At the end of the car-buying process, many customers want to rush through F&I, get in their new car and drive away. It's hard to blame them. The process can be long, and buying a car is a huge purchase that they want to celebrate. It may pay off to visit F&I again later.
When F&I managers go through the fine print of what the warranty and F&I products cover, more exciting things may be on car buyers' minds.
If customers have a problem a few months after their purchase, they will likely think of the dealership first. If the dealership tells them their coverage excludes the problem, "the consumer then, when he hangs up, obviously goes out and bad-mouths the dealer," said Rod Heasley, president of consulting firm KISS Concepts Group. "The dealer is getting the full brunt, and he didn't do anything wrong."
F&I product providers may have the power to help dealers avoid a dissatisfied customer and to help owners understand coverage.
For example, with Modern Auto Protection, a customizable service contract from American Auto Shield and KISS Concepts Group, a representative will call customers 48 hours after their purchase to explain the coverage. Many service contract claims, for example, ask for oil change receipts every six months. Most customers won't know that, or it may have gone over their heads when the F&I manager brought it up. Explaining coverage details to customers again will help them retain those details.
Customers may be more willing to listen and ask questions after they've left the store, and the agent has an opportunity to introduce the F&I product company as the contact for coverage and to sell them another product, with part of the revenue still going to the dealership, in the case of Modern Auto Protection contracts.
It may give the F&I product company more work to do, but an F&I recap can keep customers in the know and dealerships out of their crosshairs.