[Posted January 8th, 2014 by Keith Shetterly]
Auto dealerships can benefit from using a business development center, by attracting new buyers, selling more vehicles, saving money and building customer loyalty. An effective BDC can enhance your customers’ experience at your dealership, translating to a more cost effective alternative to radio and TV ads, and a more centralized point of contact. Through identification of dealership assets, development of sales initiatives that boost revenue and the building of loyalty among customers, dealership BDC can bring in more business and increase customer satisfaction.
What is a BDC?
The right dealership BDC can translate to substantial growth for an auto dealership. A business development center is designed to handle sales calls, follow-ups with customers, equity and promotional calls, email campaigns and e-newsletters, lease returns, Internet leads, service and parts retention marketing, management of dealer reputation, and updates in market pricing. A well-maintained and appointed BDC can help avoid staffing failures and improperly defined outcomes, as many times a BDC fails due to too-little training investments in the right knowledgeable personnel. A dealership can choose to hire an in-house BDC or outsource the service. In-house BDCs are thought to be better suited to smaller dealerships, while medium- and large-sized dealerships tend to do better with outsourced BDCs.
Benefits of a BDC
The biggest advantage to having a business development center is convenience and time savings. With the majority of phone calls to dealerships occurring in the morning, midday and late afternoon, which are the same times that advisors and sales staff are working hard on the floor with their existing customers, a BDC serving to handle this gap can help increase appointments, sales and customer retention. With a qualified BDC in place to handle phone calls from existing and potential customers, the sales staff has more time to provide customers who are present in the dealership with service and personalized attention. In this case, BDCs cut down on the amount of time-consuming calls that can detract from an advisor’s time and effort.
In addition, a virtual BDC can attract more customers to your showroom, sell more cars and increase the loyalty from your existing customers. While some dealerships may be increasing their reliance on mobile devices for calls or texts, and Internet leads, many dealerships are bridging the gaps between these media to work in tandem with a dealership BDC. Rather than working against the grain, a dealership BDC serves to incorporate various social media platforms in order to work with customers and increase the dealerships bottom line.
Overall, the benefits to having a dealership BDC include everything from boosting accountability to providing valuable customer feedback. The BDC as a management tool can help an auto dealership improve response time, follow up on sales and service requests, and increase and manage sales opportunities through one centralized department. As a driver of increased customer traffic to the sales floor, leading to boosts in profit and sales, the business development center can be a positive element to any auto dealer, large or small.