Improve customer loyalty, finance penetration in the age of digital retail

Today’s car buyers come to dealerships equipped with the knowledge of what they want, the financing options likely to be available to them, and an expectation of personalized service, prompting sales reps and finance to prioritize the customer experience to capture more business.

With new vehicle supply tight for much of the past year, dealerships have had to embrace digital retail to meet consumers where they are, Hyundai Motor America Senior Vice President of Sales Randy Parker Told Auto Finance News in May, noting that nearly all Hyundai dealerships offer sales through their websites and many deliver cars directly to consumers upon request. About 26% of the OEM’s total transactions are conducted online, Parker added.

“For the most part, consumers do their research online first, get an idea of ​​what they’re looking for…then they go out and look at the cars. [they’ve identified]he said, noting that by the time consumers arrive at the dealership, they’re ready to buy.

Photography: Amanda Harris

Dealership sales and finance representatives need to prioritize the overall experience to capture consumers in today’s market, Parker said. “Every time a customer walks through the door, we have to do a really good job of taking care of that customer,” he said. “It’s important for dealers to recognize that consumers are buying two or three cars, and there’s a good chance they’ll buy the first one they have. [a good experience with].”

Increase funding penetration

OEMs and captives can build customer loyalty in sales, financing and service, Parker said. Hyundai trains sales representatives to provide a comprehensive tour of the vehicle and its features at the time of purchase and follow up with consumers after they bring the vehicle home, he noted.

On the financing side, digital retail tools allow consumers to be pre-qualified for a loan and review their terms before visiting a dealership, reducing the time they have to spend in the finance office. and insurance (F&I), Parker said, noting Hyundai. is working to further streamline the F&I process.

“It’s incumbent on our website to communicate well with a dealership’s digital retail tool. We are trying to reduce the number of digital retail tools available to provide a seamless consumer experience,” Parker said.

The captive, Hyundai Capital America, also offers prepaid maintenance services that can be rolled into a consumer loan. Hyundai encourages service departments to communicate with customers about when their vehicle will be ready, as well as any delays or other updates, Parker said. APN.

“Make sure you have that open line of communication with the customer and provide regular status updates after the customer drops off their vehicle for service,” he said. “We are working to drive sales and service to ensure consumers have a great experience.”

Prioritizing the customer experience early in the sales process can help build consumer loyalty, increasing the chances that consumers will choose to purchase, finance, and maintain a vehicle from a particular brand. Hyundai Capital Services, for its part, financed 76.6% of the global market Hyundai engine vehicle sales in the first quarter, down from 77.6% in 2021 and 75.9% in 2019 before the pandemic, according to the company’s first-quarter earnings presentation to investors.

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