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Automotive BDC

guy handling inbound sales call

As an industry, we have pretty much perfected the process of following up on Internet leads, but we are far from perfect when it comes to handling inbound phone leads. According to CallSource and IHS/Polk research, 84 percent of consumers purchase vehicles from a different dealership than the one they originally called.

The good news is, there’s a huge opportunity to improve. Consumers are using cell phones more than ever for research during the car-buying process. In recent years, this has led to a significant increase in the volume of inbound calls to dealerships, compared with the number of email and Internet leads which have stayed the same or even declined.

When a customer calls your dealership, most times you’ve got one shot to get it right. Which is why converting inbound calls to sales opportunities should be your number one priority. To ensure you don’t drive customers away, follow these tips. Read More

Boost_Sales_&_Service_Revenue_with_a_Hybrid_BDC

Many dealers prefer using internal BDCs so they can keep control of leads and processes. Other dealerships use an external BDC for cost, management and efficiency reasons. Just about every dealer believes it’s a choice: you either set up an internal BDC or outsource to a third-party virtual BDC. Yet, some of the best efficiencies and results actually happen with a hybrid BDC solution.

Hybrid BDC Benefits

In a hybrid set up, an external BDC does most of the “heavy lifting” related to chasing down sales leads, then hands the hottest leads over to your internal BDC. On the service side, the external BDC handles most of your inbound calls, which many dealership service departments struggle to manage effectively.

A hybrid BDC solution is ideal for dealerships with size constraints on their internal BDC due to staffing, management and/or budget issues. Let’s say your dealership is an average store selling 100 to 150 cars per month. To handle 400 to 1,000 phone calls per week, you need four full-time people and one manager to oversee them.

Bottom line? It’s difficult to set up an internal BDC for less than $10,000 per month, and that’s on the shy side.

Of course, you could be one of those dealers that believe your salespeople should be able to make all the prospecting and campaign calls, and your service advisors should be able to handle all the inbound service inquiries. The reality is, most salespeople don’t have the personality, patience or phone skills necessary to make the requisite calls, and your service advisors should be spending their time with the customers in front of them, not on the phone setting appointments.

Internal BDC vs. Hybrid BDC Solutions

Now, let’s say you want to use a hybrid BDC solution. For about 25 to 30 percent of the cost of an internal BDC, you can outsource most of the heavy lifting type calls that include:

  • Inbound service calls
  • Outbound sales and service campaigns
  • Sales and service appointment setting and confirmations
  • Internet leads follow up
  • Unsold showroom traffic follow up
  • Declined service repairs follow up

Whenever an external BDC agent has a hot sales lead or sets a service appointment, they transfer the customer over to one of your internal BDC agents to finish the call. Your internal BDC agents deal with fewer calls and spend more time on the phone with your customers, delivering a better experience.

With this setup, the average dealership mentioned above could probably get by with two highly-skilled internal BDC agents, versus the four agents plus a manager. The cost may be the same or even slightly less, but your ROI will be significantly higher.

The nice thing about a hybrid BDC solution is that you can decide which tasks you want your internal BDC to perform based on your staff’s skill sets. For example, maybe your internal BDC takes and makes all inbound and outbound calls, while the external BDC follows up with Internet leads and unsold showroom traffic.

Maximizing Sales and Service ROI

The key to maximizing your ROI is taking the time to identify the strengths and weaknesses inherent in your current phone processes. Then, outsource to an external BDC to cover areas of weakness, while freeing up your internal BDC to focus more time on areas of strength.

After switching to a hybrid BDC solution, it’s not unusual for a dealership to see immediate increases in service and sales appointments, as well as RO count and corresponding revenue.

Typical results include:

  • 25% of outbound service calls are eliminated when an external BDC schedules and confirms service appointments
  • 72% of inbound service calls are converted into appointments
  • 97% of calls result in additional information gathering on customer
  • 84% customer contact rate with two valid phone numbers

External BDC agents are trained to stick to scripts, and therefore tend to be more effective at collecting valuable customer data such as emails, phone numbers and current addresses. This data contributes to higher marketing campaign response rates.

But the primary reason why a hybrid BDC solution is so effective is that it allows your staff to focus their attention on the customers in front of them. You still get to keep control over your branding, messaging, lead-handling and other processes. Yet, instead of having to sort through 100 leads to find the hand-raisers, your external BDC does that for you, then hands over the 20 people who responded and are actively seeking assistance.

The next time your internal BDC is experiencing overwhelm, you may want to try a hybrid BDC solution to ease your load, improve customer experience and boost sales and service revenue.

Customer_Expectations_Calls

Dealers are great at creating expectations. They advertise their dealerships as family owned, friendly, hassle-free and low-price leaders. These promises are what motivate the customer to call in the first place.

Then the expectation gap opens up. Typical problems that dealerships run into include:

  • Calls getting put on hold, transferred to voice mails, routed to a carousel of wrong persons, or worse, disconnected
  • Customer does not get the information they called for, such as a price quote, or
  • No one returns the customer’s call.

When these things happen to your customers, your dealership instantly loses credibility. You promote how easy it is to do business with you, but that’s not what customers experience.

It’s not difficult to fix your phone processes, but it does require a strategy. Try these tips to help bridge the customer expectation gap at your store. Read More

Bill_Wittenmyer_Connect_With_Leads

Ask a dealer what they need to sell more cars and a typical answer will be “more leads.” On the surface, this makes sense. But to get more leads, you need to spend more money. Even then, you’re never really in control of how many leads get generated.

Now that new car sales and lead volume are plateauing, a better solution for selling more cars is to increase your customer connection rates. This may require a shift in mindset and habits of your sales staff.

After all, your salespeople were probably trained in the art of persuasion. They know how to overcome objections and close the deal. But do they know how to get a potential customer to respond to an email or call them on the phone? Read More

5 Outbound Call Campaigns for Auto Dealers

Outbound call campaigns are highly effective for motivating customers to take action. Sometimes nothing beats the sound of a real human voice that’s friendly and knowledgeable reaching out to you on the phone.

For sales campaigns, you can either organize your sales team to conduct an outbound call blitz, have your business development center (or Virtual BDC) reps complete it, or outsource to a qualified BDC expert and have a warm handoff of hand-raisers to designated dealership personnel. On the service call side, it’s wise to have your BDC or an outsourced call center make the calls. Read More

Atlanta, GA – October 23, 2017 – ELEAD1ONE announced today that its inbound call center service delivers a 70 percent appointment set rate for Florida-based Gettel Automotive Group. Of an average 7,200 inbound calls to the group’s 22 stores every month, more than 5,000 total appointments are set. This is significantly higher than the industry average of 30 to 50 percent appointment set rate.

Along with other improvements, the call center has helped drive a 15 percent same store, year-over-year increase in fixed ops gross for the last eight years. Additionally, ELEAD1ONE’s call center agents answer 100 percent of the total inbound calls to Gettel’s service departments, with an average time to answer of just seven seconds. Recent industry research shows that in the average dealership, 25 percent of inbound service callers never connect with a dealership employee, causing dealers to miss service opportunities.

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