With the holiday season complete, now is the time many car dealerships reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead. For service departments, it’s also a great time to implement new processes and solutions before the busy summer season. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are our top six service BDC department goals for 2024.
Goal 1: Generate More Service Leads
Leads have always been important for sales departments, and with increasing competition from independent shops, BDC service centers are now taking a page out of the sales playbook. Here are some ways to generate leads.
- Optimize your website: Make sure your website clearly lists the services you offer, contact information, and any special deals or packages that could save customers money over a competitor.
- Use paid advertising: Social media advertising and paid search advertising can reach potential customers who are actively seeking automotive services, resulting in a better return on your investment (ROI).
- Mine your manifest lists: Surface new opportunities from your manifest lists, including inactive, recall, and loyalty program lists.
Goal 2: Improve Your Lead Follow-Up
Inbound leads are essential, but what you really want to do is convert them into appointments. Improving your lead follow-up can be the difference between a lost opportunity and a booked appointment, making it one of the most important service BDC department goals.
- Maximize your connected car alerts: Quickly assign your connected car alerts to a service BDC representative to follow up via phone call or email. Early and consistent messaging makes it easy for customers to choose you for service.
- Make it easy to schedule: Use automated email responses that point customers to an easy online scheduling system, which not only caters to modern preferences, but also streamlines your internal processes.
- Build a lead nurturing strategy: Don’t give up on leads that don’t book right away. Create a follow-up process that includes customized service BDC scripts to keep your dealership top of mind.
Goal 3: Earn Customer Loyalty and Referrals
Rising competition also means loyal customers and referrals are more important than ever for automotive service department BDCs. You can earn repeat business by providing excellent service and incentivizing customers to return.
- Be transparent: Offer clear pricing and provide detailed invoices to build trust. Let customers know their expected wait time and implement processes to make it as short as possible.
- Communicate frequently: Send reminders before an appointment and use text messages, emails, and mobile apps to keep customers updated on their vehicle’s progress the day of the appointment.
- Create referral programs: Incentivize existing customers to refer friends and family to your service department, for example by offering a discount on their next appointment.
- Build loyalty programs: Like a referral program, you can also encourage customers themselves to return. Offer exclusive perks, packages, or priority scheduling for loyal customers.
Goal 4: Increase Efficiency and Margins
You might be thinking that the above goals sound great, but some of these things just aren’t a part of your service BDC’s job duties. That’s why optimizing operations to increase productivity is also on our list of service BDC department goals.
- Level up your staff’s skills: Invest in ongoing training to ensure service staff is well-versed in automotive service BDC best practices, including effective upselling and cross-selling techniques.
- Automate routine tasks: Free up your service staff to focus on business development by implementing technology to automate routine tasks like appointment scheduling, billing, and tracking inventory.
- Minimize no-shows: Leverage digital platforms to send automated reminders to customers about upcoming services, along with personalized suggestions for relevant upsells or cross-sells.
- Optimize inventory management: Use inventory management software to forecast demand, streamline ordering, and keep parts organized. That will decrease delays, reduce carrying costs, and prevent overstock, saving you money and creating happy customers.
Goal 5: Modernize Your Service Department
Task automation and inventory software are only a piece of the modern-day service department puzzle. You also need customer-facing solutions that put your dealership on the cutting edge.
- Use the latest diagnostic tools: Invest in the latest diagnostic tools and technologies to improve your accuracy and efficiency and position your service department as technologically advanced.
- Leverage predictive analytics: Leverage predictive maintenance technologies to anticipate potential issues before they occur. Offering proactive solutions based on data analysis can enhance customer satisfaction and help you reach your other service BDC department goals.
- Go green: Environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling, energy-efficient equipment, and promoting eco-friendly vehicle maintenance, can align your dealership with modern customer values and provide positive marketing opportunities.
Goal 6: Prioritize Employee Retention
It isn’t just competition for your service customers that’s increasing. Competition for automotive service department staff is also at an all-time high. While it may be last on our list, retaining employees should be a top goal for service managers and dealership owners.
- Offer competitive compensation: Make sure your service BDC pay plan is competitive for your industry and geographic area. And don’t forget to include a comprehensive benefits package with paid time off, health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks.
- Provide cross-training opportunities: Allowing employees to explore different areas within the service department and diversify their skills can make their roles more engaging and contribute to long-term satisfaction.
- Incentivize excellence: Create recognition programs and offer performance-based bonuses or rewards for achieving specific targets or milestones. Recognizing and rewarding employees boosts morale and job satisfaction.
- Get serious about work-life balance: Say goodbye to having your staff answer service calls at night and on weekends. Partner with an outsourced automotive BDC to respond to leads 24/7/365, so they don’t have to.
Reach Your Service BDC Department Goals
An outsourced automotive BDC like Better Car People can help you reach many of the above goals. We’ll mine your manifest lists to help you generate more leads, quickly respond to your connected car alerts, follow-up with leads that don’t book, and multiply your service appointments.
Better Car People frees up your staff to focus on providing top-notch service – or to spend more time with their families. Those are both service BDC department goals anyone can get behind. Learn more about how we can help your service department achieve its goals by booking a quick, 15-minute meeting. We’re excited to show you what we can do.