BDC Calls and Call times

Steve Simon
Can someone give me numbers on a pure BDC making calls to customers. What should be the normal amount of conversation time per representative and How many calls on average should they make in the course of a day. What incentives does anyone use to get their Representatives to reach higher than the normal day
Steve Garcia
Having more than 15 years of BDC/Internet department oversight at a Chevrolet dealership and others, here is what I have seen. Top producers in the internet department will average about 50 to 60 outbound calls per day. The completion rate is always in flux. They just keep calling and emailing. The duration of completed calls will vary from a few seconds to 20 minutes or more. Connecting - creating a realationship - with prospects is critical. Product knowledge and professionalism in the phone approach equates to a high show rate and closing ratio for top producers. They ask the right questions at the right time and solidify the relationship in the consumer's mind that "they are speaking with a professional that is keenly interested in my needs, not the dealership's." Steve Garcia, Syner-g Communications / Performance Chevrolet, Sacramento, CA
Jon Berna
Here is some data before I started my consulting co. Its 24 months of solid data pulled right from a SQL server with an in-house custom reporting structure. Here are the numbers: This was on 380,829 calls. During this period there were 261,082 outbound calls, 73,457 inbound and 46,290 returned calls (call backs). The contact rate (calls over 45 seconds) was 58.5% on inbound calls and 27.6% on outbound. I created this to measure call quality using time as an indicator. Basically if an inbound call was over 45 second the call was more than likely a sales call and not a transfer. It works the same for outbound as 45 seconds is more than enough to leave a voice mail (note that I exclude ring duration). For inbound 80% were under 5 mins with the average right at 2:45. For outbound (measuring answered calls only) 80% were under 4 mins with the average at 2:55. Individual rep tracking requires that you first evaluate your performance assumptions: First record all of the non-phone related items they must complete in a normal day. For example will they be responsible for live chat, first quality email responses, New and Used vehicle price quoting etc. Some items will take longer and dramatically impact hourly call output. You must also determine if you are including inbound calls or not. If you are you will (regardless of your technology setup) receive mis-routed calls, transfers and internal calls. Mis-routed would for example be a customer calling the sale line for a service question. To get an accurate number you must plan for this an exclude in your target performance benchmarks as well as track to reduce. For example implementing corporate-wide internal live chat and supplemental training reduced internal call traffic by 50%. There are a number of ways to implement a performance-based incentives plan based on call productivity but I would caution you to have a firm grasp on all variables first. If you can’t track it easily and on demand you will create goals that are ‘stretch goals’ and you will demoralize your staff. The total number of dials (inbound and outbound) measures effort, this effort could be misguided though. If your reps are calling the wrong customers and aren’t managing their customer portfolio correctly they will need higher call numbers to reach their appointment goals. You must also consider that some reps may cheat the system and call specific numbers to increase their call totals. I had a rep call 1-800-TAX-1040 10 times a day until I caught them after a couple weeks. If you are trying to increase outbound calling effort ask yourself what are the things that get in the way or your team making these calls. For example do you have click to call setup vs. manual dialing? When you schedule an outbound call campaign do you know what the contact rate is? Do you track contacts as a target versus dials? For more you can check out a 4 part article I wrote on Managing your BDC like a call center on my site:
Corey Johnson
Steve, through our Outbound Call Tracking technology we track and record our clients' outgoing phone calls. Initially we see outbound conversation rates in the single digits (agents still think they can get away with calling bogus numbers like John's example). Quickly these conversations jump to between 26-34%. For a quick month to date sample I pulled 58,038 calls, of which 22,184 were to a unique customer (meaning there was only one record of that customer being called in the date range) and 17,525 were conversations (30%). We review all of our outbound calls for "live conversation" so this metric is based on an actual conversation, not just a length of time set to a call. Our top BDC agents make over 70 calls per day, having conversations with 21 prospects. We track and monitor returned phone calls as well and integrate both incoming and outgoing calls into dozens of CRM platforms. You can find more info at
Robert Karbaum
I can't weigh in on the fantastic data provided above, but the calls per day seems a little light for me. The goal I am striving for is 100 outbound calls per day. “Shoot for the stars, and you can guarantee to at least hit the moon” If you do the math, there are 480 minutes in an 8 hour shift. If you take Jon Berna's data above (Outbound Call Length Average 2:55) equals 255 minutes a shift. Include dialing, waiting for answer, and messages lets round up to 300 minutes a day. That leaves you with 180 minutes for in-bound. For inbound, ideally you should have 140 inbound contacts per month, per rep. That’s 6.66 inbound contacts per day (21 working days). That’s 27 minutes per inbound contact, per day. Which is more than enough time. 100 a day isn’t that much when you really break it down. Or, am I crazy? :P
Jon Berna
Thank you and also a quick clarification Robert, the outbound average talk time only included connected calls. So there are another 70% of the calls that had much avg. lower time (called ring duration). Although the math may work having a total on call time of 6hr 40 minutes in an 8 hr day you also have a large number of 'other' time killers: *Lunch and breaks = 45 mins minimum *After Call Work = 30 sec -1 minute per call (This is for adding notes, scheduling tasks and pulling up the next customer) *Templated outbound email (Standard situation emails i.e. I have bad credit how do I apply...) *Manual outbound email (First quality response, subsequent customer response emails) *Live chat (if applicable) *Team and Individual meetings (I especially love the daily meeting for 40 mins on making more calls!...bad idea) *Tardiness (see below...) *Unproductive time (remember...humans not robots) The numbers you are looking for are as follows: *Occupancy: this is the total handle time (talk time plus after call work) divided by the total availability (time spent logged in to the phone system) *Schedule Adherence or WFM (Work Force Management): this is total time the agent is available for calls divided by the time they are scheduled to work. You must take breaks and lunches into account. 6+ hours or call time would be about 85% occupancy (6 / 7.25). The number is 7.25 because I took out breaks an lunch. This is possible in professional call centers with proper technology, a highly structured call center focus and properly trained staff and manager(s). 95% of dealerships do not have this and continue to waste a ton of money in lost productivity in their BDCs. They also compensate on the wrong factors to in their mind 'move the needle' but instead 'move the problem'. A clear example is not blending qualitative factors into all levels of staff in the department and solely focus on sales

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