“’If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant, or the scared. It’s an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms,” says Colin Powell, Former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
According to recent research, most office technology companies are with their existing customer finance program providers for one reason: comfort with their process, operations, and execution.
If you have a salesperson who does pretty well, year in and year out, but never really does anything fantastic, is that okay? Are you willing to accept pretty good? Most dealers would say no. Sales leaders would encourage the rep to get out of their comfort zone and try new techniques or take on new challenges to reach new heights.
Yet when it comes to customer finance programs, pretty good seems to be the threshold for acceptance of underperforming finance programs. Why?
The Thought of Switching Is Uncomfortable
According to a lease administrator of a large Upper Midwestern dealer, “Changing a customer finance program is like getting remarried. It’s a lot of administrative mess, so you better really be in love.”
It’s not easy to transition customer finance programs. For years the process has often required riding two horses, so to speak, while you transition away from one provider and slowly integrate the new one. If a provider is doing things correctly, transitioning shouldn’t feel like a second marriage. But even the possibility of trouble can drive dealers into the comfortable arms of the familiar at the expense of a potentially better alternative.
Some People Don’t Like Change
It is easy to become firmly entrenched into a customer finance relationship. Comfortable. So comfortable that service failures, inferior offerings, and a rapidly deteriorating customer experience become acceptable components of a relationship.
A sales leader of a Southwest-based dealer said, “We don’t like new things. My lease administrator has a Swingline stapler on her desk that has to be 84 years old that she uses every day. The MFP can bind the docs as part of the print, but she’d prefer the Swingline. Now you want to replace her primary lease program?”
After all, if the Swingline isn’t broken, then…wait…
At some point, the lack of desire to seriously evaluate alternatives moves beyond comfort and into complacency. And like the General said, that’s probably not good.
LEAF can help you rethink change in your customer finance program.