Alphera Financial Services has launched an incentive scheme for its UK dealer and broker partners that focuses on satisfaction levels, rather than sales volumes, to encourage best practice in the industry.
BMW Group’s independent motor finance division will run the scheme from January to the end of September 2019.
Finance sales specialists working for Alphera’s UK partners will ask their customers to complete a survey after taking out a finance agreement with Alphera, gauging their satisfaction in the finance sales process.
By prioritising satisfaction levels, Alphera says it is encouraging sales behaviours that comply fully with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced last year it was focusing on motor finance commission structures, increasing arrears and default rates as the main targets of its review of the industry.
The incentive scheme will also promote the development of skills and knowledge across the motor finance sector, encouraging the uptake of specialist finance qualifications from industry bodies, such as the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).
Spencer Halil, director of Alphera Financial Services, said: “With greater regulatory scrutiny than ever before, treating customers fairly has never been more important for motor retailers.
"Instead of asking our partners to prioritise contract volumes, Alphera’s incentive scheme encourages a single-minded focus on raising customer satisfaction through the application of specialist skills and knowledge and FCA-compliant sales practices.
“We expect the FCA will have something to say about the way the car industry incentivises salespeople when its final motor finance report comes out this year, so now is the time for dealers and car finance brokers to ensure they’re engaging with customers in a positive way.”
The Alphera customer survey asks a series of questions, including: how easy it was to do business; the ability of sales staff to accurately assess their demands and needs; their satisfaction in the sales process and sales person; and the clarity of information provided. Dealers and brokers will receive points according to the level of customer satisfaction achieved.
Alphera believes that the development of specialist skills and knowledge relating to car finance is essential to the success of dealers and brokers participating in the incentive programme.
The incentive scheme therefore encourages the uptake of skills- and knowledge-based training required to offer the highest possible standards in the sale of car finance products.
Businesses can gain bonus points for staff education when their sales specialists complete the IMI’s finance and insurance accreditation scheme, launched in 2018 in partnership with Alphera. The same education bonus will also be applied if participants achieve the FLA’s ‘SAF Advanced’ qualification.
Partners achieving the highest number of points will be offered one of 10 spaces on an educational trip to the 2020 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas.
Alphera will also incentivise customers to participate by pledging £1 to Alzheimer's Society for every completed survey.
Following the incentive, Alphera will share a report with participants, detailing their performance throughout the nine-month period.
The finance provider will also offer insights into customers’ experiences, to help their partners refine and develop sales processes where appropriate.