Organizing Your Web Pages–F&I Section
This is the third edition in our “Organizing Your Web Pages” blog series. We hope you’re learning what website information is the most important to display and where it should go. If you haven’t read the previous two entries by now—no worries. The information is available to you anytime right here on More Than Rewards’ LEVEL UP! blog.
Last month we organized your Inventory section; we made sure each of your major units are listed on your website. Now that your potential customers have been able to find exactly what they want, how can they determine what can they actually afford? Well, it’s time to organize your website’s F&I (a.k.a. “Finance”) section.
DISPLAY YOUR FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Remember, you are organizing website by departments; this makes dealer information easy to find. So, your first step is simply to:
- Create a Finance section
In your Finance section, you’re going to want a “Finance Department” page. On this page, write content specific to your Finance team. I know you have the best team, but why is your team the best? What experience do they have?
Also, you should take pictures of your F&I staff, and provide their email addresses “hyperlinked” to open in your customers’ default email programs. (Your website provider can show you how to create hyperlinks if you aren’t aware of their functions.) Adding these features gives you finance team a “personal touch” and an easy way to contact each member.
Your F&I section’s primary goal is to get a customer into their dream unit as easily and as quickly as possible, so you’ll also need a link to your finance application. We also want to give potential buyers the best possible experience. Because let’s face it: Filing out finance applications can be tedious work. Make your process quick and convenient by only including questions absolutely required by your financial institution and state.
This is important because most website providers make a long and short finance form available to you. So, determine what’s possible before you start choosing your questions. If none of your website provider’s default choices will work for you, they will need to build a customized finance form. But be aware: To format the form to your needs and to properly protect customer information, you may be charged a fee for this service.
Now, if none the above finance application options will work, you can create your own form (free of charge) with JotForm. Some dealers use JotForm.com to build a short form containing up to ten questions only meant to “qualify” customers as serious buyers. In this case, a dealer representative would use the captured information to call the customer to gather additional information or schedule a meeting. If you go this route, I recommend working with your sales and F&I teams to determine what “need-to-know” questions should be asked.
CUSTOMER FINANCE OPTIONS
People love options. Before or after customers complete your finance application, they will probably want to determine how they are going to afford what they want.
Ask yourself: What are ALL my possible customer options? Make sure to include these items in your finance section:
- ALL available, current OEM promotions
- Monthly in-house sales specials
- Any promotions for first-time bike owners
- Information on special discount or loyalty programs including special promotions for police, fire, military, riding clubs, etc.
- A “value your trade” calculator
- An “estimated payment” calculator
Now that your customers are educated in their options, it’s time to give them giant smiles by getting them your best possible deals. But there is one more important step in the buying process customers will need to take.
I’m sure you understand all units leaving your dealership need to be insured with active policies. We’ve all heard those horrible stories of a customer completing their purchase, and just after leaving the lot they crash and total out their uninsured unit.
We do not want that to happen, Right? Great! So all you have to do is:
- Create an Insurance page
Whether you work with a specific local agent or you suggest larger enterprises, as always, give your customers options. Remember from our first edition—you are the expert resource! So, make sure your insurance page provides detailed contact information. Also, be sure to configure any hyperlinks referencing external pages to “open in new windows”—this will keep customers on your website. (Your website provider can help you do this if necessary.)
What insurance options are available for your customer? Here are some of the most common examples:
- All State
- State Farm
- Don’t forget to list your local agent’s information. You can funnel each other business; it’s a great relationship to have.
If you are still not sure how to set up this page, your website provider may be able to turn on a simple default insurance link. Your OEM reps are also great resources for insurance ideas.
Congratulations! At this point, you should know how to properly organize your website’s F&I section. Let’s review the major points:
- Create a Finance section on your website
- Show members of your finance department and list their contact information
- Make your finance application process easy and convenient
- List all available options and deals for customers including “trade” and “payment” calculators
- Create a page listing all available insurance information and options
We are making great headway with our blog, but we aren’t finished yet. Next month we’re going to be organizing your Service & Repair page. See you in May!