J.D. POWER – Auto dealers rely on commercial lenders to keep their lots full, but when those lenders get the dealer satisfaction formula right, they stand to attract even more business from dealers. According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Automotive Commercial Lending Satisfaction Study, SM released today, the difference between good and great dealer-lender relationships comes down to four key steps that can set the stage for expanded business relationships.
The study shows the tried-and-true path to building that relationship is by consistently delivering on a core set of performance metrics rooted in making it easier for dealers to sell vehicles.
The inaugural study evaluates auto dealer satisfaction with floor planning and other commercial lending services, and identifies the key service attributes that drive increased customer satisfaction and loan portfolio growth.
“The most common reason auto dealers select their lending partners for loans—such as real estate and construction—and lines of credit is because of a strong relationship a dealer already has with a lender on floorplan,” said Jim Houston, managing director of consumer lending and auto finance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The study shows the tried-and-true path to building that relationship is by consistently delivering on a core set of performance metrics rooted in making it easier for dealers to sell vehicles.“
Following are some key findings of the 2021 study:
- Dealer satisfaction with commercial lenders builds from a strong foundation: Overall dealer satisfaction with inventory financing providers is very high (9.69 on a 10-point scale), but there are some clear steps lenders can take to improve even further.
- Four-step path to a perfect relationship: The keys drivers of superior dealer/lender relationships are all rooted in the principle of making dealers’ lives easier. Key performance metrics associated with the biggest jumps in customer satisfaction are: always being reachable when needed; making it easy to submit required documents; providing seamless credit line increases; and providing a clear, achievable path to meeting reward program requirements. When dealers experience all four of these best practices, overall satisfaction jumps to a near-perfect 9.96.
- Room to improve: Currently, despite overall strong scores, just 8% of auto dealers say they experience all four lender performance metrics.
- Good floor plan relationship drives expanded business for lenders: Nearly three-fourths (70%) of auto dealers select a credit facilities lending partner based on an existing inventory finance lending relationship.
The U.S. Automotive Commercial Lending Satisfaction Study is based on 1,727 evaluations by auto dealer finance professionals across both the inventory finance and lending segments. It was fielded in October-November 2020.
For more information about the U.S. Automotive Commercial Lending Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/financial-services/us-automotive-commercial-lending-study.