ones ‘with teeth’ can go unanswered for too long. Address them with the F&I manager immediately. Don’t let them pile up.
A Consistent Protocol Across Departments
Consistency is key when addressing a customer complaint. Have a set protocol in place with defined steps throughout the process. Who gets the complaints? How far up the chain do they go? What remedies are offered first? Second? What is the threshold for your company attorney to get involved?
Bottom line – do not fly blind. Complaints can affect ALL dealer profit centers (service, F&I, parts, sales) but if your store can implement a consistent process across the organization, it can be a strong first step to insulating it against future losses.
Get Proper Compliance Training
Check with your aftermarket providers to see if they offer compliance training and F&I performance reporting. These tools can help keep the F&I staff working within state and Federal guidelines and can give management a window into key metrics that can identify red flags quickly.
Click here to learn more about how TruReports, powered by TruWarranty, can help your F&I department operate at a high level for profits AND ethics.