The art of BDC car sales is all about embracing a business development center that helps auto dealerships increase sales and service numbers. As a car dealer, you don’t have time to promptly respond to every email, phone call, and Facebook message, but the fact remains that every missed communication is a missed customer. That’s where an external automotive BDC business, such as Strolid, can help.
Strolid’s automotive BDC process applies to new and used car sales, service, and engagement marketing. If you are thinking of working with an automotive BDC, we invite you to listen to our appearance on the Dealer Insights podcast. We explain our approach to working with dealers and drawing meaningful insights from data. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about the Strolid process. In the meantime, here’s a closer look at what a business development center can do for you.
What Does Automotive BDC Do?
Automotive BDC ensures your dealership never misses another customer communication. The automotive BDC process manages inbound communications from online messaging apps, emails, text messages, and phone calls, cumulatively pursuing the full range of possible leads on your behalf.
BDC in car sales works to field incoming calls, service schedule requests, and make outgoing calls to follow up with existing customers. For instance, the simple act of calling someone who received an oil change in your service department six months ago and reminding them it’s probably time to schedule their next oil change can lead to repeat business you’re currently missing.
When it comes to engaging with new and repeat customers, we follow the best automotive BDC practices to ensure representatives are well-supported, customers receive accurate and timely answers to their questions, and we follow up with gentle reminders.
Setting Up the Correct Pricing
Setting up the correct inventory pricing is essential to your dealership’s success. It doesn’t matter if you sell new or used cars, RVs, or Power-Sport vehicles – if inventory is priced wrong, it either won’t sell or will sell at a loss.
Today’s car buyer doesn’t need to visit your dealership. Drivers can buy online, where they fill out leads and ask pricing questions. How dealerships answer those questions is essential.
Consider for a moment how someone shops on Amazon. They search for a product, receive a page of results from different sellers, and look at the reviews and the prices. Which one do they end up buying? If it’s the same product, and one place has it for less than another, and they have good reviews and can deliver it in a day or two, the average consumer will go with the better price.
Car buyers are no different. They look at prices and seller reviews, then go with the place that has the better price.
That’s why Automotive BDC is so important. People don’t need to come to your showroom and see your vehicle anymore. Avoiding the dealership experience is often a perk for customers. Since dealerships can’t give the adage, “Come on down, we’ll take care of you when you’re here,” BDC car sales need to be set up to handle that situation and help dealers convert sales over the phone. It almost always comes down to pricing and the customer receiving an accurate price quote.
Be transparent. That’s what customers want. If you’re selling a vehicle for $3,000 over MSRP, tell the customer you are and explain why. When the price of gas goes up, consumers want economical vehicles. When the price of gas goes down, consumers are more drawn toward performance vehicles and trucks. If there’s a popular vehicle that consumers want in these times, supply and demand mean the price will go up. Hopefully, your competitors are doing the same. If not, you’re going to lose customers.
You may have invested money in advertising to bring in that customer, only to lose the sale to the dealer who isn’t charging $3,000 over MSRP. It’s crucial to know your market.
Confirming Appointments Is Essential for Any Business
Confirming appointments is more critical to any business’s success than it gets credit for. A customer coming into your showroom is extremely valuable today. It’s always been helpful, but it’s more valuable than ever in a digital world. Today, people have the internet, and you’re fighting for customers. If your competitor has a strong, solid process in place, you’re going to lose.
Nobody converts 100% of the opportunities they get in sales. The trick is to try to increase the probability of selling by doing things the right way. You’re growing your business by doing things the right way because your customers are going to tell other people they were treated well at your dealership.
As a dealer, you want to deliver an exceptional experience to your customer. The dealer wants the appointment, and the customer wants to make sure it’s not painful when they go to the dealership. Dealers want a showroom filled with customers. Customers want to know they’re using their time effectively.
When Strolid books an appointment, part of our process is to alert the management team immediately. Automotive BDC only works if we work together as a team. You aren’t removed from the process – in fact, you’re a critical part of it.
The other reason why confirming an appointment is important is that sometimes customers change their minds. The customer lifecycle management for the automotive industry is month to month. By confirming the appointment, you can connect with that customer, build rapport, and outperform the competition.
Setting Up the Process and Expectations
Part of the automotive BDC cost and investment is to get everybody on board to think like a customer. The first step is to look at vehicle demand. At Strolid, we create a monthly vehicle demand report for our dealers that shows the number of leads for each vehicle on the lot. This will tell you a lot and may include things you’d rather not know.
For instance, certain vehicles need to get more attention. Why is that? It’s about more than just dropping the price. You may have a special vehicle that nobody else has. You need to explain why it’s special so that customers see its value.
Part of getting everybody to think like the customer is remembering the customer experience. When you sign up with Strolid, you have certain expectations of our business, just like customers have expectations of your dealership. Strolid raises those customer expectations and then helps dealerships exceed them when the customers arrive.
The Strolid Experience
We hire happy people. We don’t train them to be happy. We hire nice people. We don’t train them to be nice. They are already happy. They’re already nice. That’s first. The second is a process. You follow a process to keep the customer happy, increase customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction, generate more sales, and, ultimately, make more money.