The multifaceted lease-end experience often leaves customers with questions. Now, some captives have put their lease-end education tools online to answer some of those questions ahead of time and thereby improve customer satisfaction.
Ford Motor Credit, American Honda Finance and GM Financial, for example, have each launched educational videos to aid the lease-end experience.
Honda Finance has created a video library for its website and social media. It also is working with Facebook to ensure that the end-of-term videos are targeted to the appropriate consumers, said Ferrell Kemp, vice president of national operations.
Ford Credit also has published videos on its website and on YouTube that are designed to help customers decide whether to finance or lease their vehicle and teach them about the lease-end process, for example.
"When we educate the consumer, we can help them make decisions that are best for them and keep them coming back," said Shannon Mokhiber, Ford Credit's vice president of global marketing. "That's something that, as an industry, we need to stay focused on. It's just making sure the customer has a full understanding of the products and services so they can make the right decisions."
This year and 2019 will be the first two years that GM Financial, as a relatively new leasing player, will have a high volume of lease returns.
As the captive has developed its lease-end process, it has put customers at the center, said Alicia Gadley, senior vice president of customer experience management for GM Financial. "Customers didn't know what to do and at what time to do it," Gadley said.
The captive worked with its marketing team and General Motors to develop resources for customers to refer to at lease end. The website includes videos about the inspection process and the decision whether to turn in the vehicle, buy it or lease another. At 120 days before lease termination, GM Financial sends customers a direct-mail end-of-lease guide.
"It looks good, but customers can't find it," Gadley said. GM Financial now will make the guide available online as well, she said.
Much of GM Financial's push toward online began this year after a companywide system conversion. Before that, some information was online but "not very easy to get to" for customers, Gadley said.
"They're looking, and they're listening," Gadley said. "Hopefully they're really getting educated."