Author : David Koifman

LIFT from CFS > Articles by: David Koifman
27Mar

How to Maximize Dollars per RO with CFS Financing

How to Maximize Dollars per RO with CFS Financing

As with any dealership vendor, maximizing the success and return-on-investment requires using the technology or service at maximum efficiency. You can have the best service or technology out there, but if it’s not used properly, it won’t perform. Imagine if you kept all your cars hidden behind your dealership. When people drive by, they simply an empty lot. That would certainly reduce your walk-in traffic because people cannot desire or be attracted to a vehicle if they can’t see it. That’s why dealers have hangtags on rearview mirrors, or offers painted on car windows — so that customers get interested.

Well, the same principal of creating interest through visibility applies to offering financing in the service department. If customers don’t know about it, they won’t take advantage of it.

 

Here are five best practices to increase service revenue through maximizing service financing opportunities in your service drive. Think of it as a health check to help improve the profitability of your service department.

  1. Marketing – The availability of service financing should be visible at every touchpoint a consumer comes across. On the Internet, be sure at the very minimum that your dealership has some clear mention on your home page and service page that you offer easy service financing. The fact that you offer financing through CFS should also be included in all print and traditional marketing, to attract customers who need repairs, but can’t afford them.

 

Financing options can be an excellent customer acquisition tool and should also be present in all service-related digital communications such as service appointment reminders. Simple awareness that financing is available will pique the interest of your customers and increase adoption, which can lead to increased average RO.

  1. In Dealership Point of Sale Awareness – While a customer may be aware that your dealership offers CFS financing, especially if the message is delivered multiple times through marketing, it may have slipped their mind when they come into the dealership for service. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that CFS financing is visible at every touchpoint in your dealership. This starts by including tear-off stands at every service advisor’s desk, as well as in the service waiting area. Posters in the waiting lobby and with stickers on the doors, windows and service advisor’s desks, can also offer excellent visibility. Also consider adding a sentence about it on the top of your multi point inspection results you present to the customer.
  2. Employee Interactions – One of the most important areas to concentrate is to ensure that all service employees who interact with customers have the proper words tracks and processes in place to offer CFS financing at every opportunity.

 

Train your staff on the basics of the program, the ease with which the customer can apply, and ensure that advisors inform customers financing is available when presenting recommended maintenance: “Get everything done today, make your first payment 30 days from now, no interest for 60-days…Here’s how to apply!” This could easily push any customer about to decline for whatever reason into accepting the full recommendations. Just as in sales — if you don’t ask for it, you probably won’t get it.

  1. Keep It Simple – The service department sees more customers per month than any sales department. Service staff are extremely busy, so adding another process into their day can seem overwhelming. That is why it’s important to keep the financing application process simple for both the service advisor and the customer. And it IS simple – just send the customer a URL and they can fill out the form in under 5 minutes. Simple things such as bookmarking CFS on every computer, ensure advisors save the password for myCFSapp.com, be sure advisors know how to upload the RO into the CFS app and, lastly, add CFS on speed dial to the scanner or fax machine, to simplify the process for them.
  2. Consider Incentives – Simply following the above four steps can increase your CFS application percentage, resulting in increased ROs and revenue – and that’s certainly something every dealer principal, general manager, or service director wants.

 

However, similar to events such as that big tire sale push when you offer service advisors spiffs for sales, you may want to consider doing something similar for service financing – to tap that competitive spirit within them. Simple spiffs such as $20 for the 1st application of the month for each advisor, or $20 per loan moving forward, can encourage advisors to be more aggressive when informing customers that financing is available.

 

For more information, or to order more CFS marketing materials call, email, or visit: http://lift.mycfsapp.com/tools/ or http://lift.mycfsapp.com/tools/pos_counter/.  

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23Jan

CFS Expands into Large Dealer Groups due to Wide Success with Auto Repair Financing & Service Marketing Initiatives

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Boulder, CO – January 23, 2017 Confident Financial Solutions, (CFS) a consumer finance company that offers auto repair financing to service centers and their customers, today announced that due to the success of its auto repair financing program, and it’s highly effective service marketing integration, it has become a top choice for large dealer groups including Larry H Miller, Berkshire Hathaway (formerly Van Tuyl), Group1 and Rick Case. The company is experiencing strong growth and is now in about 1,100 retailers in 38 states, including over 400 franchised new-car dealers.

According to Richard Counihan, CEO of CFS, the recent growth is largely due to CFS’ highly-effective service marketing integration with top vendors including Dynatron and AutoLoop, along with new technology initiatives that have taken service financing results to the next level. “We ensure that service financing is offered to customers at every possible opportunity. When the multi-point inspection is presented, it can now include information about how the repair could be more affordable by breaking cost into monthly payments. In some cases we can even show monthly payment options, similar to car payments in the F&I Office, as well as offer 60-day interest-free option.” said Counihan. “Our dealers can also include information about service financing with service appointment confirmations and reminders. By offering service financing in this way, and cleverly marketing it to the customer at every opportunity, our service centers are capturing more repair work and enjoying an increase in accepted recommendations as customers now have a workable way to afford it,” Counihan added.

While program results vary from store to store, CFS financing produces up to 100 monthly applications submitted per service center. By offering financing for service work, CFS creates an untapped revenue generator for auto service centers and helps capture work that otherwise might go elsewhere. Many CFS strategic partner service centers see an average 20 percent increase in monthly revenues; an increase in ROs and decrease in Service Declines; and bigger ticket ROs as customers can now get ALL the repairs done including transmissions, tires, collision, insurance deductible and more. In addition, the program provides affordable payments based on simple interest rather than compounding interest; almost 50 percent customer approval rate; loan approvals as low as mid-500 credit scores; loan terms available for 12-36 months; and increased customer retention.

CFS provides a favorable alternative to credit card financing, resulting in increased credit approvals and immediate access to capital. The average CFS loan amount the dealership sees is about $1,500. Customers can be approved for up to $7,500 and 83% of loans approved are for amounts larger than the repair estimated, leaving room for any additional needed work. Customers apply online via a smart phone, tablet or computer and receive a credit decision in less than five minutes. Service centers get paid in 24-48 hours. With CFS, strategic partner service centers further increase activity on the service drive, increase revenue and enhance overall customer retention.

 

Dealers interested in finding out more about CFS’ auto repair financing program for service center customers can visit booth #3716 at the 2017 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans, LA, January 27-29, 2017; call: 720-836-1129; or visit: www.mycfsapp.com

 

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About Confident Financial Solutions:

Confident Financial Solutions is a consumer finance company that offers auto repair financing to service centers and their customers. Its primary goal is to provide a favorable alternative to credit card financing, resulting in increased credit approvals and immediate access to capital. Customers apply online via a smart phone, tablet or computer and receive an instant credit decision. With CFS, strategic partner service centers increase activity on the service drive, increase revenue at the service center and enhance overall customer retention. Based in Boulder, Colorado, CFS is the consumer’s choice for auto repair loans.

 

Media Contact:

Sara Callahan

Carter West Public Relations

727-288-2159

scallahan@carterwestpr.com

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17Jan

With Rise in Automotive Service Costs Consumers Turn to Financing

Vehicles are increasingly more sophisticated and technology-dependent. Repairs are no longer a simple process of removing a bolt or twisting a wrench, but now include complicated programming into vehicle electrical systems.

Repair order costs have thus increased causing many consumers to delay the repair or use some sort of financing option. As a result, many manufacturers recently introduced branded credit cards for consumer use when confronted with a high repair bill.

However, a challenge many service customers encounter if they wish to take advantage of manufacturer branded credit cards is that they are no different to traditional credit cards. Most are subject to the same credit requirements. Banks such as Chase, Citibank and others, are the credit issuers and typically have a higher standard for approvals. This translates into customers struggling to get approval, which is detrimental to the service department. One would assume that if a customer is presented with a large repair order, and applies for credit to pay for it, they plan to accept the recommended services. If that credit isn’t approved, or that approval is delayed, dealerships may end up seeing that customer walk out the door and declining the recommendations as they simply cannot afford to pay.

At CFS, because we specialize in automotive repair financing, it is an easier process for many consumers to gain approval for their service financing. Our credit approval process factors in customers at multiple tiers, rather than just those with excellent credit. This means more approved customers and more fulfilled repair orders.

Most consumers want to keep their car maintained properly and any objection they have when presented with an unexpected repair bill usually has more to do with available finances, rather than any unwillingness or lack of desire to have the repairs completed.

With CFS financing you can provide your customers with a valuable and convenient way for them to get their vehicle back on the road. And that results in increased service revenue and happier customers. A win-win!

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21Oct

FCA MOPAR Parts & Service Conference Recap: A Bumper Crop of Pent Up Interest

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     Boulder, CO 10:04AM: Going a bit astray from the normal blog of what we can do to change and improve our current processes and offerings in the automotive industry, I’d like to touch on something broader.

I recently participated in a customer service loyalty conference – the FCA MOPAR Parts & Service Conference – and it was wonderful as I watched a sales through service conference break out in front of me.

In my 38 years in the auto industry I have worked on the OEM side, in dealerships and as a vendor and I have truly never seen such a desire to learn from dealers, their managers, vendors and FCA personnel. More than 1,200 attendees gathered over three days to discuss how to acquire new and retain current customers. And over 50% of those attendees were dealer managers and decision makers. As a vendor, it was utter bliss to have all of these decision makers in one room.

The conference was well organized and orchestrated. Dealers and managers came into the vendor area at precisely the right time. The event schedule was clearly geared to give us ample time to discuss our product offerings and the industry in general with dealerships attendees.

Interestingly, the vendor lineup gave dealership attendees clear reasons to individually talk to us at length. The fact that we were able to spend much more time independently with each dealer allowed for more intimate and focused conversations.

Having 600 dealers visit you in a single place is well worth the time and investment. The organizers put a lot of thought into who was allowed to attend as a vendor. In fact, we had little, if any, direct competitors present. The conference organizers also carefully thought out all aspects of marketing and follow up, providing contact information for all of the attendees. This allows us to follow up with not only the attendees we were able to visit with, but also those that we missed.

I would advise other OEMs to follow suit as this event has surely helped FCA dealers. It also placed companies in front of retail people to showcase new technology.

 

The success of the show, in my opinion, was no accident. Greg Noonan and his staff from Insight Media Enterprises and the folks at FCA seemed to be very deliberate in setting it up this way. The event was very effective and beneficial to all parties attending – dealers, vendors and factory personnel. From the unusually useful program guide (a real novelty!), to the flow of the vendor event space layout and the strategically placed food and drink sessions, the entire event was fantastic. In speaking with dealers and their employees I learned that the forums were very useful and informative. I would have liked to have been allowed to attend these!

Kudos to the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest Business Centers, FCA MOPAR, Greg Noonan and the event planning staff that made this conference what they promised: “The Ultimate Customer Experience.” I can honestly say that, despite visiting Las Vegas 28 times in my career, I’m actually looking forward to returning and attending the West Coast edition of the event!

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19Oct

Confident Financial Solutions Certified for Integration with Autosoft DMS

Boulder, CO – October 20, 2016 Confident Financial Solutions (CFS), a consumer finance company that offers auto repair financing to service centers and their customers, today announced it has completed the integration and certification process with Autosoft, Inc., a leading national dealer management system (DMS) provider, and is now an Autosoft Connect program partner. This partnership will help increase service drive activity at participating dealerships, increase revenue, and enhance overall customer retention.

“We are delighted to have CFS as a partner in our Connect program, giving Autosoft customers a broader choice of integrated solutions to help manage their business,” said Dale Novotniak, Connect Program Director at Autosoft. “Our dealership service departments can now choose an outstanding auto repair financing program to help increase their repair orders and revenue. It also helps dealers to recapture declined services and assist customers in paying for necessary repairs with a solution that takes just a few minutes to complete and receive a loan decision.”

CFS provides a favorable alternative to credit card financing resulting in immediate access to capital for consumers. With loan amounts up to $7,500, affordable fixed term payments and a simple process that can be completed on a smart phone, tablet or PC, the CFS auto repair finance program is the consumer’s choice for their auto repair financing needs.

While program results vary from store to store, CFS financing produces up to 100 monthly applications submitted per service center with industry leading approval rates.

By offering financing for service work, CFS creates an untapped revenue generator for dealership service departments and helps capture work that otherwise might go elsewhere. Many CFS strategic partner service centers see a 20 percent increase in monthly revenues, an increase in ROs overall, and a decrease in service declines.  Service centers also see bigger ticket ROs, as customers can now complete ALL recommended repairs; the program will even cover insurance deductibles with payment occurring in 24-48 hours.  CFS is experiencing strong growth and is now in over 1,000 service centers in 38 states.

Tom Cannata, VP of OEM and National Accounts at CFS said, “We’ve partnered with Autosoft to make our auto repair financing program available to their more than 2,000 auto dealers. This is a perfect relationship for both of our companies and should lead to increased customer loyalty and revenue at these auto dealer service departments.”

 

Autosoft has negotiated special pricing for their dealers. Any Autosoft customers that are interested in finding out more about CFS’s auto repair financing program can call Tom Cannata 203-206-3149 or visit http://lift.mycfsapp.com/.

 

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About Autosoft:

Autosoft develops and supports a complete dealer management system (DMS) that has been named the Highest Rated DMS from DrivingSales for two years in a row. With affordable month-to-month contracts, Autosoft’s DMS improves processes and reduces operating costs in over 2,000 franchised automotive dealerships. Easy to use, affordable, and innovative software helps dealers focus on their customers’ needs. For more information about Autosoft, visit www.autosoftdms.com, call 844.888.8200, or email sales@autosoftdms.com.

 

About Confident Financial Solutions:
Confident Financial Solutions is a consumer finance company that offers auto repair financing to service centers and their customers. Its primary goal is to provide a favorable alternative to credit card financing, resulting in increased credit approvals and immediate access to capital. Customers apply online via a smart phone, tablet or computer and receive an instant credit decision. With CFS, strategic partner service centers increase activity on the service drive, increase revenue at the service center and enhance overall customer retention. Based in Boulder, Colorado, CFS is the consumer’s choice for auto repair loans.

 

Media Contact:

For More Information Contact:
Sara Callahan

Carter West Public Relations

727-288-2159

scallahan@carterwestpr.com

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29Aug

Quick Lube: A Minor Investment for a Huge Return

blogpost_salestalktracksIn the past, customers were willing to bring their vehicle into a service department and wait patiently. However, with the rise of convenience and the promise of speed in the form of express independent chains such as Jiffy Lube, regular service customers began forsaking the dealership and started defecting to these chains. Manufacturers took notice and started initiatives encouraging franchise dealers to implement their own quick lube services in order to recapture this lost business. Many dealers acquiesced and started offering these services to their customers.

To start with, these quick lube service processes mimicked those of all other services: Inspection, Service Recommendations and then Repair Order Completion. Yet somewhere along the way, that process changed. Spoiled by an overwhelming amount of highly profitable warranty work, franchised dealers were making so much money that quick lube services somewhat fell to the wayside and customers again defected to the independents for these services.

Well, I can promise you this, if you fail to do a good job with your quick lube, you are missing out. It only takes a minor investment to get one heck of a return in CSI, customer retention and yes, that all-important profitability!

The bottom line is that it is all about the process. Sadly, this is what typically happens: The customer arrives for an oil change. In the interest of speed, the work is completed and the customer receives an inspection report as they check out at the cashier. Well, you can forget the customer agreeing to do any additional work then — they are ready to leave. That is if the inspection report and recommendations are even gone over with the customer in the first place. Many times a greasy report gets handed to the customer, which is summarily ignored, as they pay for their oil change and go on their merry way – completely unaware that their tires are so worn down they could blow out on the freeway at any time.

The process should be is as follows: As soon as the vehicle pulls in the inspection should be complete and the report out to the advisor before the oil cap is even off the car. The advisor should then grab the customer and go over the report, “your catalytic convertor is making a whining noise and is about to go. In the interest of safety, how about we fix it while you are here? It will only cost $X and take X hours and we can have you out of here by X time.”

Instill this process right from the first customer interaction in service. Inform the customer about your complimentary inspection that ensures all is well with the health of their vehicle. On that first visit, establish the process and go through everything top to bottom – no TSBs were found, no outstanding recalls, the 21-point inspection details, the car is operating just fine. This builds trust right from the beginning and the customer is more likely to believe your recommendations when additional work starts coming up as the vehicle ages.

If done up front like this, and if the process is run correctly, CSI and customer retention soars.

I think many dealers miss the opportunity to make a whole lot more money and take better care of their customers with quick lube — it truly is a missed opportunity. Let the customer know about that tire special from the OEM –Four tires for the price of three – no one has better prices on tires. You have them in stock and it will only take a few minutes…

The funny thing is, when I bring this up with dealers, they uniformly reply, “we don’t have a problem with our quick lube, we already do it that way.” Yet I can see that this is not the case.

My suggestion: send in a mystery shopper to see how the process really runs. The results may surprise you and open up a gold mine of opportunity.

Slow the process down just a little bit and be sure to go over the inspection report with the customer. Train your quick lube techs to do a thorough inspection, look for all the TSBs and outstanding recalls work — around 80% of vehicles will have something that needs fixing, so why leave that money on the table? Get that inspection report out to the service advisor FAST so they can review it with the customer at the start of the process, rather than when they are ready to leave.

If needed, incentivize your techs and service advisors with a little bonus to ensure this process is handled well. You will see a huge return on investment in CSI and customer retention, as your customers will no longer defect to the competition for their minor work.

The end game is this – implement (or re-implement) the process of a full vehicle inspection followed by a service advisor presenting recommendations prior to any work being completed in your quick lube department. If that means training your “B” and “C” technicians how to do inspections, how to look up VIN numbers for open recalls, warranty or TSBs and then turning those results over to the service adviser, do it. Your service advisers are your salespeople, not your technicians. Give them the inspection report and let them do their thing. By doing this, you will immediately increase service revenue for one simple reason – you started asking for it.

 

-Tom Cannata

VP OEM & National Accounts

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