Tag Archive | "menu"

Wise F&I Integrates with OptionSoft Technologies

St. Louis, Mo.  – Wise F&I is a leading finance and insurance product provider connecting automotive dealers to their products through menu integration. The recent integration with OptionSoft Technologies allows dealers to access of Wise F&I products through one of the leading menu providers in the automotive software industry. Wise F&I has its full suite of branded products including GAPWise, WiseCARE, TIREWise, WiseTVP, THEFTWise and KEYWise, all available on the OptionSoft menu. The integration provides up-to-date pricing, speed and accuracy for the dealership. Wise F&I and OptionSoft integration in turn deliver a better car buying experience.

“We are always looking at ways to create efficiencies and to better support the car buyer,” said Matt Croak, President, Wise F&I. “OptionSoft supports that through our products direct availability on their menu system.”

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Paper or Plastic: Which Works Best in F&I?

We have been working with several software providers over the last couple of years to develop training and better processes for several of the new electronic F&I presentation tools. We have also been testing and measuring results from different types of printed menus.

I am quite often asked which type of presentation media is the most effective. After extensive analysis of media performance over the last two years, it has become abundantly clear that what an F&I menu, iPad, tablet or on-screen program can do has been overstated and, in many ways, misunderstood in the marketplace.

What do customers prefer? Well, let’s turn to the results of the 2015 J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study. Now in its 29th year, the study is based on responses from 27,831 consumers who bought or leased a new vehicle in April or May 2015. It measures satisfaction with the sales experience among new-vehicle buyers.

The study calculates the buyer-satisfaction scores using four factors, in this order of importance: working out the deal, salesperson, delivery process and facility. Let’s take a look at how those factors feed into the use of electronic presentations.

Paper or Tablet?

According to the survey, when customers make it into the F&I office, they want to know what their F&I product options are, and they want to see it on some sort of product menu, whether paper or digital. The F&I manager should then explain the value of the product.

Overall, the close rates on all four of the products J.D. Power included — prepaid maintenance, extended warranty, tire/road hazard protection and interior/exterior sealant protection — were highest when the customer viewed the options on a paper brochure or menu.

For service contracts, the close rate was 32% with a paper brochure or menu. It was 29% with a computer screen and one point lower, at 28%, with verbal offers. For prepaid maintenance, interior and exterior sealant protection and tire and road hazard protection, the close rates were the same whether the dealership offered the products verbally or showed them on a computer screen.

F&I product sales also depend on the process, the study found. If the customer has a long wait between the time they agree to buy a vehicle and the time they meet the F&I manager, the customer may feel agitated before even stepping into the office.

The study found that the likelihood of customers purchasing another vehicle from a dealership depends partly on the pressure they felt from the store to buy F&I products on their previous sale. Only 10% of customers who felt too much pressure said they “definitely will” purchase from the same dealer again. For consumers who felt no pressure, however, 44% said they definitely will purchase from the same dealer in the future.

And the type of presentation matters. Too much pressure to buy F&I products resulted in lower penetration rates. For example, 18% of consumers who felt too much pressure to buy purchased tire and road hazard protection vs. 19% of consumers who felt some pressure and 21% of those who felt no pressure to buy.

Overall satisfaction among buyers who said the dealer applied too much pressure during the F&I process was 638 on a 1,000-point scale vs. 852 for those who experienced no pressure, according to the study.

It’s the Process

Based on what we’ve learned from real-world testing with a representative group of media forms in a wide range of real F&I offices, we have found that the menu or electronic device being used is , in many ways, less important than the person using it and the process they use to present it. Any media can be made to work to some extent, but none of them will do much by themselves.

What customers respond to best is a more modern “information provider” approach. Offering products in the most expedient and simple way is what the J.D. Power study suggests and it certainly has produced the best results in our testing.

We have found the keys to any successful process is to demonstrate three critical elements:

  1. It has to be easy or F&I managers won’t do it. And if it’s easy for the F&I manager, it’s easy for the customer as well.
  2. It has to be simple enough for the customer to easily absorb and understand immediately.
  3. It has to be fast, because customers don’t want to sit through long, drawn-out sales pitches and time-consuming processes. They want to know their options, choose what they want, and get on their way. A common complaint from customers is that the F&I process takes too long.

Whatever process or procedure that produces those key factors will be the most successful for your dealer clients.

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To Boldly Go Where No Menu Has Gone Before…

While attending the recent Agent Conference in Las Vegas, surrounded as I was by over 200 attendees for the inaugural event, a line by Luis Garcia of Safeguard stands out in my memory. Luis said, “I don’t care which menu you use, as long as you use one.”

Luis’s workshop “5 Elements of True Income Development: Pricing, Menu, Pay Plans, Training and Reporting” caught the audience’s attention with its high energy delivery and the substance of the presentation, hence the quote above. We are 10 years into computerized menus now (non-automated menus have been around a lot longer) and it is amazing that there are still late adopters out there that don’t have some form of F&I presentation software, or have it and don’t really use it.

Your dealers understand that each customer deserves to hear all that the store has to offer, right? How can we retrospectively assure the dealer that his exposure has been mitigated and his orders have been carried out with every deal? On the producer’s worst day, was the deal disclosed properly and were all the options offered, both financial and otherwise?

These are tough questions to answer honestly without some form of technology to quickly bounce between let’s say, finance and lease options, plus a myriad of aftermarket options in any conceivable combination. Would you rather have your client’s F&I producers flipping through a paper service contract pricing matrix and making a mistake, or would you rather have them conducting a needs analysis and crafting a deal that satisfies the customer’s wishes and budget while maximizing the dealership’s profit and retention opportunities?

Are your client’s deals memorialized is such a way that it would be easy to view not only the exact details, but the process through which the final agreement was derived? Is it possible to get reports on this activity in real time? All of the Great Automotive F&I Pundits agree that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring. Do you or your dealers really know if the menu is being utilized as designed on every deal?…or is the producer just printing a menu to make the dealer happy and getting the customer to sign it? Solve this in all of your dealerships and production will grow for your dealers and your agency.

It is a tall order to expect a menu or any other F&I presentation software to miraculously turn a three-hundred-dollar-a-copy wonder into a thousand-dollar-a-copy producer, but as is often the case with the disciplined and consistent use of a menu and a modicum of people skills and sales ability, results are outstanding. CSI improves and the delivery process is streamlined. Perhaps agents should be recommending to dealers that having a signed final menu in every deal should be a condition of employment if they are not doing this already.

Regarding compliance and the risks your dealer clients take every day, imagine the satisfaction the next time one of your dealers gets a call from the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe that a customer is bringing suit against him and he simply faxes the signed menu to the law firm and never hears from them again. Let’s hope it’s not one of your dealer clients that can’t put their hands on that document – unless your dealers like paying retainers and sending their lawyer’s kids to Ivy League schools. You see, there is a method to the madness of the menu; a lot of folks think it’s just a great way to make money, but in reality, it’s much, much more. It’s a sales tool wrapped in a compliance envelope connected to the world wide web and your DMS system. The menu could be a portal to the universe of lenders, product providers, rating engines, e-contracting solutions, accountability programs, and retention tools.

If we recognize that the demands we place on our F&I producers has reached or even exceeded capacity, anything we can do to facilitate the process, increase accuracy, and prevent a debilitating experience for the parties is bound to be valuable. Can we and our dealers afford not to make these tools available to our people? Can we afford not to train them in their proper use? Can our dealers afford the consequences if they don’t? Can you believe that we still have to ask these questions in 2011?

Using some form of F&I presentation software has been a game changer for the industry. There are serious development agents out there that would pass on a deal if a prospective dealer client will not commit to the use of a menu. So unless you live in a third-world country and are still waiting for dial up internet access, the choice is clear. The path has been blazed and most of the bugs have been worked out – the technology is only going to get better.

So, for those dealer clients out there that still don’t use F&I presentation software, we as agents should encourage them to boldly go where no menu has gone before…into their dealerships!

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Benefits of Using an Electronic Menu and How to Best Position Your Products

In the following videos, Ron Martin, president of VisionMenu, Inc., discusses several points pertinent to an electronic menu software program. In the first of the two videos, he discusses the benefits associated with using an electronic menu program and in the video that immediately follows, he discusses how to optimally place (or display) your products within the electronic menu system so that you get the best placement for displaying these products to your customers.

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Protective Selects Ristken as F&I Menu Provider for Auto Dealerships

DALLAS – The Asset Protection Division of Protective Life has chosen Ristken Software Services and its automotive menu software to support the dealership F&I departments Protective serves. Protective provides underwriting, administering and marketing products including extended service contracts, GAP coverage and credit insurance to automobile dealers. Ristken provides menu solutions for the retail automotive marketplace.

Protective’s customers will use the Protective ProMenu application. ProMenu and Pro Performance is a web-based menu selling solution provided by Ristken and designed to effectively present all F&I products to customers at every transaction while ensuring dealer compliance in all 50 states and Canada. ProMenu allows finance managers to create accurate, high-quality product presentations for customers, as well as handle the disclosure and compliance needs of their sales processes. In addition, it includes compliance training and compliance monitoring.

“We saw the Ristken menu product as a technology solution that fit in nicely to our existing dealer support tools,” said Rick Kurtz, vice president of dealer sales at Protective. “We are anxious to leverage the success this product has already displayed with our agents and dealers.”

Protective dealers will use Ristken’s products to manage disclosures and calculations needed for regulatory, marketing and business scenarios. ProMenu benefits dealers and agents by streamlining sales processes and providing a convenient method to comply with customer disclosure regulations, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction.

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