When we started putting the first BDC's in place we hired the least expensive person we could hire, gave them scripts, made them robots, told them to "just get em in", had continuous turnover - but today, that is a recipe for failure.
With the TODAY buyer, customers are seeking information, they are looking for product knowledge, they are looking for answers. They are not looking for "games to be played", someone who has to check with someone and call then back - they want a professional on the other end.
A frequent complaint I got from dealers was the "cost of running: the BDC was eating into the profits. They still had the same management staff, the same sales force but yet now we have to spend all of this money on the Internet and this entirely new department and it's cutting into the profits.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?
Today whether you HAVE TO HAVE a BDC or they are a "thing of the past", this is one of the hottest debates going on in the car business today.
Let's start with the history, the foundation, where they've been and where they are heading and the dealership options they have today.
Some stayed with the old model - smile and dial people - inexpensive and not very effective.
Some went with what is called: "Cradle to Grave" - this was creating a sales force that all they did was handle the Internet leads, but they handled them from the lead being received all the way through the sale to delivery. The problem with this is floor traffic. If the majority of ones business today comes from the Internet and the leads it provides salespeople solely working the floor may not make enough money to want to sitck around.
Next option - HYBRID - a combination of both, this was a higher degree of appointment setter with much more training in the automobile business, and in many cases in the past may have been a "desk manager" or a "sales manager". The upside is it works the best but the downside is now your expenses have shot through the roof.
My basic foundation I have used in working with todays BDC's works like the following: "I want the BEST person in the building taking the majority of the Phone-Ups. I want the best person in the building handling the Initial Responses to the Internet leads, from their - they distribute the leads and follow-up tasks to salespeople and the BDC Manager acts as their Sales Manager making certain the salespeople were doing the scheduled follow-up tasks that had been assigned to them.
This formula generates phone success in the 30-40% range and 20-30% success with Internet leads.
It's not Rocket Science - it's having talented people - trained properly - on-going training - proper prcesses in place - accountability in place - and it works.
So the question is - how are you handling these opportunities?