LAS VEGAS — Despite changing technology trends, the “personal touch” — such as a phone call — is still the primary source of communication between lenders, consumers, and dealers, said Andrew Hewitt, director of motorcycles at American Credit Acceptance, which is why many powersports lenders do not rely as much on text messaging.
“I think personal touch is everything,” Hewitt told attendees at PowerSports Finance 2016 last week, and making phone calls is what can separate a good lender from a bad lender within powersports. “I’m old school, and I’d like to say that rehashing deals is everything, but I would say phone calls are still probably number one,” he added. Powersports is a customer service-driven business, and “I feel like you have to pick up the phone and make calls versus texting.”
When communicating with a customer electronically, “you are really only interacting with the computer,” Maurice Salter, president and chief executive at MotoLease, told the crowd, “so the fact that you can make a verification call before you fund the borrower, that let’s them know that somebody is talking to them and explaining things to them.”
Additionally, 90% of customers who visit a dealership will never purchase or finance a vehicle from the dealer if they leave the dealership without purchasing or financing a vehicle, Salter said. “If no one follows up with that customer once they leave the dealership, “that is not the personal touch,” he added.
Likewise, when communicating back and forth with the dealer, no matter how young the dealer manager might be, “they still want to talk on the phone,” added Chuck Smith, senior vice president and chief lending officer at TDECU. “Typically, they will send the deal in, send a text or email that says it’s there, then pick up the phone and call you.” Dealers use all modes of communication, but the phone is still their primary source of communication with their lender partners, Smith said.