Dealerships have made impressive strides in responding to the restrictions imposed by CDC guidelines and social distancing rules by adopting tools that allow them to work with customers remotely. One vital part of that process is remote contract review and signing.
With a growing percentage of deals starting online, remote signing followed by at-home delivery are logical next steps to ensure convenient and socially distanced auto purchases for consumers.
Here are some important considerations for successful remote signing:
- Make sure your internet connection is secure – An important aspect of compliance is protecting customer and deal data. Especially if you’re working somewhere other than the dealership, be sure your wi-fi signal is password protected.
- Begin with some show-and-tell – Start by having a conversation with the buyer to make sure they have access to the proper technology required for the contract review and signing: a desktop computer, laptop or tablet with an up-to-date browser that’s connected to the internet. Then explain the eSign process, including the need for their consent, and talk through how the signature capture process works.
- Verify the customer’s identity – When you’re dealing with customers remotely, it’s more important than ever to make sure every customer is who they say they are. Using a compliance solution like Dealertrack Compliance during the deal process for vital Red Flag alerts and OFAC checks can help – and can also provide out-of-wallet questions if needed.
- The next best thing to face-to-face – We recommend using video conferencing, Facetime or another video chat app to help make sure you’re dealing with the right person before you connect to their device for contract review and signing. Video is also helpful for walking the customer through the review and signing process so you can see their screen and provide direction as needed.
- Record the signing ceremony – Choose a video conference platform that allows you to record the signing session for the purposes of ID verification and fraud risk mitigation. Tell the customer you’ll be recording and get their permission before you begin.
- Give the customer time to read the fine print – Before the customer signs, make sure they review the contract. They can do it on the screen, but you should recommend that they use the print or download functionality to create their own copy.
- Follow delivery protocols and best practices1 – The vehicle should be delivered as soon as possible after contract signing. When you arrive at the customer’s location,2 start by validating the buyer’s identity by matching their driver’s license to the information on the contract.
- Don’t renegotiate upon delivery – Do not negotiate terms and conditions of the deal at the consumer’s home, as this could invoke a three-day rescission period that allows the customer to cancel their transaction.
- Disinfect high-touch areas of the vehicle – Relieve any customer concerns by cleaning the vehicle in accordance with CDC guidelines and telling the customer about your sanitizing procedures.
- Finalize all documentation – If there are any remaining DMV or dealer documents, have the customer complete them now. Use a tablet to photograph and upload any remaining stips and trailing documents. Be sure to have the customer sign the delivery receipt and keep it for your records. And don’t forget to deliver the final signed copy of the contract to your customer.
If a customer will be at the dealership to sign their contract and take delivery of their vehicle, you can still give them the option of bringing in their own device for signing. That can help to ensure social distancing and alleviate any concern the customer may have about handling shared devices.
Dealertrack assisted Remote Signing is available for dealerships with Digital Contracting on Dealertrack F&I. Click to learn more about getting started with assisted Remote Signing at your dealership.
The 2022 Dealertrack Compliance Guide includes a new chapter on automotive eCommerce sales. Download the Compliance Guide here.
.1 In locations where permitted by federal, state and local COVID-19 ordinances, consider offering at-home delivery and observe CDC protocols during vehicle delivery.
2 Customer must take delivery in the state they are in as out-of-state deliveries are not available at this time.