A team effort between the F&I office and service department can reap significant benefits for the dealership. But tension or ignorance between the two can hurt the store, experts say.
"If they're not working together, any additional future sales are going to be nonexistent," said Ash Bauer, executive vice president of the Warranty Group's Resource Automotive division in Chicago.
Dealer Allen Tate agrees. If customers have had a negative experience with an F&I product or have struggled through the claims process with the service adviser, "not only will they possibly cancel the product, leaving the finance department and dealer with a chargeback, but in many cases, they will be so frustrated with the process that they may not do business with the dealership again at all," said Tate, managing partner at Mid County Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat in Port Arthur, Texas. "Not much is worse in a customer's eyes than paying more than they could have and not getting anything for it, which is how they feel when this happens."
Greg Kostern, business operations director at Johnson Automotive in Raleigh, N.C., estimates that at least 60 percent of customers who have a claims problem with an F&I product will cancel the product.