When a consumer is ready to buy the vehicle of their dreams, dealers and lenders need to act fast to finance a deal and maximize their profits. However, many businesses risk losing customers and money due to outdated consumer lending practices that negatively affect their customers’ buying experiences.
In fact, only 56% of customers say their preferred lenders delivered a secure application process, a fast approval, and an easy-to-understand application. Regardless of if you’re a dealer or lender, making your customers feel satisfied throughout the financing process helps build your reputation and give you a competitive edge.
Optimizing a customer’s lending journey lets you close deals faster, build better customer relationships, and increase each sale’s profitability. Here are three tips you can follow to improve your customer financing:
Provide Accessible Lending Information Online
In a recent report, the median age of first-time recreational vehicle (RV) buyers dropped from 33 to 32, demonstrating the impact of younger buyers entering the RV market. On top of that, a 2023 survey from McKinsey found that Gen Z and millennials were almost twice as likely to express their intent to purchase a boat or RV compared to Gen X or boomers.
Considering that younger customers entering the market are more accustomed to online shopping, it makes sense to offer accessible information about their funding options. In fact, 51% of Gen Z customers believe borrowers should learn as much as possible before taking a loan.
With this data point in mind, giving customers easy online access to detailed information on their lending options helps meet their expectations. This helps dealers and lenders build a positive reputation while earning customers’ loyalty so they’re more likely to come back or recommend the business to other potential customers.
Be Where Your Customers Are
In 2022, one study found that 27% of American banking customers choose to use online-only banks. This shows how current customers are pulling away from traditional in-person financial services and prefer the convenience of digital financial services. It’s important to have an established digital financing application system that allows you to meet these customers at their preferred channel for business.
When a customer is ready to make a luxury purchase like an RV or powersports vehicle, they may choose to explore financing options through the dealership or get prequalified at their lenders first. Traditionally, they sit in an office at a dealership, bank, or credit union to undergo the financing process. But this approach limits the options customers have and, in turn, limits your reach in attracting new customers.
But with a web-based platform, dealers can manage a network of lending partners and vice versa. This allows lender and dealers to connect with any customer that finances their purchase digitally through the platform. You can reap the benefits from indirect and direct lending while eliminating the need for customers to finance in person.
Simplify Your Customer Funding Experience
One customer described themselves as “in the dark” at nearly every step of their journey buying an RV. They described how they were responsible for coordinating with 16 people from the dealer, OEM, and financing office to complete their purchase.
This complicated sales experience put too much stress and responsibility on customer and increased the risk of the sale falling through. Having an inefficient, labor-intensive lending process frustrates your customers and can stunt your profit potential.
Don’t let a complicated lending experience confuse customers and risk a deal falling through. It’s vital to streamline your funding process to minimize delays and maximize customer satisfaction. Using a lending workflow solution can make your customer funding experience fast and easy.
Overall, you can give your customers a superior lending experience by making financing options easily accessible, meeting customers through a convenient digital network, and simplifying the funding process. This optimizes the customer’s lending journey and helps you build better customer relationships, make more money, and close deals faster.