The F&I door dilemma

Close the office door, or leave it open?

It sounds like an inconsequential question. And it sure seems nitpicky in the scheme of things.

But to good dealers, the devil is in the details. And it should be.

Many finance and insurance managers face the door dilemma each time they get a customer in their office. I know this because I often read a Facebook page where some F&I professionals chat about various topics. The door question was the topic du jour recently.

And reading the several serious responses, I realized it is a legitimate question of etiquette.

Most of the F&I pros who weighed in said they prefer to close the door to block out sound distractions, preserve the integrity of the finance process, and provide privacy to the customer.

As one F&I pro wrote: "I give [the customer] the option to agree with me: 'Mr. Jones, would you like me to close the door to protect your privacy?' They say, 'Yes,' 100 percent of the time."

Here's another detail F&I pros put serious thought into: customer attention span.

These Facebookers wrestled over the issue of how many F&I products should be on a typical menu that is presented to a customer. While the responses varied from three or four to as many as eight, the general consensus was anything over five runs the risk of curing a customer of insomnia. One finance manager suggested creative bundling of products to keep it short and simple for the customer.

It's this seemingly small stuff that should be a big deal to good dealers.

After all, every detail of a deal plays into the lasting impression a customer carries from the dealership.

And that impression determines whether the customer returns.

25

Shares

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Over the last few months, Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Newsletters