Retail automotive can be considered the largest “broken industry” in the world, and companies are trying to innovate new solutions that simplify the process of purchasing a car. Anyone who has leased or purchased a new car has despaired at how long it takes to walk out of the dealership with the keys, even when you walk in knowing exactly what you want and how you want to finance it. Auto Trader estimates that consumers can spend 2 hours at the car dealership, and that’s if the buyer’s financing is already set up.
Dealers know that there is a lot of room for improvement in the speed, efficiency, and integration of their sales and financing processes: increasing customer satisfaction means more sales and higher profits. To increase efficiency, dealers have to start gathering and processing data at the initial point of contact. As soon as a potential customer walks into the dealership, reception needs to get that person into the sales queue and verify their license so they are ready for a test drive. Customers are understandably wary about handing their driver’s licenses to a salesperson. To prevent fraud and provide a transparent, relaxed experience, dealerships need a quick, systematic, and professional way to capture and verify ID information as early in the process as possible.
eLEND Solutions, an automotive technology company specializing in online and in-store credit and finance solutions, has incorporated Acuant’s identity verification and automated data entry solutions into its credit application products, thereby streamlining credit check and financing processes for auto dealerships. Acuant’s technology enables customer service representatives to quickly scan a potential customer’s ID card, verify their demographic information, check for history of fraud or other financial red flags, and automatically port all this information into a database. OCR scanning converts information captured from driver’s licenses, passports, and other government-issued IDs into text format, checks the information against DMV and other records, and auto populates applications the dealership uses for CRM, financing, and regulatory compliance.
Scanning and digitizing the data is more accurate than manual entry and reduces keystrokes, staff time, and customer waiting time. The Acuant solutions are cloud based and mobile ready; customer engagement can originate online or on the lot, and can be picked back up from any point if interrupted by the customer. Capturing quality, vetted data at the entry point carries through all back-end processes to positively impact everything from first handshake to final insurance certification.
Feeding verified information into integrated systems connects traditionally siloed processes, and the biggest slowdowns occur in the transition between Sales and F&I. Transforming the sales process to be “customer first” starts with efficient information capture and integration. Streamlining workflow, eliminating redundant processes, and speeding up the transition from Sales to F&I keeps the customer happy and willing to close the deal. With these data-driven tools, dealers can process more transactions per day.
The streamlined, efficient interactions impress customers and leave dealers free to focus on the finer points of customer service, eliminating some of the most painful aspects of the car buying experience- leading to increased Customer Satisfaction Index scores (CSI) and ultimately more sales.