The 10 Commandments of a Great F&I Customer Service Experience: Part 2
Agents know creating a great F&I customer service experience makes their time with their F&I professional memorable. Here are the next five commandments that will make it happen for you and your trainees:
VI. Practice Purposefully.
If you ever played Little League baseball, you’ll remember the phrase, “You play like you practice.” Skills that are not practiced will never find their way into your F&I customer service interactions. That’s why it’s important to attend every training class you can, whether in person or online.
And once the lesson is done, be sure to practice what you learned so you can reach a comfort level that will allow you to put your newfound techniques to use with real customers. Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but professionals who practice purposefully produce more profits.
VII. Never Stop Learning.
A recent survey revealed that 42% of former college students never pick up a book after they graduate. I guess it’s because they learned it all in college. Well, that can’t be the case in the F&I office. Being motivated to learn all you can about your products and why people buy isn’t a problem when you’re new. It’s when you’ve been around the block a few times that learning tends to lose its luster.
Assign your F&I professionals to read a book about sales each quarter. Make sure they have subscribed to F&I and Showroom magazine. Instruct them to visit their dealership’s service department and learn about at least two parts on a vehicle each month. Make sure they know what they do, what happens when they fail, and what the cost is to replace them.
Continuing education will help your trainees provide an experience that is filled with facts and motivation and one that distinguishes them from F&I managers they have encountered in the past.
VIII. Seek the Input of Others.
Truett Cathy once gave a presentation to high-level executives. After he was done, someone from the audience came up to thank him for his presentation. Cathy then said, “Please tell me one thing I could have done better.” Mr. Cathy has been asking that question since the day he launched his restaurant chain, and it has been one of the keys to his success. It takes a humble individual to open himself to the input of others. But to be good at what you do, you need to strive to be that person.
IX. Focus Like a Laser Beam.
One of the major tasks each day is deciding what to give attention to and what to ignore. Don’t waste time trying to fix things you can’t control. Yes, there always will be issues of concern, but don’t let them distract you from your main purpose, which is to help customers make good decisions. That is something you can control! Your trainees should focus on coming up with more effective ways to sell your products.
X. Choose Your Associates Wisely.
Every dealership has its fair share of whiners and complainers. Instruct your F&I teams to avoid that crowd. They should seek out colleagues with a more positive outlook, those who are always looking to improve their skills. Few things affect our ability to create memorable moments with our customers — be they dealers or car buyers — more than our attitude. Your trainees should guard theirs like the treasure it is and feed it regularly with positive input.
Great experiences are what successful F&I managers create every day. All their effort and focus are on this one function. It lives itself out in the manner they practice their skills, their positive interaction with customers and the excitement they bring to their efforts each day and to all those around them. Sell on!
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This blog article was also published on Agent Entrepreneur.