External BDC For Auto Dealerships: Pros and Cons

Outsourced BDC car sales is an art. Car dealers don’t have time to deliver a response to every phone call, email, and Facebook message, but every missed communication is a missed opportunity to earn or keep a customer. That’s why an external automotive BDC business can be so helpful. Here at Strolid, we help auto dealers increase sales and service numbers by responding to those inbound communications before they’re missed and following up with previous customers to ensure satisfaction and book appointments down the road.

What Is Automotive BDC?

If you are looking for customer support for your business, you may be hearing about Business Development Centers and wondering what is BDC? Essentially, automotive BDC is a communications department for your business.

Automotive BDC companies make sure your dealership doesn’t ever miss a customer communication. A BDC for car dealerships will field email communications, messaging apps, phone calls, and texts. The automotive BDC representative needs to follow the best automotive BDC practices when making outgoing follow-up calls to new and repeat customers so people receive timely and accurate answers to their questions.

Think of how much business you could gain if you had a virtual BDC representative sending appointment reminders to existing customers when their cars are due for an oil change, tire rotation, or a new set of wiper blades.

What Is a BDC Representative?

A BDC representative handles customer communications and questions on your behalf, and they can schedule appointments and initiate follow-ups. BDC reps communicate with customers via phone, email, or other communication channels, such as social media messaging, to schedule service appointments, provide information about services, and ensure customer satisfaction.

Confirming Appointments Is Key

Confirming appointments is essential to the success of your dealership. The value of customers coming into your showroom can’t be overstated. An outsourced BDC automotive service is essential for car dealerships because people don’t need to visit your dealership to walk the lot. There was a time when the prevailing wisdom was to say, “Come on down – we’ll take care of you when you’re here.” Now, however, the reality is avoiding the dealership has become a perk for customers. That means dealers need help getting people on the lot. That’s where an outsourced BDC can help generate foot traffic.

Dealers need to create an unparalleled experience for their customers. Dealers want appointments, but more than booking an appointment is required. The process can’t stop there. The customer needs to have that appointment confirmed and know that when they arrive, someone will be there to help them. Nobody wants to waste their time – especially the person about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a purchase.

Here is where the cost of automotive BDC pays off. When Strolid schedules an appointment, we’ll alert your management team immediately via email and text. We also put the appointment in your CRM. It’s not enough for dealers to make a BDC switch to our service center and call it a day. Automotive BDC only works well if we work hand in hand.

Pros of a BDC in Car Sales

Automotive Expertise: An external BDC that specializes in the automotive industry ensures that all agents are trained to handle calls and emails, familiar with the industry, and capable of responding according to your dealership’s specifications and brand guidelines.

Comprehensive Campaign Management: Automotive BDC companies can manage sales and service campaigns while collecting lead information from calls, emails, and text messages.

Consultative Approach: Many dealerships are shifting away from the traditional “hard sell” approach of immediately setting appointments and moving toward a more consultative strategy. An automotive BDC representative acts as a consultant who addresses all customer questions before scheduling appointments, resulting in higher close rates.

Cost Efficiency: A virtual BDC is highly scalable, allowing dealerships to adjust the level of support they need at any given time.

Cons of Outsourced BDC

Control: Entrusting an external BDC with your operations means relinquishing some control over day-to-day activities. While automotive BDC companies work according to your specifications and processes, occasional misunderstandings may result in leads falling through the cracks.

Cultural Alignment: Your dealership has a distinct culture and story that automotive BDC representatives may not fully grasp, potentially resulting in situations being handled differently than you’d prefer.

Integration Challenges: Outsourced BDCs often use advanced call monitoring technology, which may not seamlessly integrate with your dealership’s CMS systems. As a result, you may have to rely on the BDC’s provided statistics, making it more challenging to measure ROI accurately.

The Strolid Experience

When it comes to AI vs. automation in automotive, our goal is to hire nice, happy people. We don’t train people to be happy and nice. We train our process. When nice people execute our process effectively, we generate more sales, improve customer and employee satisfaction, and help car dealers bring in more revenue.

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