We Put the "Better" in BetterCarPeople

One of the great things about working for BetterCarPeople is the continued desire to make the surrounding community better.  Matthew Belk, CEO of BetterCarPeople, wants Monroe to be the best place to live and work, and has the desire to take care of those who may need assistance, training, a safe haven, or a meal. Turning Point is just one of the many organizations BCP partners with.

 

BetterCarPeople is excited to announce a partnership with Turning Point Shelter. Turning Point is a non-profit organization which strives to give battered and abused family members a safe place to live until they can fully support themselves on thier own or have a safe place to call home.

BetterCarPeople’s over 50 employees were recently challenged to raise money to adopt a room at Turning Point. BCP will renovate and replenish the room as each new family comes in. Many have already stepped up and committed to a monthly donation.

So far, BCP has been able to paint and renovate a room for a new family coming in. From bedding, to bathroom decor, to a comfortable area rug for the floor, we were able to create a “homey” environment for the families.

If you are interested in donating time, money, or expertise to Turning Point, go to Turning Point's website to see why this is a wonderful place to give back.

Before and During Renovations

Before and During Renovations


After the BCP treatment!

After the BCP treatment!

Enough with the Windsocks--It’s 2015.

How are you reaching your customers?

It is time to deflate.

It is time to deflate.

I am tired of people talking about how digital media is becoming a presence and that we need to incorporate it into automotive marketing. Truly--how many dealerships are NOT using some form of social media, digital advertising, or marketing to drive people online and on-lot? We are past the point of why and moving into the thick of how.

How to do it well.

How to do it right.

 

It is 2015--how are you reaching out to your customers? If you are relying on a giant, flapping windsock, you may want to rethink your dealership marketing strategy.

You know what I am talking about--the one that flaps in the wind and steals your attention from the road as you are driving down the street. That windsock has taken on a new digital life--one that is just as distracting and may not drive as many customers to your site and lot as you would think.

Here Are The Digital Equivalents of the Giant Windsock:

The Loud/Messy/Distracting Website

Have you visited your dealership page lately? Not as an administrator or an editor, but as a customer? You need to. Right now. Some may be happily surprised with the look, the information, and the sound.

Rock on to you.

Those of you who are horrified, you need to fix this now.

Clean Up your Website

According to a McKinsey Report, the average buyer visits 1.6 dealerships before purchase, which is from 10 years ago when buyers visited an average of 5.  You need to make sure that your digital presence is as impressive, informative, and engaging as your face to face presence.

  • Get rid of the multiple videos that start all at once on the site.
  • Get rid of the sound effects as you scroll over an item.
  • Get rid of the banners that continue to float all over the page--even after the customer has closed them out.

These distractions will frustrate your potential customer more than guide them to your dealership. Take a moment and do a little product research. See what others are doing. And then go back to your page, get rid of the annoying elements, clean up your page.

There is something to be said for a little white space.

Add Relevant Content

Buyers are more educated than ever before because they have all the information in the world at their fingertips.  Your digital presence needs to give them something more--something extra that lets them know you are the industry leader and the professionals in the know. Whether that be on your site, your facebook, your instagram, your twitter--whatever medium has your name attached to it--you need to add value.

You can find good content and repost it, or you can curate your own content-- or have a mix of both (which is what I suggest).

Here are some amazing sites that helped me get started with content curation and original blogs:

These sites have original, understandable, and actionable steps to help move you forward in your strides to become relevant in the digital dealership space.

Reminder of Why Digital is More Important Than You Think

  • 100 percent of smartphone owners surveyed say they used their device to perform some sort of car-shopping activity, typically for vehicle and pricing information.

  • Only 58 percent of respondents say they test-drove a vehicle before they made their most recent purchase. The majority of the decision making process is done via internet.

  • 85% of auto consumers turn to mobile for more information after seeing ads for vehicles on other media channels. 

  • 1.6 dealerships. That is how many consumers are visiting before they purchase. Will it be yours?


TakeAway:

Meet your customers where they are. The majority are online.  And most will make decisions well before they ever set foot on your dealership showroom.

The key is to keep your digital presence current, relevant to customer need, and real.

 

References:

http://www.inmobi.com/blog/2014/05/23/us-auto-shoppers-an-infographic

http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/2014-car-shopping-trends-report-offers-insights-into-consumer-behavior.html

McKinsey Innovation Report http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/automotive_and_assembly/latest_thinking 

 

 

4 Things You Can't Miss This Week

Here are four must read articles/graphics that deal with  Automotive BDCs and lead response. Are you interested in driving more sales, increasing your customer contact, and cultivating a rockstar BDC? Then, by all means, read on.


Your Survival Depends on Following Up on Internet Leads -- Fast  Entrepreneur Magazine

Quick Skim:

Cardone hits home with the importance of responding to leads, responding fast, and responding in a personalized fashion (the tenants BCP was founded on!).  One of the more shocking facts is that 65% of companies do not have a process to nurture leads. 65%! That is a lot of business being left on the table. These top-down, common sense strategies can be implemented immediately with little training.

This mix of video and text are informative and a great reminder of how to capture the most business the right way.

Why BCP Cares:

Internet leads are our business. We realize how important they are, and how vastly they affect your bottom line. It is easy to say that leads are bad, blame a third party lead provider, or say that they don’t matter. But they do. Take time to develop a system to answer all leads quickly--regardless of the time of day.

Read Full Article


Dealers should respond to questions quickly or internet shoppers will leave Automotive News

Quick Skim:

Three dealerships weigh in on the importance of responding to customers quickly. Thier experiences, results, and the data to support their claims all support the success of their dealership.Some common threads amongst all:

1) Holding sales/internet people accountable for answering quickly and answering well.

2)Always racing to be the first to respond.

3)Making sure the response is detailed and personalized.

Again, it seems common sense trumps all fads when dealing with customer response time and customer relations.

Why BCP Cares:

We know autoresponders are a waste of time. There have been multiple studies done which state you need to turn them off. Customer who are shopping online have been conditioned to desire a fast, specific and courteous response. If you don’t give it to them, someone else will.

For more information on how to turn off your autoresponder and how to turn on customers, visit BCP Online.

Read Full Article


The Lead Response Management Study

Quick Skim:

This is an older study, circa 2010, but has amazing information concerning specific elements of leads. This researched report discusses the best day of the week to respond, the best time of day to respond and when you will most likely get a response.

This research also analyzes the speed of response and how it is directly related to conversion rates. This is more of an analytical read with some great stats--even if they are older. This is a great base to any study on response times.

Why BCP Cares:

If information is not research based, it is an opinion, not a fact. We base our technologies, our advancements, and our company on data, not conjecture. That is why we can say with confidence that we will improve your lead response quality, time, and conversion rate.

To request more information on how we improve your business and your life, visit BCP Online  and register for a free demo.

Read Full Article


Internet Lead Response, Inspect what you Expect  DrivingSales.com

Quick Skim:

Ron Henson, of DrivingSales, studied various dealerships, their response rates, and quality of response, and amount of personalization. His findings were grim, but hopeful. You cannot fix something if you do not know it’s broke. I personally liked his attention to grammatical errors and content. Each response represents the dealership--whether in a positive or negative way.

If dealerships take the time to analyze their responses, they will see a great opportunity for training and improvement.

Why BCP Cares:

Researched articles are always interesting to me, but when industry experts share tales from the front line, I am definitely listening and learning. This raw assessment not only shows where there needs to be adjustments, but also gives ideas for growth and development.

Read Full Article


Are Your Competitors Beating You Out of the Gate? The Average B2B Lead Response Time Capterra.com

Quick Skim:

I’m not going to lie--I read through the article quickly because my focus was on the graphics--this graphic, specifically:

Why BCP Cares:

Only 34.51% of all web leads are contacted within an hour. You are now an expert on lead response times after reading the previous articles, and you know that if a lead is not answered within 20 minutes by a live person, the lead is essentially gone. The majority of web leads are sitting in cyberspace (or in your CRM) and are not being responded to. I don’t know about you, but this is a great time to reevaluate your process and start optimizing the leads that are coming in!

Read Full Article

Insight
We can no longer talk about how the internet/mobile/social media will change the way we sell cars--it already has. Have you adjusted to meet your customers where they are?

Contact BetterCarPeople if you are interested in stepping up your game.

 

4 Ways to Avoid a BDC Fail

BDCs are not a new concept, but they are a hot topic of discussion again. Automotive shopping patterns-- including increased use of mobile and internet devices for purchases, and the Google "micro moments" of shopping and researching-- have all increased the amount of internet leads that come into our dealerships. 81% of shoppers are getting on their phones to research before they ever step foot into a dealership. 71% of shoppers are online while they are at your dealership making sure they are getting the best deal.  All of this activity is generating a huge increase in leads, and how you handle them will make or break your BDC profitability.(think google)

This information has driven many large autmotive manufacturers to encourage the use of a sales BDC or a BDC-style culture in their dealerships. Let’s face it--the sales guys are focused on the customer in front of them. Leads that come in may be put to the side if there are customers on the lot.

A Kayak study stated that if you do not respond to a customer within 5 minutes, the likelihood of a sale diminishes by 10%. (Kayak) How many sales are lost becuase there was no one to answer the lead?

Service BDCs are just as important. Sales may sell the first car, but Service will sell the 2nd, 3rd, and so on. That's why it is key to have a service BDC in place to set the service appointment for the customer, answer any questions, and set the expectations of the dealership.

Knowing all of this is one thing. Implementing it is another.

Here are 4 tried and proven ways to make sure that your BDC fails miserably, and then ways to avoid the pitfalls.


Hire anyone to fill the position.

Stuart-the guy who can’t sell a car and likes to play on his computer all day--make him the manager of your BDC. That will get him off the lot-- and he knows about computers, right?

Wrong.

The majority of sales are coming through your BDC. And the BDC is the first point of contact for customers when they call in or search online.  

Your BDC manager must be able to not only communicate with customers, but also communicate with the staff. He/She needs to be able to evaluate data, create goals, motivate the staff, and get stuff done.

Don’t hire Stuart.

Build the plane as you fly it.

A BDC is not something you can figure out as you go along. You need to know your goals, expectations, a plan of action for the BDC staff--basically, you need to know where you want to end up before you begin.

Know your goals and expectations before making one call or answering one email. You can’t finish a journey if you don’t know where you want to go. Make sure your metrics are specific a measurable, and make sure that everyone working in the BDC knows, understands, and works towards them.

Training is not required.

The only thing a strong BDC needs is incentive to call, phones, and computers, right? Just get them on the phone dialing, and something good is bound to happen.

No.

Training expectations and outcomes are critical--as well as training techniques and methods on speaking to customers.

One of the most tried and true approaches to a BDC is having an effective script. (I know it sounds Old School, but these are proven effective methods.) A script prepares your BDC and increase the comfort level on the phone, all while giving a unified message to the customer. You need to train your staff on the scripts, have them practice conversations, and then train again when needed. Practice does make perfect.

There are many other areas to train concerning a BDC as well: phone skills, how to send an effective, personal email, CRM training and tracking--and the list goes on.

People will not meet your expectations if you do not make them overtly known. If you train and educate well, your staff will know what is expected of them and strive to get there.

Change the pay plan frequently to keep staff on their toes.

Ummmm. no.

A BDC payplan is one of the trickiest to navigate. Do you pay on calls? Appointments set? Appointments kept? And what about bonuses?There are many factors to take into consideration--including sharing deals with the floor and who receives credit. However you set up your schedule, keep it consistent.

There are many resources for developing a payplan (such as this one), but once you choose, stay with it for a while. If you change it up constantly, you will only confuse the BDC and make it impossible for them to reach their goals.

Take Away:

BDCs are not going anywhere. They may evolve, but they are a necessity for answering increased leads, driving customers on-lot, and customer relations. If you are starting a BDC in the near future, make sure to avoid these mistakes and plan for success.

How have you been successful with your BDCs?

 

If you would like more information on how to create the most effective BDC, or for technology that can help do that, CLICK HERE.

Hate Monday Mornings? Here is your solution: Overnight BDC

Why are Monday mornings so incredibly crazy in a dealership's internet department?

Because you are inundated with the leads that came in over the weekend.

Even if you checked your emails while with your friends, or on dates, or at your kid’s baseball game, there are still leads that went unanswered. Especially the ones that came in at 2am when you were either sleeping or thinking about how great a cheeseburger, fries, and a big pile of pancakes would be.

Mondays do not have to be horrible. You don’t need to dread coming into work and attempting to answer all of past leads while reaching out to new customers and e-mailing the new leads coming in. That used to take at least 2 hours every Monday. But not any more.

Let BetterCarPeople and Overnight BDC help.

We have helped over 1,500 dealerships already and answer over 400,000 leads a month.

  • What if you could know that your leads were always responded to with a great, professional, original e-mail?

  • What if that email came from you and had a personalized video greeting?

  • What if that email had images of the new car the person was inquiring about as well as value propositions?

  • What if that email was created by real people who would address any questions the customer had regardless of the time.

  • What if every email was grammatically correct with punctuation, capitalization, and spelling?

  • What if you could focus on phone skills and never have to worry about the emails being sent?

It is time to get rid of the “What Ifs.”

BetterCarPeople can do all of this for under $10 a day and with NO CONTRACT.

Does it sound too good to be true?

It’s not.

At BetterCarPeople, we strive to do two things:

1) Give you your life back.

2) Make you a rockstar at what you do.

Here is how:

We will give you your life back.

Monday mornings, after hours, during meetings...these are all times you need to focus on something other than internet leads. And how often do you send out a response and hit send before you meant to because you were distracted? When I was looking to transition from my mini-van to a sedan, and I put in a lead to a local dealership. I got a response within 4 minutes,  but that response did not answer any of my questions AND the salesperson forgot to add my name.

It literally said %first name%.

That made me feel special.

We always make sure that the response is tailored to your customer. Our live, local Quality Assurance Specialists check the name, have time sensitive greetings, review any questions and acknowledge them, and then ask questions to engage your customer and get a dialogue started. We also can include a video of you introducing yourself and will include all of your contact information. And this is sent to your customer in less than 10 minutes.

Instead of being tethered to your phone or computer, you can watch your kid’s goal, actually listen to your date, or get a good night’s sleep.

And if you ignore those leads that come in over the weekend or after hours, you are missing 30% of your leads. I know that I cannot afford to miss 30% of my leads, regardless of when they come in. Overnight BDC will respond to them with a warm, welcoming greeting which will help build that relationship you need to create.

We will make you a rockstar at what you do.

You know what you need to do everyday. Send an e-mail. Call a customer. Set an appointment. This is what you train your BDC or internet department to do, and this is your focus. You cannot sell a car via one email. You need to get that customer on the phone and into your dealership.

Let us take one thing off of your plate, so you can focus on the transition from online to on-lot. We will send a great, professional, specific, and original email, and then you get on the phone and build that relationship. You will now have more time to hone your phone skills, train your BDC, or meet with customers and move some metal. If you are with a customer, you will not have to worry about missing a lead. We have you covered.

The best part is that you can use what we have, (which has proven successful), or you can customize your response however you see fit. You still have 100% complete control of each lead response, but you will not have to worry about responding.

We have it.

24/7/365.

 

Contact us for a free demo

sales@bettercarpeople.com

855-448-4219

 

Recipe for Success: Mixing Technology with Your BDC

We live in exciting, crazy times--and these times have drastically changed the way we sell and service cars. I was in High School in the early 90’s, still using a typewriter, and taking notes with pen and paper. Cell phones were just becoming more common, and the first text was sent in 1992.  Today there will be 36 billion texts sent worldwide. In just a little over 20 years, this technology has literally exploded and dramatically shifted the way we communicate.

Things have changed.

And the automotive industry has been greatly affected by these changes.

According to an article in Strategy&, just a decade ago electronics and technology accounted for less than 20% of total costs spent in the industry. Today, it is at least 35% or higher, and 90% of all new features deal with technology--more specifically telematics. It is easy to assume much of what we do will be digitized, automated, and technologically enhanced. There are new tools created every day which help with many of our activities that can be digitized. CRMs, Appointment Tools, and Communication Tools all make our lives easier and give us more time to focus on the customer. But do we maximize the time we spend with each customer?

One thing I have found is that we put more focus on the technology and less on the interaction we have with our customers. We have become so reliant on technology, and trying to master the it, that we forget the advantages that humans have over it: Relational Experience. We send a quick, automated email and think that is a solid point of contact.  We have technologies that scan our leads and send specific, prepopulated mailings and emails, and we are proud. The major outcome, if you do not follow up with a live person, is white noise.

So, how do we get away from white noise and become relevant to our customers? How can we integrate these fast paced technological changes with the relational aspect we know to be effective?

Use Your BDC to Bridge the Gap: 

You need technology to organize your customers, phone calls, emails, and contacts.

Without these, you would be inefficient. But what you do after the technology is key. Your BDC should be the experts in regards to the customer experience. Make sure that they are. They are not a call center--they are the voice and face of your dealership until the customer gets on lot.

Perfect the First Touch:

Whether this is a technological first touch or a human one, the first contact with the customer is the most important. First impressions are hard to wipe away, so make sure it is a positive, beneficial one. If it is a technological first touch, I would suggest having someone review it, check for personalization, and ask questions. No one wants an autoresponder--it wastes everyone’s time with information you can easily get or already have.

Personalize:

The customer wants to know that you are invested in them. That relational aspect is what will set you apart in this highly technologically driven world. Whenever you can, be specific and let the customer know the email was crafted specifically for them. And when you call, make sure to use the customer’s name and take note of specific things he/she shares. I was looking for a car and I mentioned that my son would be the primary driver. When the BDC rep called back, she mentioned that. It was a small effort that paid out huge results.

 

Takeaway:

There are many things in our lives that can be automated and have efficient results. Relationships are not one of them. When you integrate all of your tools with excellent customer service, you will beat the competition.