5 tips for smooth financial acceptance in the private leasing sector
“I have to call that customer back again because their data isn’t correct. But what if they drop out entirely?” This is a dilemma faced by many advisors in the private leasing sector. They are responsible for a good customer experience, but they also have to request the information necessary for financial acceptance in the context of a private lease contract. Are you a product manager, product owner, or innovation manager at a private leasing company? Then it’s up to you to give lease advisors better tools. Read on for five useful tips!
(Not) everything is fantastic
When lease consultants make a follow-up call after a new customer’s application (the so-called aftercare call), they only want to hear one thing: “Everything’s fantastic!” This indicates that the customer is happy with the deal, and that the onboarding process went smoothly. Still, it doesn’t usually happen that easily. Due to the complex financial acceptance process in the private leasing sector, customers have to jump through quite a few hoops before the contract is finalised. In addition, because they provide their data and you process it manually, the chance of errors is high. Things can go wrong with something as simple as missing initials on the lease contract. The result is that the contract is not accepted and must be redrafted and sent to the client again for signing. For the lease consultant working with that customer, this means more hassle, an unwelcome conversation and, often enough, a frustrated customer. Or even worse: no customer at all.
The main question here is: how can your organisation simplify the financial acceptance of private lease contracts so that the customer experience is not compromised? The answer isn’t to be found in the work of the lease consultant; they simply do what they’re told. The solution must come from the underlying structure. The head office is asking advisors to request all sorts of information that they really don’t need in order to close a deal. So somewhere in the process, something’s going wrong.
So much for the bad news. The good news is that you can improve this process. As an innovation manager or product manager, you can use the following five tips to simplify the financial acceptance process for private lease contracts, so that advisors can improve their service to customers.
Tip 1. Engage with internal stakeholders
Many documents are involved in the onboarding of a new private lease customer. In addition to the usual information, such as name and contact details, as a leasing company you want to know whether the new customer is creditworthy. That means the customer must provide information about things like income and debts. However, the question is whether all the information that you’re currently requesting is really necessary. So, take the time to talk to internal stakeholders that deal with customer data. Which steps are you taking now, which could be omitted? And, do you really need all the documents? There’s a good chance that some of the documents requested can be omitted.
Tip 2. Define the acceptance framework together
While you are discussing things with your colleagues, try to get a better understanding of each other’s work and responsibilities. Everyone has their own list of required customer information, but perhaps there’s some overlap, or you can help each other. An example: a self-employed person needs proof of income. An income statement for one year is usually sufficient for the process, but for an easier assessment, the approval department can ask the leasing consultant for an overview of the last three years. During onboarding, the lease consultant therefore asks the customer to provide their income data for the past three years. If all internal stakeholders sit down together and find out how much frustration providing the official documents causes the customer, they can all determine whether a declaration for one year might be sufficient as well. In short: ensure that the parties involved come out of their silos and make agreements together about the acceptance framework.
Tip 3. Prepare your customer
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to meet high expectations. Advisors in the private leasing sector know all about this. Sometimes their customers are already halfway through the onboarding process when they find out that the lease amount doesn’t fit into their monthly budget. Or that their application cannot be processed yet, as an income statement from a co-contractor is still required. Make sure that lease advisors properly prepare their customers for the financial acceptance process. Ensure that they explain which documents are required and which requirements they must fulfil in order to complete the deal. The sooner advisers request customer data, the better. In this way, they quickly get to know their customer and it becomes easier to make a suitable offer.
Tip 4. Focus on continuous optimisation
The cliché “standing still is like going backwards” certainly applies to the customer experience of private lease customers. After all, they expect more every year. Many other money-related matters, such as opening a bank account and getting a telephone contract, already happen without any barriers, so why is applying for a private lease contract still so difficult? Internal (or external) specialists can help you to improve customer onboarding. Be aware that this improvement process is never finished. Every year, something happens that influences the ideal picture for the perfect onboarding or the frameworks for financial acceptance: whether it is the implementation of GDPR regulations or the rise of chatbots.
Tip 5. Digitise the process
Now that we’re talking about progress: the more you can digitise, the better. When more processes are digital, customers no longer need to print and scan documents (both major frustrations!). It’s even better when you move from document-driven acceptance to data-driven acceptance. This requires a platform that regulates this process in a secure and GDPR-proof manner. Would you like to know more about implementing this type of customer onboarding in the private leasing sector? Feel free to get in touch with us!