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Who handles your calls in a Virtual BDC?

rickyfay

Lot Lizard
Aug 6, 2020
34
9
Awards
1
First Name
Ricky
A Virtual BDC is made up of certified agents, thus producing best in class results on true sales opportunities. Agents go through several training videos and quizzes to obtain their certification, and are also required to maintain that certification.

Calls should be monitored and coached using active coaching methods, just as an agent at the dealership would be. This is how you can be sure that your calls are being handled professionally and no opportunities are lost.

The team is knowledgeable in dealership handling procedures and always follow the scripts accordingly. Making sure to ask for the appointment for every true sales call!
I couldn't disagree more strongly about farmimg out your BDC. I have, as an experiment and data gathering excercise, contacted dozens of dealers's websites and reached the VBDC. It's always the same. They do not answer the questions presented and insted they mine for personnal information and offer a sales person to call you back. When a client inquires about a vehicle, the dealer's representative should know more about the vehicle than the inquirer at a bare minumum. Your BDC should be able to put their hand on every vehicle.
 

Chris Vitale

Full Sticker
Jul 7, 2016
65
81
First Name
Chris
I couldn't disagree more strongly about farmimg out your BDC. I have, as an experiment and data gathering excercise, contacted dozens of dealers's websites and reached the VBDC. It's always the same. They do not answer the questions presented and insted they mine for personnal information and offer a sales person to call you back. When a client inquires about a vehicle, the dealer's representative should know more about the vehicle than the inquirer at a bare minumum. Your BDC should be able to put their hand on every vehicle.
I disagree with most automotive vendors and “consultants” in general as the modern day manager that’s educated, skilled and takes his career seriously should be able to handle 75% of what they’re paying others for. But, human nature is what it is and thus, outsourcing makes supreme sense because the proof of ability is results.

However, as you point out, questions aren’t being answered, processes aren’t being followed and the quality of the engagement is getting worse. While it’s not scalable to “touch” every car for every single lead or phone up, there’s not much an in-house person can do that a virtual agent cannot when it comes to handling 80% of the inbound phone calls.

There are so many people that spew about giving away everything over the phone and over the web that they really don’t put what they’re suggesting into practice. The reason is they’re either a talking head or they realized it doesn’t work but justify pitching it as “it doesn’t work in my business but in the dealership it does.” Again, garbage.

I believe in total transparency and being entirely accommodating but if anyone spends 30 minutes or more on customer calls that haven’t previously purchased or aren’t investing the time to demo the vehicle properly then they’ll be spinning while the real sales pros are closing car deals.

A Virtual BDC focused on the inbound sales calls are setting double the number of appointments than the in-house average and have better show and buy rates. But if they have the very same show and buy rates, double is still double so 50% of double is still way better than the current option in most situations.

“Should” a dealership be able to handle phones correctly, yep. “Do” dealerships handle phones correctly, nope.
 

rickyfay

Lot Lizard
Aug 6, 2020
34
9
Awards
1
First Name
Ricky
I disagree with most automotive vendors and “consultants” in general as the modern day manager that’s educated, skilled and takes his career seriously should be able to handle 75% of what they’re paying others for. But, human nature is what it is and thus, outsourcing makes supreme sense because the proof of ability is results.

However, as you point out, questions aren’t being answered, processes aren’t being followed and the quality of the engagement is getting worse. While it’s not scalable to “touch” every car for every single lead or phone up, there’s not much an in-house person can do that a virtual agent cannot when it comes to handling 80% of the inbound phone calls.

There are so many people that spew about giving away everything over the phone and over the web that they really don’t put what they’re suggesting into practice. The reason is they’re either a talking head or they realized it doesn’t work but justify pitching it as “it doesn’t work in my business but in the dealership it does.” Again, garbage.

I believe in total transparency and being entirely accommodating but if anyone spends 30 minutes or more on customer calls that haven’t previously purchased or aren’t investing the time to demo the vehicle properly then they’ll be spinning while the real sales pros are closing car deals.

A Virtual BDC focused on the inbound sales calls are setting double the number of appointments than the in-house average and have better show and buy rates. But if they have the very same show and buy rates, double is still double so 50% of double is still way better than the current option in most situations.

“Should” a dealership be able to handle phones correctly, yep. “Do” dealerships handle phones correctly, nope.
I handled every used car BDC lead with email, text and phone calls. The number one question was always "Is this vehicle available?". The only way to answer this question is to physically put your hand on it. I'm confused as to why you say this is not scalable? I sold 17% of incomming inquiries over a nine year period while also managing inventory, vendors, detail shops and taking, posting, adding overlays and taking all pics and 360 spins of all used vehicles. We carried 70 used vehicles and sold 60 of them every month in a very competitive Detroit area market.
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
3,123
1,923
Awards
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Alex
I handled every used car BDC lead with email, text and phone calls. The number one question was always "Is this vehicle available?". The only way to answer this question is to physically put your hand on it. I'm confused as to why you say this is not scalable? I sold 17% of incomming inquiries over a nine year period while also managing inventory, vendors, detail shops and taking, posting, adding overlays and taking all pics and 360 spins of all used vehicles. We carried 70 used vehicles and sold 60 of them every month in a very competitive Detroit area market.

I too believed most dealers were capable of doing the things we pulled-off during my Checkered Flag Auto Group days. 10 years later, I have been proven wrong.

@Chris Vitale also has extensive dealership experience and his heart in the same place yours and mine is, Ricky. We all want to provide the best advice to the people reading our posts. However, I agree with him on this one.

All I can tell you is it takes a while to distance yourself from your own experiences… and to look back and punch holes in those experiences too.
 

Libbbe

Boss
Feb 8, 2021
3
1
Awards
1
First Name
Liz
Too often dealers struggle to hire, train and keep an inhouse BDC/Call Center moving forward. Unless you have someone at the dealership that truly manage and keep up with continuous training of their in-house agents, I say outsource. BUT outsource it to the right vendor. What makes a great call center vendor/service for dealership? That's a great question!
Hello! My dealership is very interested in trying an outsourced BDC in some capacity. We use Gubagoo for chats and they really are so awesome. Too bad they don't offer phone calls too! I see you've interviewed AllCall but is there anyone else you can refer me to? I'd like to check out more than 1 vendor. I checked Eleads but they prefer their CRM. I'd like to stay with VinSolutions. Thanks in advance. Liz:hey:
 

rickyfay

Lot Lizard
Aug 6, 2020
34
9
Awards
1
First Name
Ricky
I too believed most dealers were capable of doing the things we pulled-off during my Checkered Flag Auto Group days. 10 years later, I have been proven wrong.

@Chris Vitale also has extensive dealership experience and his heart in the same place yours and mine is, Ricky. We all want to provide the best advice to the people reading our posts. However, I agree with him on this one.

All I can tell you is it takes a while to distance yourself from your own experiences… and to look back and punch holes in those experiences too.
If you farm out your BDC you are letting a 3rd party determine your results. I can't comprehend not being in control of ALL of my dealership's contact with my clients.
 

Libbbe

Boss
Feb 8, 2021
3
1
Awards
1
First Name
Liz
Yes, very true. I'm loving Gubagoo right now handling our chat and they have a great dashboard to track performance. So as far as outsourcing, I'm liking the performance. But I get your point.
 

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
373
349
Awards
1
First Name
Christian
Yes, very true. I'm loving Gubagoo right now handling our chat and they have a great dashboard to track performance. So as far as outsourcing, I'm liking the performance. But I get your point.

I took over a complex to run the BDC, before I got there, they outsourced to eLeads' vBDC - I walked in to 0 pipeline, as the vBDC "process" was to hammer people with templates, and burn them out. Made it easy for me to get a team of green peas to shine in comparison.
 

Christine Plunkett

Full Sticker
May 27, 2010
48
75
First Name
Christine
Soo.. I ran a central BDC with as many as 9 agents and as few as 3 covering 11 brands out of 7 rooftops. Hiring, training, and consistently motivating people in a call center environment is FRIKIN tough. Our department was called a band-aid by some, and non-essential.. so occasionally the stores would "take back" their leads and try it themselves.. Haha. Turns out we were more like a tourniquet and very much essential for one crucial reason: CONSISTENCY. It's a monotonous job at times that requires a unique personality type - and a manager MUST be all up in the mix - all day, every day - to make it successful. Every lead gets calls, emails, etc. AS SCHEDULED. No skipping tasks, no dodging calls.. every lead must be worked properly.

Flash forward, I now talk to dealers all over the country who struggle with the same issues, the team "can't" or "won't" follow the correct lead response steps. There is a stronger demand for virtual BDC since dealers have reduced staff after COVID hit.

It is about connecting car dealers with hot leads. We assume every lead wants to know at least 2 things - Is the vehicle available? and How much will it cost me? Answer both - follow up - sell more cars. Simple.

I'm not soliciting on DealerRefresh, but I'd be happy to talk to you more about it in a private message or offline.