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Call Center Best Practices Survey...

Prepping for a presentation on Call Center best practices and found a few questions that there are varied performance metrics measured...hoping to get some input from you Call Center/eCommerce Directors that may want to share.

1) How important is the 'empowerment' of the "BDC Director"? Especially with regard to input into the Floor Sales Process... what areas of opportunity lie in the "handoff" from phone to floor in terms of consistent experience for the customer?

2) Is it better to bonus the Call Handler for the show and the buy, or pay more and bonus just the 'buy'

3) How important is the 'confirmation process' to the show?

4) Who is best to make the confirmation call? Sales Manager, Sales Rep., Call Center Rep or other?

5) Please comment on your CRM adherence on both sides--Call Center and Floor Process... how have you brought success to total CRM data entry.....and

6) What is the best practice for no show and unsold follow up... Sales Rep, Sales Manager, Call Center?

Eager to get your thoughts!



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Tags: Ad, BDC, Call, Leak, Performance, Profit, Tracking, automotive, call, center, More…measurement, phone, skill, training


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Comment by Beth Hoover on August 28, 2012 at 12:51pm

Chip, I'm not sure where these statistics are coming from, but I will tell you from experience, 80% of appointments set take quite a bit of work as most callers have already done the research and are calling to confirm whether it's a scheme or something false advertised.  On the "do you have" callers, they still want to negotiate price to the point where sometimes an appointment might not get set based on unrealistic expectations... for example, a  car is advertised at $12,900 and the caller calls with their offer of $11,500 out the door.  I would say with all the information available to consumers on the web these days, they believe that there is more of a mark up in new and pre-owned cars than is possible.  A lot of customers are looking for a unicorn.  Most times, even relaying to the customer that "rather than spend time calling around and negotiating to bare bones over a vehicle you haven't even seen, or test driven, consider the fact that you're going to have more leverage once here with cash/financing in hand ready to buy than you will going back and forth on the phone."  So many customers want to do all the work from beginning to end over the internet or sitting on their phone looking at inventory on the mobile site, rather than getting in their car and visiting a store, dealing with salespeople, a TO or the financing process of packages, etc.  I would say I have had a handful of customers call to get an appointment, without first trying to get the best price before they arrive.

Regarding scripts, there are different types for different customers and their needs, and they do change sometimes from day to day.  As the market changes, so do the customers and their knowledge, which challenges the dealership.  There are definitely questions we asked that helped secure appointments and avoid the haggling, but this is a big part of the call in and internet lead process.

Comment by Chip King on August 28, 2012 at 12:04pm

Stan-thanks as always! Agreed--the Confirmation Process is the common denominator for the top performers... the 'who' seems to be store specific, but in general it seems the Sales Managers are too busy to rely on them for 100% adherence, and the Sales Team is consistent with it to the degree that they are consistent with Calls entered and owned in CRM.

Comment by Chip King on August 28, 2012 at 11:57am

Thanks Beth--good stuff!

Interesting note on item 2, in our measurements some stores have more than half of the callers ask for an appointment after verifying that the promotion they saw was true (lease pay't, etc) and some stores have 80% "Do you have?" and "Best Price" calls and the appointment setting is requires much more effort and adherence to the 'road map'....seems related to the style and consistency of the promotions. In the store that Stan mentions in his response, they have stuck with the same promotion for over a year, written a number of scripts around it and tested them till they got down to the best performer... thoughts?

Comment by Beth Hoover on August 28, 2012 at 11:48am

Based on my experience working as a BDC Manager:


1) Based on trial and error, I found that most customers liked getting walked through the process prior to arrival so they don't arrive expecting to work directly with one of my staff members or myself, from A to Z.  It's important to make it clear that there is a "hand off".  Yes, the goal is to get the appointment, but how many times have appointments shown only to be disappointed because they feel they were brought in under false pretenses with who they would be working with, and this being just the beginning of an untrusted relationship where by public knowledge dealers are considered liars.


2) I think based on the work involved in setting the appointment, there should be a bonus for shows in the BDC department, as well as added incentive for sold.  Very rarely does a customer call to say, "hey, I'd like to come in and see the car."  Rather, they call to negotiate out the door price and avoid coming in at all to avoid pushy salespeople, so the work being done just to get them to show is the most challenging part of the sales process.  Once they arrive, it's the sales department and management's responsibility to close the deal.


3) The confirmation process is very important as most consumers don't stick to appointments unless they know there's a fee attached, like a doctor or dentist appointment.  Reminding a customer that they had been invited to the dealership also changes the dynamic as well... it's not an appointment, it's a visit, and we're looking out for the customers interest.


4) Whoever set the initial appointment, if available, should make the confirmation call. If unavailable, another team member should reach out on behalf, assuming a relationship has been developed.


5) With regard to CRM data entry, it's very crucial that everyone from sales to management knows how to utilize the CRM and understand its importance in the sales and retention process.  The question that always has to be asked is "is this going to help everyone be successful??"... not just the store, but all the salespeople too.  If information is not input or is left out from a transaction, what happens when someone is out for a few days?  How does the company follow up?  What are the next steps?  How does anyone know if there is no trail?


6) For no shows, if a salesperson is already working with the customer and has a relationship with the customer, they should take it upon themselves to follow up and reschedule.  If it is still at the call center level then that staff should take accountability.  Each case will be different as each relationship is different... some customers just want to deal with a manager.  If that's the case, then a manager should make the follow up call.  This isn't about selling cars, it's about customer service and customer retention... relationship building.


Those are my 6 cents.

Comment by Stan Sher on August 28, 2012 at 10:54am

For number 2.  I meant to say the focus should be set on the "show".  My mistake.  Thanks.

Comment by Stan Sher on August 28, 2012 at 10:53am

1. I believe that the sales floor needs to be trained on "The New Road To The Sale" in order to understand how the customer is worked by phone and internet.  They need to utilize modern word tracks and be welcoming to the customer.  They need to use the CRM and read notes to understand what was said and why it was said.  Once they take over the process they need to be in tune with how they were brought in.  This is something that dealerships all over the the country lack and it is the reason why the blame gets put on the BDC.  In fact, when I worked at Teddy Nissan we made it mandatory for the BDC to be involved in sales meetings 1-2 days per week.  The BDC would see what the sales floor is doing and how their process works while the sales floor would see how the BDC process works.  As soon as everyone was on the same page, we started selling more cars.

2. I believe that the show and buy are both good bonuses.  However, the focus needs to be on the "buy" where the "sold" need to be an added bonus just for doing a good job.  The emphasis needs to be on the show though.

3. The confirmation process is key.  Appointments setup before 12pm, need to be confirmed the night before.  Appointments setup for 12pm and after need to be confirmed every hour on the hour as soon as they are scheduled for that day.

4. The best confirmation call comes from the BDC Manager or another BDC rep to show a second a face.  Sometimes the customer will say something different to a different person and that information needs to be documented in the CRM.

5. CRM adherence comes from everyone in the dealership being trained and using it the right way 100% of the time.  Since that is difficult, it is important that the BDC Manager or another expert in the CRM be employed to constantly monitor data entry and status updates.  The CRM needs to be manipulated constantly to fix errors made by the showroom and sales managers.  The bottom line is that if it is not manipulated then the data will be wrong and reporting will be wrong.  I talk about this in this article (

6. No show appointments need to be called within 30 minutes after they are due to arrive.  You will be surprised to find out how often they do show but they are not logged in by the sales floor.  Again, CRM Manipulation.  If customers do not show, resume your follow up process as you would with any lead that you are working until you setup a new appointment or they show.  Unsold follow up needs to be a 5-10 process.  Generally, a customer buys within a few days of visiting a dealership.  I would make it a 5-10 process of effective phone calls and emails and move on.  This process can be from the Call Center and tie in Sales Rep.  Sales Manager needs to focus on desking and closing deals.

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