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BDC Phone Systems and Reporting | Managing Your BDC Like a Call Center 3 of 4

This is the 3rd article in the series Manage Your BDC like a Call Center:

The decision of what type of phone system to secure for your department requires an understanding of the options and features available.  This article will present the current options as well as define the reporting needs that are essential for dialing in your department. The reporting capabilities of phone systems contain vast differences.  I will cover some of these and shed some light on how you may not need a overly expensive solution and still get all you will need for years to come.  Nearly all of your telephony costs are up front however your improved consumer experience will continue to get better as you drive efficiencies.  After you review the features review how you can leverage your new found data in the section near the bottom. Here is a list of common features your BDC will need:

DID Phones (Direct Inward Dialing): Unique numbers for each agent.  Additional this will be used for the ACD Groups.  DID banks are very inexpensive and can be purchased directly from the telephone company.  Costs are usually around $100-200 per hundred
Call Conferencing: An absolute must so BDC agent can connect customer with sales staff while still maintaining 100% accountability for customer service
Unlimited Toll Free and Local Tracking Numbers: Can be from any provider as long as they allow for self provisioning and the ability to http post call log inforamtion to your CRM
Inbound Caller ID with Call Source Software: Think of Caller ID on steroids. This will display the name, phone number, location and ad source of each caller.  It will be displayed on the agents computer while the phone is ringing so the agent is ready to answer correctly
Local SQL Database: This will contain all call records inbound, internal and outbound.  This data source will allow for the creation of 100% customized reporting as outlined below
ACD Hardware and Software: User Interface will allow for the complete customization of call flow and sequencing
ACD Queue Software: To manage the agent login access, call routing and agent dispositioning
ACD Queue Real-Time Monitor: Potentially included in ACD Queue Software. This will show number of active calls, waiting calls, available and not available agents
Noise Cancelling Headsets: This will eliminate the surrounding conversation noise
Off Hours Voicemail: Allows for specific messaging with department hours and that you will be calling the customer back first thing in the AM
CRM with http Post Call Track Integration: Required so all inbound call information is automatically captured in the CRM for 100% logging of traffic
Unified Messaging with Notifications: This will alert managers and agents of phone calls, voicemails via text or email.  Also will display all internal calls on the agents computers
 
*I did not include 'Predictive Dialers' as this deserves a section all to itself.  As a note, if setup correctly this can be a game changer in increasing your outbound efforts. This is provided you use it modestly.
With an ACD and the correct surrounding BDC Phone Systems and Reporting you can now correctly staff your BDC based on data instead of guess work.  Here's how...  

The 6 metrics below are all pulled directly from the call data in reports that should be very easy to pull on-demand.  The first metric you need to understand is setting your Service Level Agreement (SLA).  This is a stated benchmark of anticipated performance.  For example 90% of your calls being answered in 20 seconds or less.  To figure this out you sum the number of calls with a ring time under 20 seconds divided by the total number of calls.  If you fall below this target you are either under-staffed or inefficient.  You can determine your efficiency by reviewing your call center occupancy.  This percentage can be expressed at an individual level but is more commonly used to review the entire department.  This number is the total time on the phone and doing after call work divided by the time staffed.  If your under your SLA and have high occupancy you are most likely understaffed. The other factors that can hurt your SLA are high Average Handle Times (AHT) and aggressive outbound dialing.  Your BDC is what is called a blended call center meaning it both takes and makes calls (versus inbound-only or outbound-only).   Every time and agent dials out it makes them unavailable.  Since there are gaps between calls usually this isn't a problem.  However when 2 agents are on break, 1 is sick and 3 are at lunch you have to be careful not to overdo it.

These 6 metrics are the driving force behind both daily and long term strategic planning. Having these at your disposal affords a BDC Director or eCommerce Director the intelligence they need to move the needle forward.  If a regular BDC runs at 60% effectiveness a well run Call Center BDC will run in the mid 90%s.

  Metric   Description   How to Use (application)
Service Level Agreement (SLA) Single most important metric to monitor.  The department should be built with an SLA (Service Level Agreement) i.e. 90% of calls answer in 20 seconds or less. This stat is used for determining staffing size and overall efficiency to an agreed target.  Now you know how your department is answering all calls.
Average Seconds to Answer (ASA) The amount of time on average it takes for a call to be answered after arriving in the queue Primary metric used in tracking the SLA.
Average Handle Time (AHT) Average Talk Time plus After Call Work.  This is the indicator of call and agent efficiency. The number should not be too high or too low.  Look for outliers and match with other signals, like poor call scores or low inbound contact rate.
Occupancy / Utilization (OCC) Total handle time (talk time plus after call work) divided by the total availability (time spent logged in to the queue) How effective the call center is able to schedule its staff. The aim is to achieve the right balance between too much idle time on one hand and overworked staff on the other.  Usually around 85% is target
Cost Per Contact (CPC) Number of calls per month divided by (operating cost + labor).  Do not include marketing costs Cost per call is a way to track how well resources are being utilized and to measure the ROI for the center
Schedule Adherence (SA) or Work Force Management (WFM) 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. You are looking as a % to see excessive unapproved breaks, not available etc.  Real time data and staff accountability improve this

Next up, I will dive into how call routing impacts customer service with tips how you can route calls more effectively in your dealership or you can get a sneak peek here

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