How to Build a Successful BDC
Some dealerships find themselves struggling with how to best utilize a Business Development Center (BDC). With digital retailing on the rise, a BDC can be a useful tool to attract and keep customers. According to a survey by eLend, 23% of dealerships saw improved Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores with digital retail adoption. Operating a successful BDC can keep dealerships connected to customers.
Shawn Armorer, founder and owner of BDC Alchemy, joins host Corey Smith on the Fixed Ops 5 podcast to discuss how to steer a BDC from high turnover and low customer satisfaction to happy employees and consistent revenue.
Ready to deep dive into BDCs? Then keep on reading!
Define a BDC
Though a BDC can seem like a broad operation, a dealership should define its purpose for their unique business needs. In most cases, a BDC should:
· Allow for consistent customer interaction.
· Improve customer communication.
· Drive customer retention.
· Boost CSI scores.
At its core, the purpose of a BDC is to help customers and provide the dealership with a continuous flow of qualified traffic.
Why Do BDCs Fail?
Many BDCs base their incentives on volume of appointments or total revenue. While most call centers embrace the numbers game approach, dealerships should be wary of implementing this strategy for their BDCs.
Successful BDCs are tailored to the dealership’s needs. According to Armorer, BDCs fail when:
· The owner is not behind it: The BDC can't just exist; it must be the organization's hub. Leadership must check in daily and provide the BDC the same respect as other departments.
· There’s friction between departments: Unqualified leads result in lower numbers for your sales and service colleagues. This creates division between departments, which ultimately hurts the dealership’s bottom line.
· There isn’t proper training: Define the purpose of a BDC based on dealership needs and train personnel accordingly. Ensure that management is equipped to navigate issues that arise.
Create a Thriving BDC
What should dealerships do to make their BDCs thrive? For starters, owners and general managers can make the BDC more successful by leading, not managing. Leaders are not in charge of the results, but they're responsible for the people accountable for the results.
At the end of the day, it's about the people. If the BDC becomes hyper-focused on numbers, they'll never have enough people to replace the turnover. By changing the culture through the onboarding process and providing a pathway for growth, you'll have people invested in the rest of the dealership.
Have BDC employees spend time in sales or service to help them understand what's needed for success.
So, what’s the takeaway on a successful BDC? Armorer recommends dealerships:
• Train BDC employees to go after the opportunities right in front of them and learn from successful employees in other departments.
• Hold leadership accountable to make the onboarding process better. Have a pathway for growth and create leaders.
• Start having fun. Dealerships have over 45 percent turnover; utilize the new post-COVID profits the dealership makes into better training and happier employees.
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