What's the ideal appointment system in the shop? Service BDC or no Service BDC?

There are a few points to consider when debating on adding a service BDC. How big is your shop? What are your primary appointments being made? Are your advisors overworked, or can they handle making their own appointments? These are all important things to consider when determining whether a service BDC is right for your shop. 

A large shop should be bringing in much work. That statement alone is enough to merit a service BDC. Even with advisors to match the number of techs so that work is efficient, volume is always something that needs more managing, and a service BDC is an adequate addition to the team. Keeping the advisors moving allows them to focus on their customers in the shop, which in turn should create a better quality of customer service and, thus, more profitable transactions.

Moving on to appointment type. This is crucial because, depending on the appointments being set for the shop, a service BDC may not be as efficient as an advisor taking the call. If a recall or service campaign is in full swing like that of the Takata Air Bag Recall, it may be most efficient to have the advisors making and taking those appointments. This is based on their knowledge of the workflow, capabilities of their technicians, and parts availability. This can all change based on the other active or inactive campaigns, and advisors need a little more control. However, if the shop isn’t experiencing that, then again, a service BDC should be a great addition to the team. This can also be mitigated by implementing well-trained and informed employees in any case. So, let’s not count out a service BDC based on this argument alone. It really all comes down to communication between the department and the BDC standards in the end.

Are the advisors overworked? We all know what a burned-out advisor looks like. It is a fine dance a service manager must perform to keep techs and advisors happy. There is never a perfect scenario in the shop, and everyone always thinks they can do it better. There will always be people who need more work and some who should focus on less. But ensuring a team culture in the shop should help reduce some of the stress an advisor has during the day. Making sure the lane is fully staffed is also a great way to manage that (in theory). However, a service BDC is a great way to funnel calls away from the advisors so that they can focus on their current customer base, not only waiters but also those drop-off appointments. A focused advisor can always turn more cars through a shop with eager technicians. When a tech sits on their box waiting for an answer on a job, the shop comes to a halt. A grumpy tech can break even the most seasoned advisor if they are acting like a stubborn mule.

Overall, what we’re getting at is that customers will always benefit from a well-staffed service BDC. By well-staffed, we mean staff with common sense who are willing to learn along the way, striving to serve your customer base. We cannot continue to hire based on whether someone has a pulse or not. Creating a culture of hard-working individuals and holding them to your standard of service will be the make or break of any department. A well-working service BDC will only ever be an asset to your department and your customers in the long run.

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