When it comes to the Customer Experience (CX) delivered by your service BDC, most dealers feel pretty strongly that a traditional, small service BDC can be done well in-house, get the job done and for a decent price. Right? Let me ask you, how high is your bar? Are you aware how much higher it could be? How do you compare your small team to centralized, or outsourced service BDCs? Why are in-house BDCs so expensive relative to call centers? What are all the factors? How do you know what you don’t know?
Here are a just few components from a first-class, centralized, service BDC that make a difference, and that most dealers find difficult to replicate in-house:
1. Commitment to Hiring and Training
All BDCs and call centers have staff turnover. No exceptions. The difference here is that call centers are well prepared for inevitability of turnover. They have established agent sourcing programs designed to engage candidates as well as background checking and drug testing procedures in place to ensure a better candidate pool.
They are also more than “one person deep” when it comes to training new agents, on-boarding, delivering training materials consistently and staying aware of changes to the industry. As the saying goes, change is the only constant, embrace it and be prepared.
2. Advanced Software and Big Data
Because call centers have a much larger call agent workforce than dealers, they often employ high-end technological solutions to ease their administrative burden and maximize operational efficiency.
One such software solution is commonly referred to “WFM” or Workforce Management. By examining many different sets of data for calls, call agents and scheduling (to name a few), a WFM application can assist you with maximizing productivity from your agent pool, and help you forecast accurately so that you don’t get caught off guard meeting demand. When you combine WFM with advanced telephony software there are huge advantages/efficiencies to be gained. Another feature/tool is the opportunity to listen live and whisper (coach up) agents in real time — huge advantage.
3. Quality Management Program
When you hear that you’ve been shopped (by a manufacturer, partner or competitor), do you cringe in anticipation of the result or do you relish the opportunity? Call centers frequently measure their agent call quality, and I don’t mean two or three times a month per agent. Try dozens of times per month. Compare this to an in-house BDC agent that might be shopped only a handful of times. The key difference is that call center agents expect it and know they are going to be scored often, so they deliver a more consistent message and tone because chances are pretty good big brother is scoring, not to mention watching/listening, and all calls are usually recorded so that’s a factor that plays into quality as well.
4. Business Continuity
How resilient is your internet service? If your primary internet provider fails, do you have a backup? How many high-speed internet connections do you have? How about power outages, do you have a generator to keep your office up and running? If so, for how long? During inclement weather are you able/prepared to transfer your BDC calls to another location, or provide your agents with a “bad weather” option/solution so they can work from home even if they can’t get to the office because of poor conditions outside?
5. Scale and Cost
How many calls do you get? Sadly many dealers don’t really know. What is your average speed to answer? What is your average hold time? What are your hours of coverage? What happens to these metrics when one person doesn’t show for work? What if two don’t make it to work the same day? What is your cost per call? After you pay wages and benefits (hint, if you don’t provide benefits you’re likely to have some serious churn), compare hours of coverage to a call center, factor in how expensive each missed call really is (likely a future closed RO, on average worth $250 approximately), and do all this math, you’ll find that it simply doesn’t pencil if you: want to secure your PMA, be the most profitable, maintain a decent CSI, and provide a first-class CX for your customers that you should want to retain for their next purchase.
Bottom line, if you are committed to supporting and investing in an in-house BDC (no matter how big or small), get some help with your overflow — this is a must. If you’re struggling to keep and effectively manage even a small team, then rip off the bandage and outsource your entire service BDC process, you really don’t have a choice and you’ll be glad you did.
Service calls are your livelihood. You can’t afford to miss your calls. Quit feeding your competitors and the independent shops with your missed calls.
To quote Buford T. Justice, “That’s an attention getter!” Millennials, you’ll want to check out the reference.