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With prospective car buyers spending an average of eight hours online researching their planned purchase, more often than not they're ready to buy, not just browse, by the time they enter a dealership. Every picture you take of your inventory and post online could be the one detail that drives a buyer to your lot, prepared to make a purchase. 

But is your website also selling the value of a service contract? 

Your F&I department needs to be available to customers where they're the most comfortable making buying decisions—and that's not always in the business office. Some tweaks to your site can be the ticket to selling more service contracts and keeping your customers happy. Here are some suggestions for the content you need to have online to keep vehicle coverage top of mind for buyers at every stage during the sales process. 

Before the Sale.  

When a customer is browsing your website looking for the right car, make sure your service contract coverage is just as easy to find. Listing your product vendors and including links to their websites allows buyers to familiarize themselves with the aftermarket companies you've chosen to partner with, giving them the chance to get better educated about their options before they walk into the F&I office.

Videos, PDFs, or detailed coverage descriptions on your site can plant the seed about the importance of service contracts with your customers. If your VSC provider has your best interest in mind, these things should be easy to obtain and could be as simple as using an embed code from a video on their website. 

Unsure about what content to share with prospective customers as they do their research? Your sales and F&I teams already know the answer. Capture the recurring questions they get during the sales process and address those on your website. A regularly updated FAQ section can help you handle common objections in advance. 

During the Sale. 

In the F&I office, having the right videos on your site to share with buyers could be the difference between significant profit or a missed opportunity. Videos that explain the mishaps and problems that could happen over the course of ownership and the peace of mind service contracts offer can help consumers understand the products and their benefits before they sign on the dotted line.

Videos that explain coverage in additional detail also allow the customer to feel as if they're discovering value on their own rather than being "sold" another product. This added level of trust and objectivity to the F&I process instantly helps customers feel more comfortable during one of the more uncomfortable aspects of their vehicle purchase. 

Drive home the value of service contract coverage with videos or infographics that talk about the cost of typical repairs — showing how expensive they can be highlights just how damaging they would for a monthly budget. 

After the Sale. 

If a customer needs more information about their service contract or needs to file a claim, having a one-stop resource for VSC questions on your site will ensure their post-sale experience is seamless and straightforward. 

With content readily available online that outlines proper claims procedures, customers can navigate the claims process with as few roadblocks as possible, ensuring a quick and painless experience. They may not fully recall all the details about their coverage or even the company that administers the contract, but they'll certainly remember you. 

With 52% of buyers returning to a dealership that they've previously done business with to make their next purchase, maintaining a positive relationship is critical, even if something goes wrong. If you've helped your customers find information about key features of their service contracts, you can avoid any potential blow-back from angry customers already frustrated by a vehicle breakdown. 

Today's buyers are always connected. Providing easy access to tools and resources online has never been more critical to reach and influence shoppers at any point during a sale—and service contracts are no exception. The average buyer only visits two dealerships when they're ready to make a purchase. The information you provide online could be the deciding factor as to whether you'll ever get the chance to talk to them in person.

Learn how GWC can help you further your success with our digital retailing insight and dealership development tools.