Regulators over the auto finance industry are increasing their scrutiny of aftermarket sales. Dealers need to be aware of this and access solutions that help them stay within their compliance parameters.
In a recent webinar, RouteOne discussed recent enforcement activity by the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and state attorneys general investigating aftermarket sales practices across the country. The anticipation of increased focus on unfair and deceptive practices in the auto industry is based on recent actions against dealers.
It’s crucial that dealers have F&I processes that are transparent, flexible, and built to provide value to the customer. Menu tools can provide dealers with flexible solutions that support their unique sales processes and allow them to prioritize customer value, transparency, and regulatory compliance in a way that makes sense for their business. It's recommended that dealers consider a defined, actionable, and transparent aftermarket selling process to provide vehicle consumers with meaningful information and realistic expectations about quality products.
Best practices for aftermarket selling include being specific with products, focusing on education, building value for the customer, standardizing pricing and discounts, reviewing warranties, and using customer insights to provide the best level of compliant service. Dealers can streamline their processes with a menu that has digital integration to their credit application and eContracting systems. This will streamline their workflow and provide customers a modern buying experience, including a single signing ceremony for all of their F&I documents.
Most importantly, dealers should select a solution that supports – but does not change – their dealership’s unique F&I processes. The most valuable tools are those that are actively and consistently used. Some dealers choose an interactive customer survey to recommend products, some use paper menus, some use digital menus, and some are comfortable allowing consumers to complete the process remotely. Whatever the dealer’s process is, the tools should support and enhance it.
Tools should also be flexible to support the modern consumer. For example, dealers can start the aftermarket selling process on the sales floor, let the customer view products, and then continue remotely, or switch this sequence up – however it works best for them. Dealers can help manage compliance with the use of an accept/decline button to ensure every product is presented to every customer, every time. The accept/decline option provides a record of exactly which products customers agreed to purchase and which ones they didn’t. With dealers facing increased lawsuits and regulations in the industry, this documentation and reporting is an excellent form of transparency.
However, we can’t forget about the vehicle consumers in all of this. Ultimately, F&I processes need to benefit them, and menu tools help dealers do that. A menu allows dealers to guide consumers through the F&I process at a comfortable pace on a platform suitable for all parties, whether on paper or digital. Customers can browse aftermarket menus and sign at home, in the dealership, at work, or anywhere they choose. Should the dealer choose, customers won’t need to decide on their aftermarket products right there on the sales floor, and they won’t have to worry about traveling back and forth to the dealership to deliver documents. With features like the accept/decline button, dealers can record that products were presented fairly to all customers and use the information as a post-sale follow-up opportunity or a second pass at allowing the customer to protect their purchase.
As dealers know, happier customers mean better CSI scores, more business referrals, and opportunities for more revenue. Select a technology provider that provides flexible solutions that you’ll use, to grow your aftermarket sales while working within your dealership process and keeping customers happy.
Schedule a demo today to see how RouteOne’s integrated eContracting and Menu solution can support your dealerships processes.