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What constitutes an appointment?

Discussion in 'CRM, ILM, and Desking Support & Best Practices' started by NHHarleyguy, Apr 18, 2017.

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  1. NHHarleyguy

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    I am in the process of re-structuring our BDC and I am struggling with what should be a simple question... What constitutes an appointment? Obviously when a rep speaks with a customer and schedules an appointment that is easy. The question that I have is if a rep has on-going contact with a customer and calls when the customer is on their way in... Or a customer calls when they are on the way in. Should these be paid? The argument could be made that it was the contact and rapport built with the rep that drove the customer in. Either way, the rep needs to get the customer on the schedule so the sales team knows they are coming but what is fair as far as compensation?
     
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  3. craigh

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    What we used to do is export a list every month of who the BDC made contact with (not left a message, made personal contact).
    We then ran that against sales records and appointment log at the dealership to determine which customers we "impacted" into visiting the dealership.
    The issue is that you need access to the dealer's data and they need to record things properly. I've seen plenty of sales guys slack off on the recording if it makes their closing rate look bad. A dealership with a good greeter that records traffic and names properly will make BDC reporting much better.
     
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  4. NHHarleyguy

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    Craig does it make sense that a percentage of those customers may have visited the dealership anyways? I want to keep it fair for the reps but also to make sure that they are setting appointments and not simply asking customers to reach out if they are coming in to get them on the schedule etc.
     
  5. craigh

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    It's always possible, but that gets into the granular details.
    When I was managing the BDC I had to go into each "bucket" or "schedule" and make these sort of judgement calls individually.

    Example 1:
    Calling customers 7 days before they're due for an oil change, asking them to come in for an oil change.
    There's a high chance these customers were already going to come in for an oil change, we're just working on retaining more of them.

    Example 2:
    Calling customers who have 18 months left on their finance payments asking them to come in for a free appraisal of their vehicle.
    These customers are not necessarily on the cusp of coming in to review their options, but they're also seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and could be considering a buyout or a change up.

    Example 3:
    Customer submitted a lead on their own, BDC is doing follow up call.
    Any way I slice it, this customer showed intent before we spoke to them. That appointment should be attributed to the original point of contact (unless you've got Kevin Frye levels of attribution going on) and taking credit for sealing the deal isn't necessarily credit for the appointment.
    That said, most dealers I work with still attribute that appointment to the BDC.
     
  6. NHHarleyguy

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    Anyone else have any insight as to what they pay on as far as appointments?
     
  7. Jeff Kershner

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    Appointment to SHOW; within the designated time period your dealership decides on.
     
  8. craigh

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    Do you only pay for show?
    We always had 2 rates - 1 rate for a confirmed appointment, 1 if they showed up.
    Technically there was a 3rd if that customer bought a car within 30 days.
     
  9. Stauning

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    You pay for shows only, and only within a strict time window (like 45 minutes either way). Anything outside that time is not an appointment and no one deserves a lick of credit for it.

    Today's buyers visit just 1.6 lots before they buy. You MUST be the first store they visit if you want to get more than your share of the buyers. Paying your BDC for talking to someone, but not getting them set and keep a firm appointment, is asking them to set soft appointments. Soft appointments show at an alarmingly low rate; and when they do show, your team cannot be ready for them.

    This is because an internet customer that arrives on the lot without an appointment is just a Traditional Up. If you are an average dealer, your team closes about 2 of every 10 Traditional Ups. However, these same average dealers close about 5 of every 10 internet appointments that show on time.

    If you're looking for a pay plan that supports these rules, I posted one here: http://askthemanager.com/2015/02/the-five-absolute-musts-for-a-successful-automotive-sales-bdc/
     
  10. Joe Webb

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    Okay - I must first preface this response that it stems from a blog I wrote roughly 6 years ago or more called "Overthinking It". Nonetheless, it still holds up and we share this with dealers asking similar questions. Hope it meets your needs.

    While on-site training at a dealership recently, the dealer and I put into place a new pay plan for their BDC team. However, he had a concern that the BDC team would reach new heights in their bonus levels by taking credit for sales that they didn’t put enough work into to deserve. Reasonable enough concern. My answer was that they simply needed to be spot checked by a manager to keep them honest. Unfortunately, this answer was not good enough and I was asked to detail the very specific parameters that count for a BDC/Internet sale. Since I myself have managed leads and handled internet sales myself, I know the time that is put into bringing a customer in from prospect to appointment show. I understand not all customers set appointments. As I started putting the rules in place, I realized that I was overthinking it. However, if it has to be written and defined, I didn’t want to leave anything out.

    Allow me to first state my professional opinion that what can count as a sale for BDC members is subjective. You should indeed review and spot check each and every sale the BDC team turns in, but this can be time-consuming so it is best if it is handled by their own department manager. You hired the person and put them in charge so allow them to use their best judgment to decide what is “significant involvement” and if it warrants a sale. Regarding “significant involvement” being a legitimate reason to count a sale, we have to recognize that 40% or so of all customers in contact with a dealership will not set a specific appointment, but will use the data they acquired to still negotiate and purchase from the dealership they were best handled by. That is why I believe there IS a value for continued, true, live contact and information exchanged with a customer.

    If you do attempt to put a specific framework around what is deemed a sale or appointment, here are a few potential “requirements” to look for that could, in each instance, warrant counting the sale.

    1. Inbound call was handled and an appointment was set. Customer arrives for appointment and purchases the vehicle.

    a) If customer purchases the vehicle within a 48 hour window around the appointment time, after it was set – if post appt. time, follow up call for missed appointment must have been made by BDC team member, but contact on the follow up call is not necessary.
    b) Customer arrives for appointment set by BDC agent, doesn’t purchase, but significant notes are put in by the BDC agent after hearing the outcome from manager/salesperson, and the salesperson OR BDC agent follows up with customer enough to bring them back in (within 10 days time) and then the customer purchases.​

    2. Inbound call was handled, customer asks for information not privy to BDC team (pricing for instance), BDC logs all customer information with detailed notes, and hands it off to sales manager. Provided manager sets appointment with customer, and BDC agent updates the customer profile (adding notes) and stipulates information regarding appointment or potential appointment. Provided the customer purchases under the same 48 hour window detailed in section #1, and makes an appointment confirmation call, then that can be viewed as “significant involvement”.

    a) A call must have been made to the manager both after the first contact with customer and after the manager has spoken to the customer. Notes must be made on each occasion.​

    3. For unsold walk-in customer sale, follow up call must be made a pre-determined time in action plan, appointment must be made by BDC agent, notes put in system, and manager alerted. If customer comes in for a be-back within 48 hours around the time of the set appointment, a sale is warranted.

    4. For unsold walk-in customer/internet sale, if a customer leaves the dealership unsold, gets online and submits a lead, you follow the pre-determined follow-up process in the CRM, sending out the proper e-templates as specified, make live contact by phone and set the appointment (and they purchase within 48 hours of appointment), then it is a BDC sale.

    a) All dialog must be documented with customer and an advance search must be performed to ensure it wasn’t another BDC agents customer.​

    5. For phone customer, initial contact must be documented and noted in CRM when customer is logged. If contact is consistently made with customers at scheduled times, provided detailed notes are made and information is exchanged, it will be a sale if the customer purchases within 48 hours from last live contact with BDC agent and customer. (There IS a value for continued true contact and information exchange with a customer).

    6. Internet lead is answered by the BDC agent and the correct, price-matrix e-templates are sent to the customer at the pre-determined time by the action plan. If the customer engages the BDC Agent back with either:

    a) information/implication that they will be stopping (via email or phone) and its logged in the notes
    b) additional questions that the BDC Agent does their due diligence in answering to the best of their ability and there is a modicum of back and forth question answering (even by email) – and call attempts have been made or offered to customers trying to lure them in then it is a sale provided –
    c) They set the appointment with the customer and the customer comes in within a 72 hour window from last email contact (or appointment scheduled) and purchases within two weeks after visit provided detailed notes of the salesperson and BDC agents involvement after the initial visit or a sale is made on initial visit – or –
    d) The customer arrives without an appointment, but every step of the action plan with all e-templates are being sent at the pre-described time with all the information at their disposal and there Is a back-and-forth question answering (via phone or email) that could legitimately have value for a customer and the customer stops in within 72 hours from last phone call attempt or email sent.​

    Caveat: The only way to get credit for a Phone Up sale or an Internet Lead sale is to follow the action plan set in the CRM, sending out all templates designated on the day they are to be sent out, filling in any information required of said template, all calls are being made/attempted to customers (or connected with customers), and detailed notes are logged in the system defining your work to bring the customer in and/or the customer’s expectations/motives are documented. In other words, MAKE THE CALLS ON TIME, DO YOUR BEST TO LEAVE OR SEND VALUABLE INFORMATION, SEND THE e-Templates ON TIME FILLING IN NECESSARY FIELDS IN SAID TEMPLATES, and follow the complete time-line. Then meet one of the “requirements” listed as 1-6 above and you earn the sale.

    As you can see how complicated this is, and I still cannot be 100% certain this is absolutely correct, and I’m not missing anything, I still suggest every sale, if it will be reviewed by Manager anyway, should be taken on a case by case basis to determine its validity.
     
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