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The F&I department remains a source of untapped profit potential for many dealerships, which is especially important when margins on new vehicle sales are tight. One way to boost F&I sales and profits is to switch from a paper to a digital F&I menu.

This new type of electronic F&I menu can be presented to customers via a tablet, such as an iPad, or via a display built into the F&I manager’s desktop. Using a digital menu could make sense, given the greater comfort level many customers have with accessing information on their smartphones and laptops.

Streamlining sales and boosting trust

Some digital F&I menus use prescriptive selling by having customers answer questions on the device and then tailoring product offerings to their answers. This can help streamline the F&I sales process while also building trust in your dealership.

There are other potential benefits to switching from a paper to a digital F&I menu. For example, many customers will view your dealership as more technologically advanced than competitor dealerships still using an old-fashioned paper menu. Other pluses may include:

  • A more consistent presentation of F&I products to all customers,
  • The ability to customize the menu for different customers,
  • Automatic “on the fly” adjustment of payment amounts based on changes in menu options,
  • The use of multimedia to reinforce your sales message, and
  • Greater transparency, which may lead to higher customer satisfaction levels and CSI ratings.

In addition, using a digital F&I menu allows for electronic capture of customer signatures and retention of all forms in an electronic deal jacket.

Of course, implementing this technology will come with purchase, implementation, training and maintenance costs. The software for implementation on tablets costs about $500 while digital menu displays built into desktops can cost from $10,000 to $12,000 per desktop. Most vendors offer basic training on how to use the menu at no extra charge. Consultants offer more advanced training for a fee.

More intuitive and engaging

A digital F&I menu can offer a more intuitive, interactive and engaging experience for your customers. Talk to your F&I manager about whether switching from a paper to a digital menu would make sense for your store.

© 2019 Thomson Reuters