Use F&I Waiting Time Productively to Set Up In-Vehicle Tech
By Ted Ings, Executive Director
Customers have responded that they wish the F&I process was better and that the car buying experience was faster.
There’s a way to address both problems with a single item. When the customer is waiting for the F&I office, use the time to set up their in-vehicle technology.
But there IS a way to address both concerns simultaneously, just not in the way you’d expect.
Use F&I Downtime to Set Up Tech
You’re in the F&I office with the customer, forcing small talk while waiting for the approval to green light. If it stretches past a minute or two, it could be a while. Instead of the customer anxiously waiting in the office or the customer lounge, get their in-car tech set up.
Now, it’s probably not the F&I advisor who will physically help the customer out. It’s best left to someone who deals with the tech day in and day out – the salesperson. They can sit the customer in the car, and set up some of the features.
• Connect their cell phones to Bluetooth, then demonstrate how to place and receive calls, stream music, and use voice commands.
• Instruct the customer how to set the radio station presets, and walk through the satellite radio preview.
• If there’s navigation, set the home address.
• Go through the basic infotainment system operations, whether it’s Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or what have you.
In-vehicle tech setup can easily take a half-hour or longer, which is valuable time the F&I advisor can use to prepare contracts and paperwork, or iron out financing kinks with the lender without the customer present.
It shows that you respect the customer’s time when you can turn the waiting game into a productive tech setup period.