Steven Apicella is the president of Strategic DX Inc., home of Your Dealer Experience, the winning presentation in the inaugural Technology Challenge, held as part of this year’s Industry Summit. AE sat down with Apicella to discuss their innovations in F&I claims processing and customer support, communications with similar companies, and why their presentation was considered by many to be the best of the day.
AE: Steven, what does your company do?
Apicella: Your Dealer Experience is a next-generation, post-sales customer engagement platform for dealers, their customers, and their F&I administrators. Our system intuitively processes F&I program claims in one dealer branded app — iOS and Android — and responsive website, even when multiple F&I administrators exist.
We have had significant workflow advancements in resolving mechanical, GAP, road hazard wheel and tire, or any F&I product claims with unprecedented speed and ease, while honoring heightened loss control and advanced administrator oversight. We offer additional built-in features in the same platform where all F&I services are championed, such as a key tracker and dealer messaging, in order to keep the dealer engaged with their customers throughout their ownership experience. Adoption of our customer experience-focused solution has no requirement of changing currently used providers, systems, or processes — just pure revenue and retention enhancement.
AE: Why did you participate in the Technology Challenge?
Apicella: Awareness is always the biggest challenge when contributing a transformative solution in an environment where conventional methods have been longstanding. We didn’t see the Technology Challenge as a platform to compete; rather, as a platform to contribute our YDE solution to the industry’s collective mission of increasing dealer revenue and improving customer retention — the two things dealers, agents, and F&I administrators desire the most.
AE: Were you impressed with any other presentations?
Apicella: As we listened and intently watched each Technology Challenge presentation, we were looking for opportunities to connect. Like other dealer support mechanisms, technology has traditionally never been designed, intended, or desired to work with other technologies. When we see solutions that help improve the dealer, agent, and F&I administrator positions, it’s our instinct is to connect for the betterment of all. The Technology Challenge included several companies with which we will engage.
AE: Why do you feel your presentation resounded with the Industry Summit audience?
Apicella: We believe the Industry Summit Technology Challenge vote was cast in favor of YDE because the purpose of our technology resolves a significant customer experience blackhole of missed revenue and retention opportunities as they relate to the F&I products purchased. If you ask a customer or service advisor to clarify the definitions of purchased F&I product coverage, or how to process a claim for service with today’s archaic mechanisms of multiple 1-800 numbers, difficult-to-use online claim forms, or even multiple provider apps, the opportunity for improvement with dramatic customer engagement is abundantly clear. YDE is like a powerful sword wielded on the battlefield of customer experience for dealers, agents, and F&I administrators.
AE: Do you believe this signals a growing interest in digital sales and F&I solutions?
Apicella: Technological transformation is essential, and it’s growing because the customer and the environment in which we are engaging them has already changed. Whether the customer purchased their vehicle and F&I products online or inside the dealership, how we connect with them after the point-of-sale is a missed opportunity that should no longer be overlooked. This isn’t just a millennial or Generation Z topic. It’s an important topic for anyone who desires to do business efficiently on his or her smartphone.
AE: What’s next for Your Dealer Experience? Apicella: The Technology Challenge wasn’t just a presentation opportunity for YDE; it was a call to action for our industry. We are continuously innovating solutions with purpose. Each time our YDE platform creates a new revenue and retention conduit for the dealer, agent, and F&I administrator, we are eager to open another. We are inviting all dealer, agent, and F&I administrator leaders to join us on this industry-critical mission.