Service BDC's. Two things to start immediately.
Do These Two Things Right Now.
In my previous blog “If you ain’t first, you’re last,” I discussed the importance of Service BDCs and why you must start with the end in mind. If you don’t know the destination, you won’t know where to go. This blog will finish the conversation and discuss two things to implement immediately.
Two additional components of a great service BDC are education and evaluation. Without these, a Service BDC is bound to fail. No one goes into a new endeavor with the mindset of failure. It is never purposeful. But it occurs if the right strategies are not implemented in the correct way. Remember, a BDC culture does not just happen--it is cultivated, modeled, and created through planning, education, and constant evaluation.
Educaton and Training:
Education and training may look similar, but they have different functions. Education is the imparting of knowledge. Training is the practice and implementation of that knowledge.
You cannot expect what you do not model, and you cannot model what you do not know. Knowing what you want out of your BDC is important, but being able to convey those important aspects and train the skills are paramount.
I find it ridiculous when we are told we need to implement X,Y, and Z with little to no direction, instruction, or hands on training. We are just supposed to just do it.
While that worked for Nike, for most it is a recipe for failure. You must have clear expectations and then train and model those expected behaviors until they become second nature. It may not be a normal occurrence for your customers to be greeted as they are exiting their vehicle, but it should be. How does it become a habit? It must be taught, modeled, and repeated.
Education and training is not for everyone. I remember one of the smartest kids in school trying desperately to teach me a math concept. While it was simple for him, it made no sense to me and he could not figure out why. He was brilliant, but definitely not a teacher. And he definitely did not help me understand calculus. I think I may have walked away a little dumber that before.
Not all are equipped to help others truly understand a concept. Matthew Belk, CEO and Chief of Ideas at BetterCarPeople, always says to play to your strengths. If this is not your strength, let others train your staff to ensure a quality outcome. There are some great face to face and online trainings available.
Evaluate You Process. Adapt and Adjust.
When you run a race, you know you have completed it when you hit the finish line. There is an ending point, and you strive towards that. With a BDC, you need to have a definite goal, and then specific metrics to measure it. There are many ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your service BDC.
- Have appointments increased?
- Are retention numbers up?
- Is your R/O higher than before?
- Has CSI increased?
These are basic benchmarks to gauge if you have an effective BDC. These elements are how you will know if you have improved, stayed stagnant, or gotten worse. There are many technologies that also help with this, can aggregate the data, and help you find your strengths and weaknesses.
The most important thing is to realize that BDCs are not a fleeting idea. They are a necessity, and many manufacturers are expecting a Service BDC in their dealerships.
But what if you cannot justify a Service BDC? Some dealerships do not have the volume to necessitate hiring a full time person (or two...or three) to respond to leads, contact customers, and help drive engagement and retention. Here are a few helpful tips to help you become your own Service BDC while not losing your sanity or too many hours in the day.
Create a BDC Culture
You know your staff-- who has interpersonal skills, and who should never have a conversation with a customer. Play to your strengths, and place the best people in the best positions. If they do not have time in their day to take on additional obligations, hiring an additional person may be your only option.
Use the Resources and Technologies Available
It seems like there are many programs and technologies that you are supposed to use on a daily basis, and that can be frustrating. The best suggestion is to focus on one at a time. If ServiceSmart is your focus, learn everything you can about ServiceSmart. After you are comfortable with one, move on to the next.
Also, there are reputable 3rd party vendors who can help with some aspects of the BDC which would relieve some of the pressure and be more cost effective than hiring a full time person (or people).
To continue to be competitive in this marketplace, you need a Service BDC or BDC culture. One that focused on the customer experience from start to finish. People expect it, want it, and will find it.
If you are not offering it, they will go somewhere else.