Consumers are increasingly taking a digital journey when making car funding decisions and dealers and their partner finance providers need to work together to best meet the demands of car buyers, Andrew Brameld, sales director at Barclays Partner Finance will tell delegates at this year’s AM Used Car Conference.
Taking place at the Hilton St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent on October 20, AM’s conference identifies key areas where dealers can potentially boost profits from customer care to stock management.
Headline sponsor Barclays Partner Finance will explore the consumer’s increasingly digitalised journey when it comes to financing their car purchase.
Just as consumers have largely moved to the online arena when researching their next vehicle, increasing numbers of car buyers are practically pre-qualifying themselves for finance before they visit the dealership.
Brameld said: “With the majority of car buyers’ research taking place online, when customers visit dealerships, they are a mine of information, which includes being fully informed about their funding options.
“They are investigating finance early on in their research and we need to make sure the information they want is more accessible whilst still remaining in partnership with dealers.
“Consumers want to know how much they can borrow and even if they will be approved for finance before they test drive the car; they are effectively pre-qualifying themselves.
“We need to work in partnership with our dealers to make sure we are providing them with the online tools they need to make informed decisions about their funding.”
Using beacon technology, which has been finely tuned in its banks enabling customers to request additional help, for example, those who are hard of hearing can register online and they are flagged to staff on entering a branch via an app on their smartphone, Barclays will launch its online tool early next year.
The technology means any information customers have entered online and as long as they have also logged their smartphone number, the dealership can retrieve their information when they visit.
Brameld said: “It improves the customer experience because they don’t have to duplicate their information and it helps dealers because they already have the customer details in front of them including, in many cases, that the person has been qualified for a loan of a certain amount.
“Some of the details may change, for example, the loan might be slightly more if the customer adds accessories or the value of the part-exchange needs to change, but the software enables parameters to be moved.
“Once the test drive has taken place, all that should be required is a signature and even that is undertaken electronically.”