Three Components of an Effective BDC
In the past few years, BDCs have become THE topic of discussion. How big should it be? What are the defined roles? Why do we even need a BDC? It’s can become just another “thing” we have to implement.
BDCs are not going away. They are an invaluable tool for the dealership, and in many cases (depending on the market and how you label an internet lead) they bring in over 75% of the sales. Your digital presence is incredibly important, and with internet sales and marketing making huge strides, it’s value will continue to increase.
So--how do you make the most of this group? You cannot just assume that employees with computers will magically turn into a BDC. If you do, your BDC will fail. We have seen it happen on multiple occasions, and it is a waste of time and money. A BDC is something that needs to be implemented with specific metrics in mind.
I decided to investigate the most effective BDCs and how they reached that status. The best place to start is to talk with experts in the field and read their work. They did not become successful by chance, but through research, training, and investment in the human commodity--not just the implementation of technology. Matthew Belk, BDC/Internet Response Guru, Educator, and owner of BetterCarPeople, gave me some valuable information in regards to training up effective BDCs. There are three simple, yet highly overlooked components of a BDC. Get these right, and you will supercharge your BDC. Ignore them, and you will miss sales.
Train e-mail skills. I know that most have templates that go out to the customer quickly. If you are using these templates, train your BDC to review the template, ensure there are no grammatical errors, make sure the customer’s name is spelled correctly and not in either all caps or all lowercase, and that if there is a question, the question is addressed. NOT ANSWERED, but addressed. Let them acknowledge the question, and then let the sales team answer it when they make contact. I have avoided dealerships before when they have sent me incorrect information, poorly worded e-mails and texts, or templated responses that have not been adjusted for my request. The internet has made our world pretty small and very competitive. Don’t lose a sale because of a bad first response.
Train phone skills. This is one of the most important aspects of a BDC. A BDC or internet department (or any employee for that matter) with poor phone skills can kill your sales and drive people away from your dealership. Invest in training your BDC concerning how to connect with customers, ask the right questions, and LISTEN. Also, there is a huge difference between effectively calling someone and hounding them. You need to know this and contact them specifically and wisely. Every communication needs to show the customer that you are valuable and that they need to come in and talk with you. There are many ways to train employees on these skills, and specialists like Matthew, who know what is needed, and can help move them from unprepared to amazing.
Make appointments. This is most likely to happen if the first two are in place, and less likely if you are bad at 1 and 2. Train your BDC on how to set appointments without being pushy. Train them to use inviting language that gives your customer choices for appointment times, but also encourages them to set the appointment. Once appointments are being set and confidence rises, you will see results.
Great BDCs don’t just happen. It takes research, work, and accountability to not only have a functional BDC, but to have a profitable one. If you have time to do the research, there are great blogs and website dedicated to this. If you do not have the time or if you want expert advice, BetterCarPeople is a great place to get help with your online presence, your phone presence, and your ability to get people in the showroom.