The offer of instant credit may be appealing to some, but the rigours of good lending and compliance mean that informing and engaging customers is the fundamental building block to a successful relationship. It is the ease with which customers can discover the most suitable finance option rather than a quick acceptance alone, which will help create a successful sale. This is the view of Codeweavers Sales Director Shaun Harris as he notes:
“It is very clear that consumers like the instant gratification from services such as Netflix, but right now regulatory TCF needs and affordability checks outweigh the desire for instantaneous finance, but dealers need to move to stream the buying experience to engage and inform customers who want service and want it now to bridge the gap between budget setting and payout.”
Codeweavers analysis of the finance journeys that many consumers will face based upon online mystery shopping suggests that a majority of dealers risk giving their potential customers a sub-optimal experience. Common pitfalls included:
“Finance is central to most car buying; making the process easy and transparent to support an informed car buying decision is on the path to providing the type of quick downloading experience many customers like. However, this is not what we see.
“By re-engineering the online journey, adding in interactive tools, such as explanatory finance videos, flexible calculators, dynamic finance offers and crafting consumer friendly support copy on not only a car details page but on multiple areas of your website; the whole finance process can be lifted and this must enhance the customer’s perception of the dealer,” reflects Harris; concluding; “the starting point is for dealers to audit their finance presence, track their key car finance trends and seek customer or mystery shopping insights – simple steps can make a big difference.”