Considering adding a BDC but not sure whether it’s the right move?
We frequently discuss with clients whether it’s worthwhile to add an internal Business Development Center at their dealership or whether it’s simpler to outsource. Clients without an internal BDC feel that the possible gains generated by this department might be outweighed by the potential for increased management required and staffing costs.
On countless occasions, we’ve witnessed the important role the BDC can play for dealers. Happier relationships with customers and improved dealership efficiency to name a couple immediate benefits.From a cost point-of-view, the potential to drive huge profits through this department’s abilities far outweigh the small cost of department start-up and mantenance. Needless to say, we strongly believe the answer is to implement and maintain this department internally, rather than outsourcing.
Here are 10 reasons why:
- Quarterback your phone lines. Nobody likes having to listen to an automated robot when trying to contact your dealership. Show your customers how much you want their business by making sure their call is answered by a real person. A BDC can handle calls themselves or distribute the call to the appropriate person in a matter of seconds.
- Ability to measure success on a daily basis. Unlike outsourced services that are difficult (in some ways, impossible) to manage and monitor, an internal BDC’s success can be measured on a daily basis. Receiving a daily status update indicating the results of outbound calls & inbound call answer rates allows for measurement of department success and helps to identify areas that can be improved upon.
- Ability to deal with customer concerns prior to manufacturer CSI surveys. Dealers are becoming increasingly-concerned about CSI scores. In the age of the internet, customer review scores are extremely important. A follow-up call from your BDC a day after your customer’s Service or Sales Department visit can effectively convert a 6/10 to a 10/10 survey score.
- Increased appointment scheduling management. An internal BDC can balance and manage the Service appointment booking independently. The BDC has an up-to-the-minute view of your current appointment schedule and can be trained to book appointments in a way that will allow your Fixed Operations to run efficiently.
- More customers are going to pick up your outbound calls. When you’re at home, are you more likely to answer a call from a local number (416 if you’re in the GTA) or from a 1-800 number? For most, seeing a 1-800 number signals a telemarketing call. Customers are more trusting and likely to answer a call from a familiar area code. Dealers with a BDC leave less voicemails and speak to more customers.
- Build long-lasting relationships with your customers. We have clients with 10+ year veteran members in their BDC’s. These staff members have built strong, trusting relationships while communicating with their employer’s customers over the years. Customers calling the dealership will eventually request to speak with BDC staff by name –how often do you think that happens with an outsourced BDC?
- Trained to right-sell. The BDC has the potential to pay for itself many times over. With proper training, a BDC can recommend additional required maintenance for every customer they communicate with. By teaching your BDC the basics of manufacturer-recommended scheduled maintenance and providing structured guidelines regarding odometer intervals and the type of language to be used when selling, a BDC can become the front-line Service Advisor for your dealership.
- Personalize your outbound marketing campaigns. If your dealership’s marketing strategy has advanced to the point that you are actively sending customers email, direct mail and text message communications, you can personalize your message by leveraging your BDC. Adding a personal signature to outbound marketing campaigns with a direct extension number and email address for a contact in the BDC increases engagement and adds a human element to the marketing strategy.
- Better management of the increasing number of online appointment requests. More and more customers are requesting their Service and Sales appointments directly through email or by booking online on dealer websites. Clients who have not yet established a BDC can have difficulty managing electronic communication. Clients with BDC’s direct the incoming email appointment requests to this department and are able to manage and follow-up on these requests with ease. Email response can be more or less instantaneous. Outsourced customer service providers measure their response time in hours, sometimes up to a full day. Impress customers and increase appointments by responding in a matter of minutes.
- Warranty and recall questions can be answered more effectively and leveraged to increase sales. The ability to answer common questions regarding recalls and warranty provides more time for Service Advisors to give individual attention to customers. This will greatly improve customer satisfaction and CSI scores. The BDC can handle parts ordering while scheduling appointments and inform customers of recalls ahead of scheduled service visits. Calls made for manufacturer recalls provides the opportunity to recommend scheduled maintenance service as well -“I can see your vehicle is also due for an oil change, would you like to have this done at the same time?”. A well-trained BDC, informed of manufacturer maintenance schedules and current service promotions can leverage vehicle recalls as an opportunity to reconnect with inactive or lost customers who have been servicing elsewhere – and bring them back into your customer retention marketing cycle.
Have you had success with a recently-launched BDC? Maybe you’ve had trouble with getting this department started? We’d be interested to hear what your thoughts are on this frequently-discussed subject. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a message today.