IS YOUR BDC AGENT EFFECTIVE? HERE’S HOW TO KNOW AND WHAT TO DO

Now that your Business Development Center is up and running, how can you tell if your BDC agent or team is making the most of your revenue opportunities? The nation’s leading dealerships always bring in a professional training partner on day one because it allows these business machines to be largely self-driving, but that doesn’t mean a GM can fall asleep at the wheel. 

There are two reasons why it’s important for you to have a thorough working knowledge of what makes a BDC agent effective—even if you’re trusting others to run it. First, you’ll need to understand your training partner’s reports and where to look if there’s a problem. And second, these are the details that let you separate a decent auto consultant from an expert!

To ensure you always have your finger on the pulse, we’ve identified the key metrics you need to monitor and the steps to take if they aren’t up to scratch.

APPOINTMENT SET RATE

Your call-to-appointment conversion rate is the single most important KPI every BDC agent needs to help deliver. At a minimum, 50% of inbound calls and 20% of outbound calls need to result in a live, in-person appointment. 

APPOINTMENT SHOW RATE

No matter how hard your BDC agent tries, some folks just won’t keep their appointment. It’s a fact of life. However, if your show rate is below 75%, there are probably performance-related issues that need to be addressed by your training partner. 

CALLS PER DAY

Depending on your market, your team should shoot for around 70 inbound calls a day and twice as many outbound. Inbound calls are more directly tied to appointment rates and sales goals, and outbound calls tend to drive growth. 

DROP RATE

This is the number of calls your team cannot answer because they have more calls than agents to handle them. You never want this number higher than 9%, and even that’s pushing it.

CALLBACK RATE

An ignored missed call is a lost revenue opportunity—plain and simple. If your team isn’t following up on every single one, customers will simply go elsewhere.

TIME ON THE PHONE

BDC agents should be spending about 75% of their day on the phone taking and receiving calls. They send business to every other department, so this number affects everything you do. 

HOW TO FIX THESE ISSUES

Every BCD agent needs ongoing training support no matter how talented they are on the phone. The fact is, automotive sales are always changing, and new updates and tactics will need to be identified, improved, and maintained. 

If your numbers are painting a picture that needs improvement, here’s where to start.

LOW APPOINTMENT SET RATE

Assuming your BDC agent is hitting their “calls per day” and “time on phone” KPIs (70 inbound, 140 outbound calls; 75% of their time on the phone), the most common reason for a low appointment set rate is simple:

A BDC agent forgets to ask. 

It’s an unforced error, but surprisingly common—especially for teams working without scripts. Here are some tips and tactics from Phone Ninjas expert consultant Nicole Marcellino to ensure your appointment set rate stays high.  

If they’re making the ask but not delivering results, then you may need to look at your sales scripts and the training your BDC agent is receiving on them. 

Your scripts need to:

  • Include appointment setting language.
  • Cover common customer questions and concerns.
  • Provide multiple paths to appointment setting.
  • Leave the door open if a customer declines.

TOO MANY NO-SHOWS

It’s one thing to set an appointment, and another to get a customer in the showroom. To make it as easy as possible for a customer to visit, your agents will need to:

These reminder calls aren’t just robotic, either. They are a chance for your team to stay ahead of a few obstacles a customer may face, including:

  • Reminding the customer of the appointment and catching miscommunications.
  • Answering new questions.
  • Verifying directions.
  • Letting them know who their contact will be at the dealership. 

NOT ENOUGH CALLS PER DAY

If your BDC agent isn’t hitting 70 inbound and 140 outbound calls and you can see they’re working hard, it may be a process issue. You can:

  • Structure their job responsibilities to realistically allow them to hit 75%.
  • Edit scripts to be maximally efficient and always driving toward closing.
  • Use a mystery shopper through your training partner to ensure your BDC agent is using the scripts efficiently and provide necessary coaching support.  
  • Replace or upgrade slow/faulty equipment and software.
  • Hire a sufficient number of BDC agents to cover the regular incoming call volume and expected outbound call volume. 

UNANSWERED CALLS

If you are missing more than 6-9% of calls and your BDC agent is hitting other relevant KPIs (calls per day, on-phone time), speak to your BDC manager and training partner. It may be that there is a call volume issue they’re struggling with, or additional training and time management strategies may be required. 

MISSED CALLBACKS

Double-check that your CMR software/company has an appropriate mechanism to alert your BDC agent to missed calls and a process for following up. If they’re overloaded, it may be worth making a strategic decision to prioritize callbacks. 

INEFFICIENT CALL STRATEGIES

One of the best ways to help a BDC agent keep calls efficient is to use mystery shoppers. These training opportunities can highlight pointers that will benefit your entire team, including how to minimize:

  • Inefficient call strategies.
  • Overwritten phone scripts.
  • Inexperience with particular scenarios.
  • Workplace distractions.
  • Technology deficiencies.

In other words, train and monitor your team to ensure an efficient, distraction-free workplace, and give them the training support they need to be successful!

TUNE UP YOUR BDC WITH PHONE NINJAS

At Phone Ninjas, we know how big an impact a well-trained BDC agent can have on your business. We work with top dealerships around the country to ensure that their BDCs are operating at peak efficiency so no revenue opportunity is left on the table.  

Our team delivers industry-leading training strategies that leverage custom phone scripts, active coaching, and in-depth analysis and reporting that accelerate your business past the competition. We tailor our consulting services to match your dealership’s needs and give your people the valuable skills and feedback required to deliver for your bottom line. 

Best of all, we prioritize your time to ensure our work doesn’t distract from your success. Schedule a demo of our services today, and start seeing the appointment rates and sales numbers you need to stay ahead of the pack. 

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