Connected cars are generating new lists of prospects: customers whose cars are telling them they need a service. You’ve likely received what we’re calling an “OEM Action List” of these customers from your manufacturer. Prompt follow-up with the right message can net you new business and loyal customers – especially important today when the average length of car ownership is nearly 12 years.


I can hear you saying, “My service advisors are already swamped. How am I going to get them to cold call a galley list?” You’re not. Instead, put one or two service BDC reps on the job. The latest call center technology makes it a snap to contact customers through the right channel at the right cadence. And, unlike older systems that seem to require an Act of Congress to upload a list from a third party, today’s technology takes only seconds to import names and contact information.


Automation is key to get the best results from working your action list. It’s the only way for agents to make more calls in less time, send targeted campaigns to hundreds of recipients, easily access customer data, and retrieve campaign analysis. You’ll never know if your BDC is profitable if you don’t have the ability to measure campaign results and track agent performance.


I see way too many BDC agents relying on call lists, sticky notes, and Excel spreadsheets. This process is inefficient and nearly impossible to track who was contacted and when. Tracking and automated follow-up according to your preferred cadence is crucial because the last thing you want is to annoy customers with too many communications. Contact a customer more than three times in a 24-hour period, and you’re practically guaranteeing they will never do business with you.


I also see too many agents relying on a CRM. It seems like a good idea, but when agents have to pull records, click to make phone calls, and manually enter notes, the entire process slows down. You also have very little visibility into what they are doing day to day. An agent can waste hours rummaging through the CRM trying to decide who to call next. I’ve even seen agents go rouge and ignore action lists in favor of “easier” communications like birthday emails. That’s not going to make you more money.


It kills me to hear a dealer or manager say, “It’s a great idea, but I can’t get my team to follow my processes.” The right technology forces employees to follow the process. Technology that automatically calls the next customer on the list, schedules follow-up, records conversations, and tracks the performance of each agent, will very quickly reveal who’s doing their job and following your process and who’s not. Agents can’t argue with hard numbers. 


Of course, you need to set them up for success with appropriate scripts that address why a connected car communicated back to the OEM and how your service department can help. Take a conversational approach and offer a compelling incentive, such as a free oil change, when they come in to purchase new tires, for example.


 Action lists can be a great source of service revenue – when customers are contacted with the right message at the right time. Let your service advisors address and up-sell customers in your shop, and turn over outbound calling to a service BDC. With the right call center technology and processes you can turn OEM leads into loyal service customers.


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