What is a BDC?

Jim Chamberlain
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?
Gary Mitchell
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.
Robert Wolf
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
Robert Wolf
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.
Robert Wolf
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?
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.

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