The Impact of Financial Services on Retention

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The Customer Viewpoint

If you’re a veteran of the car business then you understand that customers expect and prepare for the experience of dealing with the finance manager. For most, it’s nothing more than a necessary evil of buying a vehicle. But if they had a choice, the customer would like the financial services experience to be more than an extension of the negotiation process. 

Financial services and customer retention

Research by companies such as JD Power and Associates indicates that the financial services experience has a significant impact on sales satisfaction. So much so that the experience a customer has in finance has more of an impact on retention than how they rate their vehicle. In fact, customers who rate their finance provider as “truly outstanding” are retained at 82%. This is compared to only 69% retained for those who rate their vehicles as very good. 

What customers want

In focus groups conducted to study customer expectations surrounding financial services, here’s what customers said:
•    “Treat me with respect”
•    “I want the paper work to be easy to complete”
•    “I want my financing questions answered”
•    “I want speedy financing approval”
•    “I want the finance agreement to be easy to understand”
•    “I want financing terms to be clearly explained”
•    “I want to deal with a knowledgeable finance manager”
•    “I want to feel as if the finance manager is on my side”
•    “I want to choose from a variety of finance plans and options”
•    “I want competitive interest rates”
•    “I want to feel as if I got a fair deal”
•    “I want my billing statements to be timely, easy to understand and accurate”
•    “I want to feel that this is not a separate transaction”

When you consider this list of customer desires, it’s clear that what the customer really wants is honesty, integrity, consultation, and respect.