A BDC is not a solution for higher conversions
This sentence may sound a bit off coming from me as my company #DCDW provides a number of BDC / CCC services to various importers and dealer holdings. Nevertheless, I think we should conduct the discussion. Let’s take a look at some developments in the Netherlands and other parts of the world in recent years, because perhaps we can learn something from it.
In recent years, the BDC departments have been created at many dealers, but has this had the intended result? If you look at the dealership now, you can split it into two parts: sales and aftersales.
First let’s take a closer look at aftersales. A BDC can work fine for aftersales, I think. The receptionist is often the most ‘abused’ employee of all, that is, he gets assigned too many chores that distract him from the core of his job, and he could use some support.
The activities of an aftersales BDC usually have to do with MOT campaigns, make regular maintenance appointments and follow up on recalls. Unfortunately, I don’t see enough work being done to recover ‘new business’ or ‘lost business’. Too often this doesn’t happen because most BDC’s are understaffed and therefore only do the most necessary. It turns out that when you outsource a fair comparison it is often a better financial option than doing it yourself.
In the field of sales it is clear to me: a BDC has no added value in the first line. By that I mean that there should be no better lead successor than the car salesman himself. I do not see any difference between the physical, telephone or online customer. Everyone is unique, because showroom visitors do not all come in the same way. They have different questions and each require a different approach.
Online leads can easily be converted into appointments and sales, but realize that online leads come in until well into the evening and that means that if you want to get the most out of it, you have to follow up on leads until about 21:00 hours and not until closing time of your company (18:00 hours). If you do not have the option to stay on standby in the evening, an external or internal BDC is an option. Provided that of course is available in the evening, otherwise you will not succeed with it. Telephone leads, in contrast to online leads, are much better at the traditional opening hours (up to 18:00 hours) and are therefore easier to follow up directly by the salespersons.
Biggest problem with a BDC
Why most BDC’s fail to achieve a higher lead conversion is often not due to the CCC / BDC itself, but to the transfer of the qualified lead from the BDC to the salesperson. That is as follows: the employee in the BDC can have a great conversation with a client, where there is a mutual click, and therefore conclude with a positive feeling. When passing the customer to the salesperson, it may be that the click is not there, for whatever reason. The customer can take a completely different attitude towards the BDC employee than towards the salesperson, who can easily write off the highly qualified lead by the BDC.
With an external BDC as we have it, it also happens that the more substantive questions from the customer cannot be answered directly, which also applies to conversations in the chat function. The purpose of a BDC will therefore have to be to realize more sales and not just to quickly follow up leads.
An alternative to a full-fledged BDC is an internet sales department. The leads come in there, are qualified, concrete appointments are made in the showroom and these appointments are confirmed to the customer by the salespersons and handled further.
There still remains a large group of customers who do not want to make an appointment, but want to receive a quotation. Usually these quotations are neatly made and sent to the customer, but in practice there appears to be a very low conversion. Why? I think that’s because salespersons often do not believe in this kind of leads. They see it as price buyers or ‘fortune seekers’ and as a result the succession is poor. With this type of leads, the internet sales department can prove its service. There is now no focus on appointments, but on quotations and converting in concrete orders by telephone and via e-mail. At Nieuweautokopen.nl we just did 100 sales a month in this way, so it is possible.
Other function of a BDC
Personally, I strongly believe in another way of using a BDC. There are quite some advantages of two different persons who communicate with the customer. Take, for example, the leads that you can’t reach immediately. Some salespersons call and email twice, others do this four times and real volunteers six times. Unfortunately, the customer does not pick up. These leads can be taken into account by a BDC in a long-term follow-up. The BDC has no issues of the day and can perfectly plan these leads.
To get the lead, the marketing department already invested a small amount of capital in these leads, so why not try it a bit longer? In addition, the consular role works well. What is that? The BDC employee calls the customer who has contact with salesperson A after, for example, five days with the question whether everything is in order and whether the customer has received all the information he would have liked. The purpose is to let the customer know that we are there, because if there is no click with the salesperson, the customer does not answer a call from the phone number of that salesperson, but probably will answer when he gets a call from a different number. After all, what do you have to lose?
The salesperson is there for the leads, of which I am firmly convinced. There are plenty of peripheral issues in the dealer company that have little to do with the core task of the salesperson and can therefore be outsourced to reduce the workload. salespersons are too often used as a handyman, who also happens to sell cars. And oh yes, he is bad in following up leads so let’s have that done by someone else. Incomprehensible. I would rather outsource something else so that the salesperson can fully focus on his core business: communicate with prospects and customers, whether it is physical, by telephone or online.
About Paul de Vries
Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marktplaats) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Follow-Up’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.