What Does It Cost To Run An Automotive Service BDC?


Breaking Down the Costs of a Service BDC


One of the most important factors to understand when deciding how to manage your Business Development Center (BDC) is your potential Service BDC cost. A Service Business Development Center (BDC) refers to a specialized department or team working for a dealership that focuses on managing and optimizing the service department’s customer interactions and operations. The primary objective of a Service BDC is to enhance customer satisfaction, increase service department revenue, and improve overall efficiency.

Across the automotive industry, 23% of calls to dealerships are never answered. That is significant income that is lost. More than 40% of auto service shoppers need reactive versus routine maintenance. These are a couple of reasons why you need to consider a Service BDC.

Today’s customers are looking for an immediate response. You need to answer the phone and send timely communications to your customers to maintain and expand your business. Adhering to well-defined communication processes will prevent customers from taking their business to independent auto service shops like Jiffy Lube. This is when automotive BDC can help.

Most dealerships have some process for handling service customers but can’t always keep up with the volume of communications. The digital age of text messages, website chats, and Facebook messages at all hours – on top of phone calls during business hours – is a lot to keep up with. It’s a full-time job. This is why an outsourced BDC automotive call center is so beneficial: We free up your staff to focus on sales and service while we handle phone calls and internet messages.



Cost vs. Benefit of Automotive Service BDC


Service BDC bridges the gap between the customer and the dealership’s service department, ensuring smooth communication, efficient operations, and excellent customer service. By focusing on customer satisfaction and proactive outreach, the BDC aims to maximize revenue and retention for your service department.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) found “that on average, 76% of car buyers bought their next vehicle from the dealership that performed their regular maintenance. However, only 13% of those car buyers had maintenance performed at the same dealership they bought the car from. Considering 14% of car buyers returned to buy a car from the same dealer, it is easy to see the direct correlation between customer retention and the service experience.”

If you can capture even a portion of the lost business identified by the NADA, you can substantially grow your sales. For the vast majority of companies, this is worth the automotive Service BDC cost.

The expert team here at Strolid can help you do just that. As we’ll see below, the cost analysis of running a Service BDC shows that it’s often inefficient to build your own.



Understanding the Costs of an Automotive Service BDC


The cost of running an automotive Service BDC (Service Business Development Center) can vary based on factors such as the size of the dealership, the level of services provided, the technology and tools used, and the number of staff members employed. Here are some cost considerations for running an automotive Service BDC:

Staffing

The BDC requires dedicated personnel to handle customer inquiries, appointment scheduling, follow-ups, and other related tasks. The number of staff required will depend on the volume of customer interactions and the desired level of service. Staffing costs include salaries, benefits, management, training expenses, and potential performance incentives.

While building an in-house Service BDC might sound like the right way to go, staffing and training challenges can cause the opposite effect – a large expense that becomes ineffective if not staffed with talented people who are managed and trained well. Relying on an external team may come with a Service BDC cost, but it’s one that is more manageable and can provide better results overall.

Infrastructure and Equipment

Developing a BDC requires a physical space within the dealership, along with the necessary office equipment, such as computers, phones, internet connections, and furniture. The costs will depend on the size of the BDC and the dealership’s existing infrastructure. Some dealers do not have the space, which can provide challenges when running a Service BDC in-house.


Technology and Software

A Service BDC may utilize various technology solutions to manage customer databases, track appointments, communicate with customers, and analyze performance metrics. This can include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, communication platforms, appointment scheduling software, and reporting tools. Costs may include setup fees, licensing fees, monthly subscriptions, and ongoing maintenance costs.

When it comes to best automotive BDC practices, having a phone system that can handle incoming and outbound calls and a phone system that can report on call efficiency, productivity, and performance is a must.

Training and Development

Continuous training and development programs are crucial for the BDC staff to provide excellent customer service, stay updated on product knowledge, and develop skills for effective communication. Costs may include training materials, seminars, workshops, and employee development programs. Most dealers find it difficult to train for a BDC position simply because they need to gain the expertise for this type of work.



Choosing the Best Service BDC for Your Dealership


If it is true that 66% of your service advisors do not ask their customers to schedule an appointment, it’s likely time to consider a BDC for your service department. Strolid can handle your automotive service BDC needs for you without the added expenses of hiring, staffing, training, retraining, managing, and providing space and infrastructure for an in-house team. We engage in practices that help grow your business:

Marketing and Advertising

Our Service BDC team can engage in marketing and advertising initiatives to generate leads, promote service campaigns, and maintain customer engagement. Initiatives can include digital marketing, targeted advertising, direct mail, and promotional materials.

Performance Tracking and Analysis

We implement systems and tools to track and analyze key performance metrics. This work is essential for evaluating the BDC’s effectiveness. We invest effectively in analytics software, reporting tools, and data management solutions. After all, if you are not measuring it, how can you improve it?


It is important to note that the costs associated with running a Service BDC can vary significantly based on the dealership’s specific needs, location, and goals. Each dealership should assess its requirements, evaluate the potential return on investment, and create a budget accordingly. Consulting with Strolid and other industry professionals or seeking advice from experienced Service BDC professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance in determining your Service BDC cost.



Frequently Asked Questions


How much do Strolid BDC services cost?

Our BDC services start as low as $499 a month for backstop coverage. If you’re inundated with calls because of that latest sale, we can pick up the slack and help streamline your operations. Our prices vary based on your company’s size and unique needs. On average, our dealers spend $2,500 per month for comprehensive BDC for service departments.

What is an automotive Service BDC?

An automotive Service BDC (Business Development Center) is a specialized department within an automotive dealership that focuses on managing customer communication and handling various aspects of the service department’s operations. An automotive Service BDC aims to enhance customer satisfaction, improve service department efficiency, and increase revenue by proactively engaging with existing and potential customers. The Service BDC plays a crucial role in maintaining strong customer relationships.

What does it cost to run an automotive Service BDC?

The cost of running an automotive Service BDC can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the dealership, the number of employees in the BDC, the level of automation and technology used, and the specific services offered. Some of the key cost considerations associated with running an automotive Service BDC include employee salaries and benefits, training and development, performance tracking, and analytics.

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