Archive for the ‘Infographics’ Category

Checklist is the key to your 2019 tax season sales results

Tax season is a great time to set up a successful 2019.

There really is no other time of the year that so many shoppers have an extra $3,000 or so – approximately the average refund – to put down on a new or used vehicle and fuel your sales results.

But ensuring the launch comes off without a hitch requires certain best practices when working with Santander Consumer USA.

Use this best-practices checklist to ensure your dealership makes the most of tax season.


021419 IL Checklist is the key to your 2019 tax season sales results

The top 5 pitfalls to avoid when submitting deal packages to SC

Tax season sizzles for most dealerships.

That means getting through the funding process is going to be extremely important to keep business flowing smoothly through March and April.

Santander Consumer USA (SC) will be working hard to manage the flow of tens of thousands of contracts from dealers that will be needed to finance new and used vehicles during these busy months.

The goal at SC is to have complete contract packages funded within 24 hours. Yet, with so many contracts there are bound to be small hiccups here and there.

For example, calling about a contract before 48 hours has passed – 72 hours in the case of tax season – actually slows processing of contracts to all dealers, and will not move the caller’s funding package ahead of others that have been in house longer.

Otherwise, here are the top five pitfalls some dealerships encounter – and you can avoid – when submitting deals to SC funding that can slow down the process:

We can’t get in touch with the applicant

When funding receives a deal, chances are that some information will need to be verified before the deal is given the green light. If funding doesn’t have the correct contact information for your customer, the deal can’t be finalized. It’s critical that phone numbers and/or contact people are correct so that funding can reach them if necessary.

Submitting incomplete contract packages

Our funding team can’t complete your deals until all of the documents in the package are received. By using SC’s funding checklist, it’s easier to ensure your funding package is complete.

The approval terms don’t match the contract

If multiple approvals have been received for the same customer, double-check your documents to make sure the correct approval sheet is attached to the contract package. In addition, check with your buyer before making changes to the approval terms. These two steps can save a significant amount of time and confusion once the package hits funding.

Income is not verifiable

Reviewing the customer’s paystub prior to completing and submitting an application can save time down the road. A lot of customers will provide their net income versus gross, and some just take a wild guess when completing a credit application. Request a check stub from your customer, and review it with them to ensure the proper monthly income is entered on the application.

Vehicle value does not match the value on the approval

If a customer changes his/her mind about which vehicle to purchase, it’s critical to update the vehicle with your buyer. Send an update via Dealertrack or RouteOne alerting your buyer to the change, and get an updated approval so there won’t be issues that delay your funding. You also have the option of updating the vehicle in our Rehash Tool. Just log in to the Dealer Extranet to update your structure for a quick look at what the changes will mean.

Tax season presents a wealth of opportunities to boost your bottom line to the top of the charts. So don’t let small pitfalls keep your dealership from achieving your goals.

If you have questions, contact SC funding from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, at or 800-877-4696.


020719 IL Putting a premium on accurate paperwork can help deals flow smoothly (2)

When you want to boost results …

15 ways to light up more deals in December and beyond

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Launching pad for success …

020917 IL The Right Stuff Six reminders to make this your best sales season yet!

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The Smart Dealer’s guide

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How a digital F&I experience may drive customer satisfaction

Digitizing the finance and insurance (F&I) process can have a lasting, positive effect on customer satisfaction for automotive retailers.

Those are the findings of “The Digital F&I Experience Study” from F&I Express and MakeMyDeal.

The two companies have a vested interest in the results since they both operate in the digital F&I space, but that doesn’t mean the study results aren’t worth consideration.

They are consistent with consumers’ shift to digital channels in other parts of the car-buying process.

The Smart Dealer Logo 300x300While much of the car-shopping process has been digitized, either through online tools or desktop tools at the dealership, the companies said, a significant portion of the process for automotive aftermarket insurance products still involves cumbersome printed documents and manually signed forms.

A more detailed look at the issues involved was covered in an article The Online F&I Dilemma: F&I providers talk about the pros and cons of taking the F&I office online at P&A magazine online.

Meanwhile, the study – a survey, actually, of 500 recent vehicle purchasers – found that “consumers who had one or more digital elements in the F&I experience were more likely to purchase F&I products, more satisfied with the experience and more likely to recommend the dealership.”

And, of course, that could mean adding dollars to your dealership’s bottom line.

“As an industry, we know that the F&I experience is more difficult than it should be, but what we haven’t had until now are the numbers to show how that experience could be affecting the long-term profit potential for the dealership,” said Mike Burgiss of MakeMyDeal.

“By digitizing the experience, dealers will not only have happier customers, but they’ll also reap the benefits of more word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat business.”

“F&I is one of the few remaining areas of the dealership that hasn’t been digitized, and this study clearly shows that there is a real need – and opportunity – for more of the process to be brought online,” said Brian Reed, President and CEO of F&I Express, which was named 2015 Dealers’ Choice Award winner in F&I technology by publishers of “Auto Dealer Monthly” and “F&I and Showroom” magazine.

“Consumers have an expectation to have digital options for just about anything they are shopping for,” Reed said. “Auto dealers have a chance to strengthen relationships with existing customers, and ultimately improve their profitability by shifting to a digital F&I strategy.”

The study was designed to understand consumer feelings toward the current in-dealership purchase process of F&I products and how it affects their perception of the dealership.

Participants were 400 car buyers who had a traditional F&I experience and 100 who had a digital one.

A digital experience was defined as engaging in at least one of the following activities: providing an electronic signature for a vehicle, completing an entire purchase online without having to go into a dealership, completing the entire vehicle purchase electronically inside of the dealership, and/or reviewing a list of products and services on an electronic device provided by a dealership.


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Play it smart, dealers

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