Equip, Sustain and Succeed: Building a Better BDC
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Equip, Sustain and Succeed: Building a Better BDC​

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As new vehicle inventory shortages, evolving consumer demands and shifting buyer loyalty continue disrupting the auto industry, it’s time for proactive dealers to find new ways to leverage the BDC to support key dealership operations, including pre-owned vehicle acquisitions, service-to-sales and customer retention efforts.

What’s the secret to building a better BDC? The right tools, training, structure and processes.

Tailoring Your BDC Toward Effectiveness and Efficacy

The role of today’s BDC has evolved. Rather than focusing on quantity of outbound calls, there’s new opportunity to support all dealership operations. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building an effective and efficient BDC, the best way to define your strategy is to start by assessing your current BDC to identify any gaps in processes.

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Ask questions like:

  • How does the BDC connect and communicate with the rest of your dealership?
  • How can you improve the hand-off between your BDC and sales staff?
  • What size team do you need to improve the customer experience?
  • What is your dealership’s current job descriptions for the BDC and do they appropriately assess the gaps in how you assist customers?

Structuring Your BDC to Support Dealership-Wide Success

Similar to strategy, BDC structure should be driven by your dealership’s needs. Regardless of whether a dealership takes a cradle-to-grave approach with its BDC, or leads are handed off to the sales department, the right structure enables the BDC to support sales, service, retention and beyond.

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To guide this approach:

  • Start connecting. To fuel personalized sales and service interactions,the BDC must be well-connected with other dealership teams and equipped with up-to-date customer insights. Schedule a regular meeting with the sales team to discuss important details like in-demand makes and models, as well as the goals of each department.
  • Redefine success. Track against metrics and KPIs that encourage and measure relationship-building — not just immediate sales-related figures like appointments scheduled. This includes recognizing efforts like your BDC successfully answering a customer’s question in a way that leads to continued shopping.
  • Incentivize progress. Empower your team to deliver an exceptional CX and incentivize them to take actions like cooperating with teammates, engaging in training and effectively using resources and tools.

Leveraging Data to Maximize BDC Impact

Success hinges on the BDC understanding where a customer is at in their vehicle ownership journey to identify when they may be the most interested in service and which customers present the greatest service-to-sales or pre-owned acquisition opportunities. To support this approach, have your BDC serve as a service-to-sales liaison to break down any barriers and fuel an efficient service-to-sales process. Task your BDC to:

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  • Mine upcoming service appointments for sales prospects, such as those out of warranty or over their lease mileage to present tailored offers.
  • Identify which service appointments can convert to sales appointments for prospective trade or buy-back opportunities.
  • Identify which service customers are driving in-demand makes or models and which represent the best pre-owned acquisition opportunities (often customers approaching end of lease or finance term).

Finally, to proactively prevent customer defection, dealers must regularly remind customers why they originally trusted your dealership with their business — a perfect role for the BDC.​ This includes personalized messaging, in their preferred format, which is conveniently timed and appropriate for their stage in the buying journey.

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With a data-driven approach in place, your BDC staff will be empowered to build lasting relationships with customers — never again penciling someone in while hoping they show.

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