Sunday, April 01, 2007

Kelly's Korner - To Tape or Not To Tape?


Q: What is your opinion of videotaping the F&I office?

A: My response depends upon what the dealer wants to achieve. I would first want to know if the dealership has suffered from embezzlement through their F&I department. If so, then by all means videotape everyone who handles money or works at any register. Record the video at all times, so you will have a complete record of every transaction.

Be sure to put in place the appropriate disclosures, and remember . . . no filming in traditional private areas such as restrooms.

If the dealership only wants to film F&I closings, my question is, why? Do you want to ensure full disclosure? Do you need to supply the customer with a copy of the videotape? You might want to check with your own legal counsel regarding this activity.

I know of a few dealerships that videotape the F&I office in order to ensure full disclosure. After communicating with their F&I director, I learned that the F&I manager has the ability to start and stop the filming. The result? They perform selective filming.

Here are my “two cent’s worth” regarding videotaping: if you are going to do it, then film everything. Do not arm the F&I manager with the power to start and stop the taping. Know your purpose, and make sure all your employees know why you are filming.

I would prefer to see the dealership conduct video role-playing sessions and then play it back for training purposes. I have found that what people do on film, they will do in front of the customer. Video is a wonderful tool for determining if the body language of the presenter is mirrored by his or her presentation. Video is a great educational tool.

When reviewing the film, be sure to provide the presenter with positive feedback on how he or she can make improvements. Remember that we sometimes deal with fragile egos, and we want to build up our personnel, not tear them down.

Remember, also, that the video camera is very intimidating, and often makes the presenter extremely nervous. Additionally, this is new technology, so verify the legalities of videotaping before actual business proceeding.

“Kelly’s Korner”, OIADA Oregon Dealer News, April 2007