Lenders Need to Focus on Customer Service as Industry Moves Online

The powersports vehicle-buying marketplace is inching closer to online transactions, which is why lenders should focus on increasing customer service standards, Glenice Wilder, vice president of powersports at EFG Companies, told Powersports Finance.

While digital buy-sell platforms are popular in the auto finance space — as evidenced by platforms like AutoGravity, AutoFi, Shift Technologies, and more — online platforms have not taken off in the powersports market yet.

So far, — a San Diego startup — seems to be one of the first online-only powersports dealers. The website allows consumers to shop, finance, and purchase a powersports vehicle without stepping foot into a dealership.

The powersports industry is expected to look much more like an “Amazon purchase model” in the future, Wilder said. “Consumers will control the entire process and will have access to all information on motorcycles, F&I products, and financing.”

By moving the sales and financing online, transactions will be streamlined and simpler. “The online platform will also make it easier for dealerships to demonstrate transparency and accountability,” she said. Lenders will eventually benefit from good dealerships because they, as financial providers, need good products to avoid the risks of potential delinquencies and repossessions.

In response, lenders and dealers should continue to focus on increasing customer service standards overall, Wilder advised. “Spurred by the spending growth of Generation Y, today’s customers want to feel valued,” she said. “They spend with their time more than their money, and they are looking for more transparency in everything.”

For example, reaching out to consumers via websites and mobile apps during and after the vehicle purchase is important, Wilder said, and the communication with consumers should be “in a truthful, factual, and open manner.”

For more insights like this, attend the third annual PowerSports Finance 2017 conference, which is slated for Oct. 24-25 at the Wynn Las Vegas. The full agenda can be viewed here. To learn more — or to register — for this year’s event, visit the PowerSports Finance 2017 homepage here.

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