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Technology: Embrace the Tablet

Autosphere » Dealerships » Technology: Embrace the Tablet

The mobile menu is your friend!

It has been said that trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools can be an exercise in frustration. So why aren’t more finance managers working with tablets?

These days, consumers are interacting with tablets in a variety of situations–in retail and restaurants, as well as for personal use. And that’s not just millennials! As the technology has made its way into mainstream culture, you can bet that boomers are also finding themselves using touch screen tablet technology. How else are they going to get face time with their grandchildren?

Using a tablet gives finance managers more of an opportunity to interact with customers. By simply reaching across and showing a mobile menu to a prospect, barriers come tumbling down. As they can see and participate in the choices, customers become more involved in the whole F&I process. It empowers them, makes them feel like they’re more in control.

Increasing CSI scores

Clearly, there are benefits to using tablets. So why aren’t they more prevalent in F&I offices? Well, everyone knows that change can be daunting. And if the system that’s in place has worked well for years, there might not seem to be a reason to make that change. Technology, despite its growing presence in all aspects of our lives, still presents challenges to many. There’s the learning curve, the expense, the time and energy to ramp up the system, which some fear could lead to a temporary loss of productivity.

Some finance managers may be skeptical, feeling that giving the customer control during the F&I interaction could be disadvantageous. But today’s consumer is demanding more transparency and seamless experiences. It’s a well known fact that going through the F&I process can have quite a negative effect on CSI scores. Dealers are always looking for ways to increase CSI scores, so if a tool has the potential to boost customer satisfaction, it might be well worth investigating further.

Quite simply, using a tablet has the potential to make the F&I process more customer-centric. Used properly, a tablet can be more efficient since it can be easily customizable. Today’s mobile menus are attractive, compelling and engaging, with bold visuals that provide a clear understanding of the products and services. That alone makes it more likely that the customer will be interested in what’s being offered.

User friendly software

And whereas once there may have been some issues with integrating mobile technology into DMS systems, these days, that’s hardly the case. Since the technology has been around for a number of years, software vendors have smoothed out glitches and designed better, more compatible mobile systems.

Of course, the tablets themselves have become easier to use, with better, more user friendly software as well! The evolution of the tablet, whether it’s an Apple or a Windows device, is one of the reasons why it’s the centre of so many transactions. It’s intuitive, portable, and capable of complicated activities.

Best of all, tablets are time-savers. There’s no need to print out anything, and their mobility means they can go anywhere, from the showroom to the office, without breaking a step. That means the F&I process can be reduced, something that benefits both the customer and the finance manager. Less time waiting, more time put to productive use!

A friendly gesture

When an F&I manager shares a tablet with a customer, it’s a friendly gesture. It’s less intimidating than having the customer seated in a cubicle or an office, gazing across a desk at a paper menu that may or may not list items of interest. There’s less pressure on the customer to make any kind of purchasing decision, and they can see all their options in an open, transparent manner. It builds trust, creates a relationship, and can’t help but ultimately increase product sales.

Using a tablet can help an F&I manager provide meaningful information about products that are relevant to a customer’s needs. Since most tablet technology can be quickly customized, again, it saves time and shows the customer that they’re at the centre of the experience. So while the F&I manager is educating customers, you’re also putting them at ease and making them more receptive to making a purchase.

Some tablet technology even allows for the customer to get directly involved in the transaction, moving various items around the screen, dragging and dropping selections into a package. Who knows… they might spot something they didn’t know they needed?

Finally, tablets are a one-stop shopping experience. A finance manager can provide various pricing and payment options, making the whole buying process even more effortless. From there, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to signing documents and taking delivery!

Of course, no technology will ever replace the personal touch of a skilled and well trained finance manager. It’s up to individuals to find the right method and strategy that’s going to work in their finance office, with their staff, and at their dealership to make adopting these mobile devices worthwhile. But all the available options, along with the many benefits and advantages, certainly make a persuasive case for further investigation.

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