LAS VEGAS -- If you ask consumers, they'll say they would rather interact with a human than a computer. But that doesn't mean the service they get from a human makes them happier.
Hyundai Capital America has had years of rapid growth, and CEO Ross Williams is revisiting some of the lender's practices -- including how best to answer the phone -- to improve efficiency.
For instance, Hyundai Capital lets callers talk to a person, Williams said last month at the Auto Finance Summit here. While that's sounds appealing, it isn't always the best setup, he said.
"Surveys may indicate that's good, but is it the most efficient way? And is it the service that the consumer actually wants?" he asked. "We've really put a lot of bodies after it the last few years, but now we're taking a different approach and determining where we actually don't need people."
Increasing efficiencies and maintaining a healthy portfolio rank high on Hyundai Capital's 2019 to-do list, Williams said.
By the end of 2017, Hyundai Capital, the captive finance arm of Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America, had about $31 billion in outstanding loan and lease balances.
"I remember celebrating reaching $10 billion in assets seven years ago. A couple years later it was $20 billion. A couple years later it was $30 billion," Williams said. But so much growth, he said, brings challenges on the operations side.