THE Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) final review of the motor finance sector is due soon and one area of focus will amost certainly be the best way in which to incentivise finance and insurance (F&I) salespeople.
Gerry Kouris, Marketing Manager at Alphera Financial Services said that it is time for dealers and car finance brokers to ensure that they are engaging with customers in a positive way – and for lenders to consider the most appropriate methods of incentivising their partners.
Alphera has come up with a new incentive scheme for its UK dealer and broker partners.
Kouris said: “In contrast to other incentive schemes, our initiative will reward partners who simply generate the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
“Instead of encouraging dealers to prioritise contract volumes and sales, the industry as a whole should instead promote a single-minded focus on raising customer satisfaction. This should be the only way in which a car finance provider measures its success.”
Kouris said this can be achieved by applying specialist skills and knowledge to reinforce FCA-compliant sales practices. Throughout the incentive period, customers will be asked to complete a survey after taking out a finance agreement with Alphera.
He added: “The survey focuses solely on customers’ experiences of taking out car finance. This includes the customer’s opinion on how easy it was to do business with the dealership, the ability of the sales staff to accurately assess the customer’s demands and needs, and the clarity of information provided.
“From this, Alphera can gauge how satisfied the customer was in the finance sales process – and, crucially, whether there is any scope for dealers to improve. Dealers and brokers are ranked according to levels of customer satisfaction achieved.
“By prioritising positive customer outcomes this approach can encourage sales behaviours that comply with FCA regulations.”
Alphera will reward partners with the highest customer satisfaction scores with an educational trip to the 2020 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas.
Kouris said: “We believe that the development of specialist skills and knowledge relating to the sale of car finance is essential to the success of dealers and brokers. The incentive scheme will therefore promote the notion of education, with bonus points available to businesses enrolling their staff in specialist finance qualifications from industry bodies.
“This includes the Institute of the Motor Industry’s (IMI) new finance and insurance accreditation scheme, as well as Specialist Automotive Finance qualifications from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA). Both organisations are committed to helping members to offer the highest possible standards in the sales of car finance products – it’s appropriate that finance sellers are incentivised for achieving these standards.”
Kouris believes it is incumbent on lenders to help dealers and brokers provide the best possible service to customers.
“Ultimately, a customer happy with the service they receive is more likely to return to the business in the future. By investing time in customer satisfaction, and seeking to improve sales standards through incentivisation and education, dealers can reap the long-term rewards of repeat business – and, potentially, increased profitability.”