A key step to enhancing the customer experience at your dealership is your Business Development Centre – often referred to by the acronym of BDC or as the Dealership BDC.
What is a Dealership BDC?
A Dealership BDC is a form of customer relationship management for your auto dealership, another way of describing your dealership management software package.
What does a Dealership BDC do?
Your Dealership BDC identifies the assets of your auto dealership, helps to develop sales initiatives and maximize your revenue generating activities. By enhancing the customer experience that you are providing through your dealership, you are also going to be able to build customer loyalty.
The way that the Dealership BDC works is to integrate together your sales, service and call center functions of your auto dealership, enabling them to function as a single team, generating new business, and increasing customer satisfaction.
How do I establish a Dealership BDC?
The starting point for a business development center for your auto dealership is to create a call-center whichcentralizes your customer services team. This is the primary touch-point for your customers for all of the sales and service queries.
Most Dealership BDC functions are created as an in-house team, but there are examples across the industry of dealerships outsourcing their business development center function in order to achieve greater efficiencies. Outsourced call centers can generally handle all of the initial queries from customers regarding sales and service, with pre-screened sales calls then being passed back to the on-site sales team at the dealership.
More than just a call center
Industry analysis shows that the most effective Dealership BDC functions are not simply a call-center, acting as a first point of sales and service contact for customers. The primary focus of the Dealership BDC is to develop business and so you have to create a strong sales focus and business development culture within the unit in order to drive performance and achieve results. A key element to developing a successful Dealership BDC is to ensure that you have a clear plan with measurable outcomes for your Dealership BDC team. It is also important not to confuse your sales channels. As an auto dealership you will most likely have an online-based sales channel as well as the phone-based sales channel managed through your Dealership BDC. They operate quite distinctly with different requirements and a different relationship or engagement with prospecting and existing customers.
What is the alternative to a Dealership BDC?
Some critics of the Dealership BDC model feel that the centralization of responsibility for responding to customer calls and queries removes a key part of the role of the sales team working on the floor of an auto dealership. Sales people can play a key role in engaging with prospective and existing customers, identifying sales opportunities, and following up on initial conversations in order to maintain and deepen relationships.
With the right focus and the right team in place, your Dealership BDC can deliver material results that will help your business grow.