To answer that question, first we must look at why it was started in the first place. Did you start a BDC for any of these reasons?
- Help the Service Advisors answer the phone?
- Make service appointments?
- Answer the incoming calls?
- Sales BDC was working well, so let’s do the same with Service?
Whatever the reason was, at some point in time, a manager was looking at all the expenses it was costing their department and decided, this is just an expense or there was not a large enough return on their investment. There are certainly good reasons to start a BDC. However, there are a few major reasons that many BDC’s are set up for failure.
1. Were the Reps properly trained?
Many times they are thrown into a room and told what is expected. The Reps are left to figure out how to accomplish this. The Service Manager most likely did not have the time to invest with them to train them. He/She may not have even wanted this or may not have known exactly HOW or WHAT to teach them.
2. What type of calls are the Reps making to GROW the business?
If the Reps are not making outbound calls to actively conquest MORE business, how can the BDC be expected to be a profit center? Successful Service BDC’s retain and conquest ADDITIONAL business for the Service Dept.
3. Is their performance being tracked?
Many times I have found that the Reps are given a list of customers to call and there is no real tracking of:
- How many calls were placed both inbound and OUTBOUND
- How many of those calls were contacted, and they actually SPOKE to someone
- Of the people contacted, how many appointments were actually MADE
- Of the appointments made, how many appointments SHOWED
Successful Service BDC’s have good tracking methods. This is especially true when it comes to the BDR’s pay.
4. Performance-based Pay Plans
BDR’s (business development representatives) and BDM’s (business development managers) should be paid on their performance, not just hourly. The pay should be based on the appointments that show. So what does it take to be a successful profit center? There needs to be a stong emphasis on making outbound calls. This is where the incremental business will come from. The incoming call customers want to come anyways. You would have gotten this business one way or another. That is, if your staff actually answers the phone. May seem silly, but call your service department. Can you get through?
What are some outbound calls your BDC can make?
For customer retention and increased profitability, you can make the following calls:
- Maintenance reminder calls
- First service calls
- Special Order Parts
- Declined services
- State inspections/emission
- Missed appointment
- Pre-booked appointment
To conquest new customers and increase profitability, you can make the following calls:
- Lost or inactive customers
- Other dealer or manufacturer specific calls such as
- Toyota care
- Mazda “at risk”
- You can prospect for new vehicle sales with a “buy back” call using the equity mining tool you may have.
- Recall customers
For customer satisfaction which leads to profitability, you can make the following calls:
- Appointment reminder
There are many other benefits that a well-trained and managed BDC can offer your parts and service departments. You can call me on my cell at (678) 270-6216 to discuss how M5 Management Services can help increase your BDC’s performance or help start a Service BDC.
Written by Brian Hammerman