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What is a BDC?

What is a BDC? Just about everyone I talk to in the business says they have a BDC. When I ask them what their BDC does, I get everything from, two ladies that answer phones for the Service department in the afternoons, to a phone room that pounds customers with razzle dazzle specials for sales and service. Some have a phone room that answers inbound calls for the sales department and many call the room the internet department works in a BDC.

We have a BDC at our dealership. I have my own definition of what it should be. I'm curious to know what everyone else thinks a BDC should do in a dealership. Why do we need a BDC? Do we need a BDC?

Aug 2, 2009

In my experiance, the best BDC departments have been the ones that are generating their own business. A BDC department that responds to internet leads is really an internet department, a BDC department that answers phones is really a sales department.

BDC or "Business Developement Center" should generate their own business. Hence the name. I think these should be the phone pounders, the cold callers of the dealership. They should be calling everything they can get their hands on that is not already being worked by internet or the floor. They should be constantly digging through the CRM tool to find any previous buyers, service and parts customers, etc. I don't really see the point in using your BDC for leads that you are already spending money on. However, anything sources that don't require an expense, have at it BDC, make something happen!

I think the BDC department is extremely important, but if they are answering leads that are already coming in, they aren't really adding anything to the dea

Aug 2, 2009

Jim...you bring up some great points about BDC's. Realistically, there probably isn't any one true definition that fits because every organization has there own opinion of what a BDC should do, but one thing you can count on is that there are three types of organizations: 1) ones with a BDC, 2) those looking at implementing at BDC, and 3) those that have tried BDC's and failed at the process.

With today's economic environment we have a two edged sword. On one side we have consumers who have become more fickle and want more for less. On the other side, organizations are having to cut back on personnel resources to become more efficient. Because of this dilemma, organizations cannot justify or afford to have enough people (BDC staff)dedicated to customer interaction activities during all hours of the day.

What we are seeing now is a trend for organizations to "outsource" their customer interaction activities to a trained and dedicated Virtual BDC's who can answer calls, respond to requests, and make needed follow up calls. This allows the organizations access to unlimited resources 24/7 who are properly trained and managed while lowering their overall associated costs by as much as 75%.

While most people are against the outsourcing of their customer interaction activities because of all of the negative feedback received from consumers regarding "off shore call centers", we are seeing more and more of these companies using employees based in the U.S. because of the available talent (due to the economy) and the lower cost associated with the latest technology advances.

Oct 29, 2009

I agree. Most dealers don't know what a real BDC is, and not all dealers neeed one. Nor should it be a one size fits all approach. I think the real question is; what the hell have our sale people been doing the last decade???

To often, the " BDC " is replacing the the inability of our sales people to do the job they were trained to do, and as cover up for weak management who could never train them right to begin with.

Bob Wolf

Dec 1, 2009

I would think most people would be against outsourcing customer interaction activities, because precisely it's more customer interaction that is needed. Not some 8-15 dollar an hour person who does not have a clue, or cares if the customer buys a car or not.

Just another layer of specialization that is not needed, unless your a factory.

Interaction with humans who care is what this business is sorely lacking. You can't bypass the sales process on the cheap.

Dec 4, 2009

DAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You must be selling Outsourced BDC's. The largest Ford Dealer in the Midwest have had 7 new types of BDC's in last 7 years. Makes you wonder if there numbers would stay same or drop, without a BDC at all. And they are "supposedly the best." I wonder what would happen if management would just do the job they were hired to do to begin with?????

BDC outsourced or not, are never ideal. They maybe necessary, but can't replace or compete with a properly trained sales force. And want's to deal with an "outsourced BDC".

Maybe we should Outsource everything and just all stay home?

Dec 5, 2009

As a certified ADP ex BDC manager I was trained to follow a set follow-up process for all Internet Leads - Incoming Sales Calls - Unsold Floor ups from the CRM - Contacting Mfg generated prospect list's and to cultivate loyalty of previous Sales and Service customers. Anything short of that should not be referred to as a Business Development Center.

Dec 5, 2009

Robert...I actually agree with you in the theory that the sales staff should be the ones to make the follow up calls and proactivley contact customers. This is the best way to do it. Where I am concerned is in the practical application of this process in the typical dealership. This is all being dictated by the economy and the extreme need for less people to do more in the average dealership. Dealers tell me everyday that they are using less sales people because of the reduced commissions caused by the "skinny deals". They also are trying to have less sales people so they can pay them more. This is a huge problem because the follow up work load is so important because their are fewer ups and they are more valuable. Also, there is less time to train and to keep training on the activities.

Now...you misght say, "why doesn't the dealer just build an internal BDC?" Conceptually, a great idea until they look at the costs involved and the fact that they can only be there certain hours of the day, but their advertising is 24/7.

This is why dealers are looking to outsource these activities to a automotive specific call center and one who has the experience to interact with their customers.

Dec 7, 2009

So dealers dont have time? If business is so slow, I would think there should be even more time to train and get this right?? Usually, when there are ups everywhere and business is " good" is when we lose site. Just look at Toyota. When you think your doning awesome, is when we lose site of the "main thing", which is the customer.

Maybe there would not be some many " skinny deals" if the dealers you service would make time to train there sales staff, work repeat, referal, service, and orphans. I never thought an " up" was more valuable than my previous customers?? An up closes at 10 to 15 percent compared to repeat and referals at 50 percent plus. Let's see in a bad economy which group should my staff focus on??

I don't think we need to do business 24-7. Maybe just working smarter during the 12 hours we spend at the dealership already would be good enough. Break up the coffee club and get in the service drive, listen to phone calls with the sales staff, call customers who were just there, or anything else. Working 2 hours of a 12 hour day and than blaming the economy is just an excuse.

In a dealer group of 60 stores we are in the top 5 consistently without a BDC. Low turnover, high level of sales activities, value based selling, communication with service, customer loyalty, activity management, and have good sales skills are the keys to sucess today. Try calling your credit card company who outsourcing there business to "trained nobodys" and ask them for help. See how effective they are. Put youself in the customers shoes and who would you like to do business with. The dealer that can make things happen, or someone that is a go between? There is no one better to interact with customers than the people who work for that company.

Dec 7, 2009

The dealers you talk to that have no time, might just have no clue. I would recommend they get a huge bag. It sounds like they need to pack it in.

Dec 7, 2009

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