How to Create a Dynamic Environment Between Service Advisors and the Service BDC - Part 2
By Ted Ings, Executive Director
One aspect of the Service Business Development Center (BDC) that is often overlooked is the relationship between the Service Advisors and BDC Agents.
If the two teams do not work together it makes it harder to offer your customer a higher level of customer service.
The advisor might feel as if the BDC is taking away their opportunity to “sell” to the customer as they have already set up an appointment for a specific service. That said, it is best to have clear expectations and guidelines making sure that the two departments work in tandem.
Partner with the Service Advisors
One of the best ways to make this happen is to have teams. Where specific Advisors work with a team of BDC agents. Noting that there may be times where the Advisor is on vacation or the BDC Agent. However, if they are working together for most of the time, it will offer your customer a better experience.
As the two teams work together, too, the BDC Agent (if trained) can start to sell additional services via chat, phone, or texting. All of which can increase the customer Pay RO.
Service Conquesting: Work With OEM Programs
Unlike sales conquesting, service has to be very strategic. That is having the data of current OEM vehicles in your area of responsibility who do not service with your dealership. Looking to see which vehicles are within your retention list, and sending them marketing for services. One of the marketing campaigns that could be effective - if you have their email (and depending on your OEM’s guidelines) is to load their email addresses to Facebook. Sending them a brand discovery campaign.
One that introduces your store to the customer. Whether that is offering a coupon - such as a discount off a service or value statements as to why they should service with your dealership. In doing so, your dealer could also pick up sales leads as well.
How Do I Structure the Service BDC Pay Plan?
Each Dealer has its own strategy in the creating of a pay plan for the BDC.
However, just like sales - the Service BDC should be doing more than just simply setting an appointment for the service advisor. They are selling the brand as well as additional services for the customer.
That said, an effective pay plan should be an hourly rate. In addition to a bonus plan that is tiered, and their bonus amount would be dependent on what both they and their designated advisors bring to the table that month. That is how many appointments they have booked - noting the additional services they have upsold before their appointment - and what the advisor was able to close the customer on during their visit. Another element for the pay plan could be the OEM’s CSI score. As the BDC Agent most likely worked with the customer prior to their visit to the dealership.
Structuring the pay plan as such affords the dealer to pay more if the store is performing and less if there is room for improvement.
The goal, however, is to ensure that each team is hitting their goals. If they are not hitting their goals, then the BDC Manager to needs to work with the team. Creating a plan of action to make sure their team gets back on track.
BDC’s can be highly effective for a dealership. Especially in service as we know that fixed-ops should absorb the cost to do business.
That said, though, the BDC cannot be a cost to the dealership. It has to be a profit center. To make your Service BDC a profit center it is best to ensure that the manager - who handles the BDC - is in alignment with your dealership's goals.
That is working towards owning your primary marketing area in addition to expanding your footprint by increasing business with conquest customers.
The better experience your customer has - especially true for a new customer - the more likely they are going to come back to your dealership for not just additional services, and also the purchase of a new vehicle.
To make this happen your BDC team has to work closely with the Advisors. If they do not work closely things will fall through the cracks. Making it that much harder to offer your customer the experience they deserve.