CONSUMERS ARE being more prudent about purchasing decisions and how to fit bigger-ticket items and services into their budget. Because a significant portion of sales involve financing, it is a necessary and natural part of the sales process and customer satisfaction. GE Money's Sales Finance unit has introduced its Web-based training library for business partners to better understand and effectively communicate financing to consumers.
Launching in a number of markets, including home improvement, powersports, luxury, automotive, sporting goods, outdoor power equipment, travel and music, the curriculum covers every aspect of consumer financing from offering credit and the application process, to explaining a special promotion or term.
"Our teams have been asking for continuing education to better understand our financing program and how it benefits the business, the team and, ultimately, the customer," said Garrett Rudd, VP of Scheherazade Jewelers. "GE Money has developed a well-rounded online service that meets these needs in a convenient, easy-to-understand and engaging way."
The innovative, self-paced educational course list was developed in direct response to client requests for comprehensive training on how to effectively explain credit and increase customer satisfaction through financing. The online Training Resource Center provides a collection of interactive courses targeted toward financing program options, including:
"While consumers are more savvy about credit, often asking for payment options, retailers have an important role in educating their customer about how financing works," said Mark Hayes, VP of Marketing for GE Money — Sales Finance. "Our courses were developed based on client input to help sales associates build confidence in offering financing and improving customer satisfaction through the sales process."
Initial response to the self-paced training has been favorable. "I found the classes to be informative and easy to follow," said Rudd. "They provide a great opportunity to increase our knowledge without leaving the office or storeroom."
"Now more than ever, our partners are seeking ways to enhance their business and providing their customers with value-added services," said Hayes. "Our online Training Resource Center at gemoney.com/training demonstrates our commitment to invest in solutions that support clients in addressing their unique challenges and opportunities." In addition to the Training Resource Center for clients, GE Money offers financial education tools and resources for consumers, including budget calculators and courses on understanding credit card bills and how to manage credit, through its Everyday Money education Web site. Everyday Money is a partnership between GE Money U.S. and The Beehive, a non-profit, bilingual consumer Web site to help improve the economic livelihood of millions of people.
- Selling with Financing — an overview of financing and promotional credit, plus techniques to educate consumers about financing as a payment option.
- Application Processing — an overview of how to help customers accurately complete a credit application, steps to submit them and how to process sales.
- Marketing and Business Integration — ideas to help build customer relationships, motivate teams and expand business by generating leads, driving traffic and using marketing tools.