Millennial matters

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MAKE MILLENNIALS FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THE F&I OFFICE — AND THEY’LL TALK ABOUT IT

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Sometimes small gestures can make a big difference in customer experience. Especially when that customer is deciding on a big purchase for the first time — like buying a new car.

Now that Millennials, born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, are jumping into the car market, dealers need to find ways to cater to this unique demographic. After all, Millennials do make up one of the fastest growing segments in new vehicle sales.

It’s up to the F&I manager to ensure these young buyers can not only afford their new vehicles, but also understand their potential needs down the road.

Think about a first time Millennial car buyer. The entire car buying experience is likely going to be overwhelming, despite all of the research that Millennial has done.

Your F&I office is probably even more of a mystery. But you can make the process more comfortable for that young buyer.

A good friend of mine shared her recent car buying experience. It was the first time she had purchased a new vehicle from a franchised dealership, and she didn’t leave out a single detail.

Besides raving about her new Hyundai Elantra and all of its features — and low monthly payment — she also had kind words for the dealership staff who helped her with the transaction. Paul, an F&I manager, was one of them.

Make the experience more personal and less like a process. Get to know your Millennial clients. Show them products you think they might need — and can afford — based on their driving habits, instead of the generic list of products you have available.

It wasn’t about speedy service or state-of-the-art technologies that led to her great F&I experience. It was more about the ways Paul made her feel at ease about her big purchase.

After learning that her birthday was coming up in a couple of days, Paul presented a $100 birthday credit to help celebrate her new purchase. He told her to treat herself to a nice meal.

To her, it was an incredibly thoughtful gesture. Paul later told me it was actually the first time he had done that for a client, but he wanted to make her feel like part of the dealership’s family.

It didn’t stop there. She also walked away with a tire and rims package after learning how an extra few dollars could help her save money on costly repairs down the road.

She also felt peace of mind knowing she could contact Paul on his cell phone after business hours if she had any more questions about her vehicle, or if she wanted some advice.

Not once in the entire car buying process did she feel like she was being taken advantage of. And that’s why she awarded the dealership 100 per cent on the Hyundai customer satisfaction survey.

Small things, big difference.

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PAUL’S TIPS:

Here’s how you can appeal to your Millennial clients:

• Explain how graduates and first time buyers can find ways to save money on their car insurance.

• For any Millennials going through the process alone, recommend they consult their parents or family members who have experienced purchasing a new vehicle before making a decision. This shows the clients that you have their best interests in mind and are on their side.

• Millennials are often impulsive buyers who are always looking to load up on technologies and features. Present them with the benefits of the products and solutions they find interesting, and then ask them to mull over the information on their own time. Give them the space to conduct research and make their own decisions.

• Make the experience more personal and less like a process. Get to know your Millennial clients. Show them products you think they might need — and can afford — based on their driving habits, instead of the generic list of products you have available.

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