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Does your BDC work after hours?

Discussion in 'CRM, ILM, Chat, Desking, Emails, Phone, SMS' started by BHavican, Dec 29, 2014.

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  1. BHavican

    BHavican
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    Bill
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    "Would you leave a customer walking around the lot for over 2 hours?"

    One of our OEM reps chooses to pull a lead response time report every Monday morning before dealerships open and send it to everyone he can. The message above accompanies the report and I'm dying to respond "Well if it's 3AM on a Sunday, yes I would."

    I'm not a fan of auto-response emails and don't see the value in setting up some IFTTT operation to "improve" our response time let alone pay another company to do that for me (For only $495/mo we can get you a 5 minute response time!). I'm fortunate enough to work for a GM that sees my point of view. However, he's noticed that we have a lot of leads that come in after hours and asked me to look into tasking our BDC reps with answering those leads. While I'm exploring the possibility I want ask the question here: Does your BDC work after hours?

    When I say work I don't mean stopping the clock; rather, I mean intelligently responding to a prospect's inquiry. Furthermore, I would also envision compensating them for their effort along the lines of maybe a $5 per lead responded to. It will give them the opportunity to earn a few extra dollars on the attempt as well as beat any competing dealership to the prospect possibly increasing their show and sold count. In addition, if we do start this

    When I earned my first IM position I was eager to impress and would answer leads at any time, going so far as to have set appointments on Christmas. Obviously I've stopped that practice as I've proven myself and value my time but I understand how cumbersome answering the leads can be. I don't want to force my team to do anything I'm unwilling to do so before I went any further I spoke with my staff about the possibility and some are open to it.

    I haven't really dug into any stats yet but I can tell you that we received 37, 31, 38, and 52 leads over the past 4 Sundays. Furthermore about 27% of our leads come in between 9 PM and 9 AM so there does appear to be an opportunity there. I still have yet to take a look at the lead sources that come in during those times and our success rate with them.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Rob

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    I'm with you, Bill. That's just a question that a vendor asks to make dealers look bad.

    Customers who are shopping at 3AM on a Sunday simply don't expect a response any time soon. Even on the off chance that I was awake at that insane time, I certainly wouldn't respond to a new lead. I certainly wouldn't expect my staff to, either.

    I have people answering leads from 8:30 AM to 8PM Monday - Saturday. I like to think that's quite enough. If anything, having someone working Sunday would help.... but then again, I'm not sure how kosher that would be. State laws here require that dealerships are open only one day during the weekend. I'm not sure if this would go against the spirit of that law.

    In any case, we're not looking to make any changes in this area. Our CRM has hours of operation for a reason. Set them properly, and your "adjusted response time" will be just fine.
     
  4. john.quinn

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    I honestly believe the game has shifted: I value relevance over speed. Speed is still important, but speed without relevance is useless.

    In other words, if I were opening a new store tomorrow, my culture would be that a relevant conversational email that occurs at 1-2 hours is better than the BS 5-minute stop-the-clock email and the ensuing voice mails basically consisting of "when can you come in."

    Does that 5-minute email sell cars? Nope. Does it make your rep happy? haha... probably... but they don't really sell cars either now, do they? :)
     
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  5. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    :unclejoe:
     
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  6. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Who is this Quinn character?? Where did he come from all of the sudden. The DDC / DealerTrack force must be on holiday vacation :poke:

    Welcome back John!!! We miss you!!

    It's interesting to see and read so many changes of thought around this...



    1. Speed is power - Call the customer as soon as the lead comes in!! (how many people TODAY does this piss off?)
    2. Quality of email response - Don't call, email with ALL the information (do this over and over and what an efficiency killer this can be)

    Can we find a happy effective medium? Yes we can. It's been there all this time... permission based response.
     
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  7. Steven Rudnick

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    I myself as the BDC Manager keep an eye on the after hour leads and make sure if I am awake the person gets a personal response. I do not use a auto responder.
     
  8. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Hearing what you're OEM rep is doing isn't surprising. No one in their right mind expects to hear something back from a live person 3am in the morning (unless they're known for being open 24.7)

    Statistically, a high percentage of leads and chats that are generated from the wee hours in the morning are 2nd chance. This can vary by regions.

    I'm not against auto-responders IF used correctly. Not sending someone something back 3am after they have contacted you could be a missed opportunity to say something. It's 3am - not a lot happening at this hour so you could have their undivided attention, for a few seconds, if they open their email.

    3rd Party Lead - write something crafty while linking to your inventory on your own dealership website.
    1st Party Inventory Lead - Save time and use our quick online pre-approval
    1st Party Lead - Acknowledge the customer and the fact that it's a quick auto-response but you'll be checking your inbox first thing in the morning, so "would be be okay to call you this morning at 9am or would 9:15am be better?" <-- I would even consider making this my first sentence in the email. CTA out of the box, first line makes it into the mobile view. Subject line : You're up late or Would it be okay?

    I understand not believing nor using an auto-response makes you sounds Progressive and like one of the cool kids, but lets be real. At the right time with the right message (for that given time and type of opportunity), a crafty auto-response can provoke a response and some level of further engagement.

    Another idea - record a generic video of you in bed, waking up to your phone/message ring -- yawning, stretching, rubbing your eyes while trying to read the customers email. Wear some funny PJ's and a huge sleep dent in your hair. Thank the customer for their inquiry, but you need a few more hours of beauty sleep.You'll be in the office before 9 and would be be okay to call you in a few hours - say 9am or would 9:15am be better?

    I bet they won't forget that!

    Do something different and memorable.
     
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  9. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    I believe the game shifted awhile ago, we just choose to not listen to the obvious and believe the surrounding hype.

    Heck, there have been small services and companies in this industry that have built a business and revenue stream around the first email response back to a customer lead.

    Now really think about that!! Chew on it. Companies charging in the $500 /mo range to respond to email leads (by email back) within a specific time window. Either because we (the dealer) are not capable of doing to and/or the manufacturer has established crazy rules around what they think is right.

    Now that's some crazy shit!. Ya think?

    Back to @JQuinn@JQuinn response. Agreed 100%. Speed is still important but it's the quality and relevance of your response is what's going to get you the opportunity.

    Another layer to add into this - the channel of response. Email, Phone, Text, Video...

    What I'm seeing from the better performing dealers: email response moving to permission based text communication and sending a walkaround video intro or vehicle of interest.
     
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  10. BHavican

    BHavican
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    Bill
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    Damn, for a second I thought Jeff was saying I was one of the cool kids...

    Thanks for all the great feedback. I wholeheartedly agree that we could all do better with our automated responses. Some of those ideas mentioned are great. I've recently started working on an intro to our dealership video that would work well I think as an automated response.

    Now all that written, having an amazing super-spectacular automated response could do wonders in increasing one's contact ratio but what if I had a rep on call when our store was closed? On a Sunday afternoon my rep could engage the customer in a meaningful conversation while all our competition is just sending out an automated email. Theoretically I could have an appointment show up at the dealership before a competing BDC makes their first call.

    Sunday leads are a weak spot for us right now and I believe this could give us a competitive advantage and our team is excited about the potential. I think I came up with a good process and we'll compensate the reps for their efforts, but I am a little concerned with burning them out. So we're going to experiment and track it for a bit. I'll be sure to share my results for those interested, if nothing else our OEM rep will be happy with an increase in response times.
     
  11. David Marod

    David Marod
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    So...this is the proper forum....We have many customers who are able to use our Artificial Intelligence platform to both do timely responses, engage the customer (which I would think is the main purpose) and do so from a friendly assistant that sends alerts to the sales people. Is there any Conversica customers that can chime in. Coming from me it might be a little too sales oriented........
     
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