american honda finance

american honda finance

Enhancing Customer Experience in American Honda Finance

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1. Introduction

Currently, we are living in the age of the customer, where customers are more informed, connected, and empowered than ever before. Maintaining excellent customer relationships in this environment is crucial. American Honda Finance realized this, and to enhance customer experience, needed to better understand their customers’ preferences and behaviors. We will talk today about our journey in the Assessment, Design, Technology Enablement, and Operation Phases enhancing the digital experience of these customers, specifically within the Lease End service area.

1. Introduction. How do you thrive when consumer behavior is constantly and rapidly evolving? How can businesses successfully navigate digital consumer trends and ensure they are prepared for what lies ahead? We’ll answer these questions in our Digital Trends & Metrics webinar, sharing tips on how to thrive as digital channels rapidly evolve and change with consumer behavior. We’ll explore the topic with alumni who have served as Customer Experience, Strategy and Digital leaders at companies such as American Honda Finance, RR Donnelley, Shawmut Design & Construction, Staples Inc., FedEx, etc.

We’ll discuss healthcare in how we designed and reacted to a pandemic. For now, let me introduce you to a great AMA. Serhan Secmen BA Bus Mgmt ’03, Founder & CEO, 702 Motoring; Sheila Gemin, Vice President of Customer Experience, Eric Jorgensen at American Honda Finance, and Moiz Arif will discuss digital trends, metrics, and measurement as well as case studies and best practices in an alumni-led discussion.

2. Streamlining Loan Application Process

The project will provide loan officers with the necessary tools to build customer loyalty and satisfy customer needs in a project called SWC implemental release 1.0. By providing the loan officers with the first of six implemental releases, the following benefits are expected, which later translates to increased sales and in turn, business growth opportunities for AHI. SWC 1.0 is designed to provide dealership personnel with real-time decisioning on all AHFC consumer lines of business. Currently, dealerships bank the business with AHI because AHFC processes the ability to verify the customer’s identity. By providing real-time decisions, SWC would take advantage of the customer’s attention span after his or her test drive, guaranteeing that the customer visualizes himself or herself in the vehicle by giving them the confidence of walking away with the keys to his or her dream car. Unified Instant Replay solution was utilized in a Windows Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework to forecast SWC user loads on current mainframe in an environment simulated as being production-like. The components monitored would capture responses from the production environment before any changes took place.

In the automobile industry, processing a customer’s finance application consumes many hours when done the traditional way. However, a progressive lender can reduce the time through the automation process. At the American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC), loan officers have the same challenges as found at any other automobile finance company. Essentially, the AHFC process is one in which the customer visits one or more dealerships to apply for a car loan. It is AHFC’s initiative to streamline its loan application process. A project with the objective to incorporate SWC tools on the existing mainframe infrastructure for a nationwide release of information to the dealership was initiated.

3. Implementing Personalized Customer Support

Flexible financial solutions depend on the needs of each customer, whether individual or business goals. In this article, AHFC provides financial solutions for customers who want to own or lease their preferred Honda or Acura products. AHFC succeeded by focusing on customers, partners, and investors, ensuring that the foundation reflects the values of society and works with dealers and independent financial service providers. At AHFC, we provide customized financing packages that meet customers’ unique needs. Our car and motorcycle leasing plans provide excellent mobility services. We support our customers and provide bonus plans for doing business with us. A tailored finance package with predictable monthly payments to meet your financial needs. At American Honda Finance Corporation, I am committed to respecting and protecting your privacy and will not share the information you provide. We believe our customers are part of our family and have experienced the trust and commitment to our brand.

Since its creation, American Honda Finance Corporation’s mission has been centered on improving the customer experience. It aims to provide excellent customer service and grant customers dealer partners with credit, financing, and leasing, which are exceptional products and services that accompany Honda and Acura products. Honda and Acura have established well-defined principles to provide world-class service. Both specific brands have an exclusive and unique design manufacturing process that surrounds the customer’s needs.

4. Enhancing Online Account Management

Implementing future models, Honda anticipated a tipping point where the considerable growth in user adoption would magnify any issues. Early warning signs revealed that users experienced hitches while navigating the portal/dashboard, potentially leading to unsuccessful payment attempts. Also, a few customers did not receive the added benefit of the grace period. Through research, Honda confirmed that two perspectives were affecting the users. The primary objective of the customers’ need was not easily served, and the website usage seemed counterintuitive owing to Honda’s strategically-driven comprehensive user authentication and fraud management backend security framework. To safeguard the customer, extended time measures were in place dictating that a customer must authenticate into the portal before they could access a protected account and conduct an auto transaction. Safe to say, recognizing such distortions and having a vision to remedy them would be the only way Honda could continue to grow customer engagement through the website and encourage customers to leverage the platform to their advantage.

With increased usage of online account management comes an increased number of customer interactions, where technology affects customer satisfaction and loyalty. Thus, companies should prioritize the features in their online platforms to best meet customer demands for service. With that in mind, Honda’s technology research in 2021 highlights the year’s top emerging digital trends, where consumers have ranked personalization and enhanced security as key components of the digital experience. This drives financial services companies to cater to consumers’ increased technology and digital requirements. In response, Honda designed an entire platform around helping our customers manage their accounts digitally. The primary drivers of this platform were customer feedback regarding online account management and Honda’s strategic initiative to prioritize technology advancements within our organization.

Digital trends in auto lending, such as the availability of alternative online lenders, changing consumer preferences, government regulations, and digitization of financial services, have forced many traditional auto finance companies to change their business strategies significantly. This includes focusing on digital transformation, enabling cutting-edge e-commerce capabilities, and expediting the lending process. As a result, more leasing and finance consumers are leveraging company websites. While more sign-ups indicate a shift in preference toward digital account management, online channels also offer the convenience of 24/7 access to financial services, as well as savings through incentivized payment options and effective online communication for customer correspondence.

5. Improving Transparency and Trust

Enabled by borrower consent, customers could discover answers more quickly and move on to the fun part: exploring vehicle options. This approach has been fully embraced by the dealership sales staff, too, who were finding that customers were more confident in the process and more likely to engage in the higher-end sales process. The digital tools have also been a game-changer for AHFC’s agents who are now focused solely on technical customer inquiries, meaning their roles have become more specialized as well as more value-driven for both consumers and the business. Within the newly adopted digital sales flow, acknowledgment and consent materials are also pushed to the loan origination system, while completed documents still require manual preparation. In most cases, the process has been improved to save time and enhance the customer experience. Additionally, the dealership is now effectively ensured that negotiated agreements are confirmed, ensuring a smoother sales transaction. The solution also provides an audit trail for all activities, making it easier for the dealer to track the progress of each sale.

When American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC) set out to improve its customer experience strategy, feedback from its dealership network was loud and clear: both staff and customers wanted a more efficient and transparent process. The company had initiated a series of digitalization initiatives aimed at automating outdated and manual tasks. As a result, operating efficiencies had improved significantly, but to realize the transformative potential that a fully digital lending experience could deliver, consumers needed to embrace them. That meant replacing traditional paper processes with digital, click-to-sign technology wherever possible.

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