Educating consumers on F&I products before they enter the dealership may help car buyers better understand the value of -- and therefore be more likely to purchase -- those products, a study found.
The study also found that extended service contracts can sharply boost customers’ satisfaction with service work and loyalty to the dealership.
The Maintenance and Repair Study, conducted by Cox Automotive, said 71 percent of consumers would be more inclined to purchase F&I products if they did their own research at home before buying a vehicle, while 63 percent said they would be more likely to purchase the products if they learned about them on their own before finalizing their vehicle purchase.
Even after buying a vehicle, 63 percent of consumers said they might still purchase F&I products if they could study them on their own and make an online purchase later.
In addition, 58 percent of consumers want to see product information on dealership websites, saying understanding the value of those products would make them more likely to buy.
The study found, not surprisingly, that customers are more likely to have their vehicles serviced at a dealership if the car or truck is still under warranty. Six out of 10 customers return to the dealership where they purchased their vehicle for servicing if the vehicle is still covered under warranty.
That drops to just three out of 10 after the warranty expires.
The study also found that customers who have their vehicles serviced at the selling dealership are more satisfied with the work if it’s covered by an extended service contract than if it’s covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Among consumers who had service work done at the selling dealership when the work was partially covered under warranty, 78 percent agreed with the statement “very satisfied; I always go to them for service.”
Among consumers who had service work done at the selling dealership when the work was partially covered under a service contract, the number agreeing with the statement “very satisfied; I always go to them for service” jumped to 86 percent.
The Maintenance and Repair Study surveyed online 4,455 people from June 17, 2015, to July 7, 2015. Participants were required to have had maintenance or repairs done on their vehicle by a third party at least once in the prior 12 months.
Cox Automotive also used MFour, a mobile market researcher, for an additional 517 surveys among those who use mobile devices heavily.
The study results were released in March.