Does your dealership have a business development center? Is it producing the level of leads you’re looking for?
If the answer to either of those questions is “no,” you’ve got some homework to do — but don’t worry, the end result is worth it. A thriving BDC can become a powerful pipeline of leads for any dealership turning inbound and outbound calls into new business.
Establishing a new BDC or turning around an existing one can come down to training. By using BDC phone scripts, active coaching and more tools and tactics, you can make sure your phone warriors are producing leads at an impressive clip in short order.
Of course, there is another option — a third-party virtual BDC — but we’ll get to that. First, let’s define what we’re talking about.
Automotive BDC: Widening your customer pipeline
A BDC, a dedicated department to answer and make phone calls, is going from nice-to-have to need-to-have. If your dealership doesn’t already have one, it’s worth considering right away.
Your dealership can’t afford to have floor staff making and taking calls on an as-needed basis. This does a disservice to those employees, taking them away from value-adding work, and to your customers, who might face longer wait times or inconsistent service.
The best way to make the phone into an essential part of your sales apparatus is to dedicate people to these tasks. These should be trained and experienced reps, ones who know your products inside out and are ready to answer questions and warm up potential leads.
There are two sides of BDC work, both worthy of focus and development:
- Inbound calls: Fielding customers’ questions is the prime way of turning curious shoppers into red-hot leads. Their interest may cool down if they get transferred or put on hold, so having razor-sharp BDC personnel ready to help them right away is a must.
- Outbound calls: Whether they’re responding to online inquiries or reaching out to past customers, your BDC team members can strike another rich vein of potential leads through outbound calls.
What could go wrong with this ironclad approach to conversion? A lack of training, consistency or preparation, for one thing.
Having people ready to take and make phone calls is one thing, and drilling them until they’re experts is another. You should take the latter approach for the best possible results.
BDC training, scripts and more: Powering up phone skills
Whenever there’s a knowledge gap, you fill it with training. In the case of BDC training, this means not just drilling your team on the products they’re selling — they should also learn how to specifically handle phone calls.
Training in the BDC isn’t something that just happens once. It’s an ongoing process with a few components. While that sounds a little complex, it really just means covering all bases. You don’t want to give your team an incomplete education. Here are some of the essentials:
BDC phone scripts
The BDC experience should be consistent and carefully guided by best practices. Ideally, you’re not sending your reps out there to freestyle. Rather, they’ll have access to BDC phone scripts that help them gather information while giving a positive, helpful customer experience.
These phone scripts should cover a wide range of scenarios. This helps your staff solve a variety of issues without coming off too robotic or impersonal. Whatever situation your customer is dealing with, the BDC rep has the solution, from the start of the call to the finish.
Rather than sitting your BDC staff down for a single session and sending them on their way, you should keep up with their development. This can start with video sessions to let your team know exactly what they should be doing to get better results from their calls.
The best training for your reps involves professional coaches checking on their progress. How well are they applying the scripts? Are they getting the right information and doing all they can to provide a great customer experience?
Even when you work with consultants, leadership personnel — that’s you — have an important role to play in keeping your BDC staff at their sharpest. By checking up on call performance, you can make sure BDC training scripts are being followed.
Accountability is an important part of BDC success. This doesn’t just mean being tough on employees to make sure they take their training seriously — you should also make sure to be a positive champion for the process and all it’s accomplishing.
Virtual BDC: Calling in customer outreach ringers
Staffing up internally isn’t the only way to make a BDC work for you. If you don’t feel you can free up the resources to hire and/or train a team of BDC personnel, virtual BDC could be the perfect alternative.
In this model, the experts don’t train and consult with your team, they take the calls themselves. By having these professionals handle your inbound and outbound calls, you can make sure everything from service inquiries to follow-up lead generation is handled with panache.
Beyond the lead generation BDC functions, you can even arrange to have a virtual operator. Not virtual as in digital — this is a live person who can quickly and efficiently direct your callers to the department they need to reach, for a smooth and positive customer experience.
Whichever option you choose, whether you’re setting up a BDC for the first time, training up your team or opting to go virtual, success depends on having the right allies on your side. When you’re talking about dealership BDC, that ideal ally is Phone Ninjas.
Our promise is smoother operations within your dealership and better BDC conversion rates. What’s holding your reps back from converting 80% or more of their calls into warm leads? If you work with Phone Ninjas, the answer is nothing.