A successful Business Development Center (BDC) is a critical department for every dealer who wants to be at the top of their game. In a perfect world every BDC would run with precise operational effectiveness: incoming calls always handled quickly and efficiently; outbound lead generation always producing consistent results.
Unfortunately, the reality for most dealers is very different. Employee turnover, lack of consistent training processes, and the demands of typical peaks and valleys of incoming call traffic, leave BDC managers scrambling to catch up. DME automotive has spent years working with BDC managers and we’ve identified the five “C-crets” to a successful BDC. Make sure your dealership is on top of each of these five things and you’ll be positioned to capitalize on every opportunity.
Number one—always Covered
A successful BDC has their phones covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays. Just because your dealership is closed doesn’t mean your customers don’t need you. And unlike other service providers, after hours calls to your dealership may often be the result of an unfortunate event such as an accident or breakdown. What better chance will you have to be there for your customer than when they’re having a bad day ora bad night.
Number two—always Consistent
The single most effective way to build trust with your customers is to provide a consistent experience. Whether your customer is walking into your dealership or calling your dealership, whether it’s the sales department, internet department, or the front desk, the message and overall “voice” of your dealership needs to remain consistent.
Number three—always Complete
Your BDC must be an efficient machine. There needs to be a process in place from beginning to end that’s scalable, repeatable, and trackable. Your BDC team must be trained to effectively handle inbound and outbound calls and flexibly scale up to meet times of high demand, then scale back down as demand decreases. A complete operation has trackable results. Calls, both inbound and outbound, need to be monitored and regularly evaluated for effectiveness.
Number four—always Compliant
The regulatory environment for all forms of customer communication is growing more challenging and the lack of compliance, more costly. Keeping your BDC up-to-date and compliant with the latest regulations is critical to success, especially now that 50 percent of customers in the average dealer’s database have only a cell phone number. The rules are complicated, change frequently, and violations are costly, so make sure your BDC has someone who’s on top of it.
Number five—always Compatible
Your BDC has to integrate seamlessly into other key technologies, including your CRM and your service-scheduling tool. Integration enables the delivery of consistent service. Integration gives you the ability to turn an offsite BDC into and internal BDC, just as if it was in the back of the dealership, handling calls, setting your appointments, and taking care of customers. Compatible technology will let you turn ideas into action quickly and easily.
Follow these five “C”-crets and your BDC will rock your dealership!
Wendy Woodard is the director of DMEautomotive’s Call Center and has been with the company for four years. She’s been in the call center industry since 1998, and has worked with AT&T Wireless, E*Trade, and DirecTV. Since 1999, she has held positions in the automotive industry including BDC director, director of operations, and VP of operations.0