FordDirect has recently announced a trade-in appraisal tool and credit estimator for dealers provided by Black Book® Online. This will now be available to consumers on all DealerConnection websites, and will allow customers to obtain desired information such as trade-in values and estimated credit scores directly from the dealer’s website.
In the world of today, people expect to have immediate access to information at anytime because of easy accessibility to the Internet. A study conducted by Google/ThinkAuto reports that more consumers are looking to third-party sites after visiting a dealer’s site to obtain this information, and with FordDirect offering the appraisal tool, it essentially is cutting out the middleman in that process.
The online appraisal tool will let consumers enter information regarding the make, model, and condition of the vehicle they are interested in trading, after which they can provide their contact information so the estimated trade-in value can be sent directly to them. Additionally, dealerships using DealerConnection Elite mobile websites use the same process on the mobile versions of their site.
Security is always an issue with credit estimators. People don’t want to provide a lot of information when it’s not the real thing, but the online credit estimator provides a way to see an approximation of their credit score without pulling an actual credit report, or having to provide personal information such as a social security or credit card number. A series of short questions taken into account will allow the tool to estimate a score for you at your convenience.
“As a result of adding these tools, 500 additional leads are being generated daily,” mentions Valerie Fuller, COO of FordDirect. “This new service helps dealers meet consumer demand for instant access to information without asking the consumer to share information they are not comfortable providing.”
By collaborating with the Black Book appraisal and credit estimator tools, any leads created by the online forms are sent directly to the dealer’s lead management system.
“Our research has shown that about 40 percent of the consumers who complete these tools purchase a vehicle in their market in 30 days or less,” says Mike McFall, President of Black Book Online.
So far the system seems to be on the right track, and hopefully dealerships will continue to see its value.
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