Running and managing a successful Dealership Business Development Center (BDC) is essential for any automotive dealership. BDCs are the bridge between customers and dealerships, helping to secure appointments and generate leads. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can ensure your BDC runs smoothly and is successful in today’s digital environment.
Firstly, it's important to drive digital leads to your BDC. To do this, focus on optimizing your website content and using targeted keyword research to ensure your online presence is seen by potential customers looking for a car or service. In the past few years, we have gotten away from heavy marketing due to lack of inventory, supply chain issues, and the like.
Things are slowly coming back to the days of 60+ day supply, so it is more important than ever to review your digital marketing and ensure you are reaching the right customers at the right time.
- Evaluate your current digital marketing and spend. Meet with your provider to refine where you are focused and the messaging going out to the customers
- Use your 1st party data to target when you can. Your database is the strongest when looking for potential or return customers
- Don’t underestimate the power of Google Business Profile. When was the last time you audited it for NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information?
Driving leads is critical to continued growth, but if you are generating leads and don’t have a skilled team to respond, you are spending money on nothing.
Fine Tune your Phone Skills
Fine-tuning phone skills is also essential for any BDC. And for this conversation, phone includes texting, which is the most desired form of communication to date. Your team needs to be friendly, helpful, and professional when speaking with customers over the phone or text. Make sure that all representatives are trained in customer service techniques so they can effectively handle inquiries and set up appointments.
What this looks like:
- Responding in 10 minutes or less (no autoresponders)
- Knowing how to listen to the customer’s needs
- Being trained on appointment setting for both sales and service
- Knowing how to overcome objections
Once your BDC team is able to text or talk with customers with these techniques mastered, you will not only see a better ROI with your digital marketing spend, but should also see higher show and close rates.
Managing and Monitoring Performance
Most people will only rise to the level of expectation you set. If there is no follow through or monitoring of expected behaviors, most will think they are not important. Setting up performance management systems and carrying out regular measurements for your BDC team is key to ensuring success.
Track metrics such as lead conversion rates, appointment show rates, customer retention rate, etc., so you can easily identify where there may be room for improvement or changes needed to increase performance.
If you have not already, create a leaderboard and encourage healthy competition. Attach a bonus or spiff to the representatives who exceed the set KPIs and you will see growth. When you manage and measure your expectations with your team, they will not only have a clear understanding of their role, but will also know where they stand in relation to the rest of the team.
With all the above elements in place, you will have a better idea on how to train the team individually and as a whole. Training is critical for keeping your BDC team well informed on the initiatives of the dealership as well as their own soft skills. Regular training can help upskill BDC staff, increase confidence and ensure they are providing customers with the best possible service.
By taking the time to focus on these areas, you can ensure your BDC is running smoothly and successfully in today’s digital environment. By driving digital leads, fine-tuning phone skills, performance management and training, you can be sure that your dealership’s BDC is achieving its goals.
With more competition than ever before in the automotive industry it’s important for dealerships to stay ahead of the game by running an efficient BDC. By putting these strategies into practice you can ensure your dealership stands out from the crowd in order to drive sales and boost profits.
And if you agree this is needed, but don’t know where to start, check out Better Car People.