Does Your Dealership Foster a Customer Care Culture?
Many car dealerships struggle to get the entire team to realize and respect the role and value of a Business Development Center (BDC). The BDC accomplishes many important tasks for the dealership. They are often the first impression that a prospective customer has of the store; and their primary function is to drive traffic, for the sales department and/or the service department. They sell the value of doing business with the dealership in any and all respects. They establish rapport and set appointments to get the customer through your door.
The BDC is very successful at driving traffic, and it is the result of their dedication to daily, consistent effort, coaching, and execution of best practices and processes that have been proven successful. The BDC has a Customer Care Culture that they work very hard to maintain.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could create and maintain the same Customer Care Culture to your entire dealership? It doesn’t have to be difficult, and it pays off with increased showroom and service department traffic generated by both the BDC and the entire staff, both first visits, be-backs, and referrals. It would also result in higher CSI scores in Sales and Service, and an overall customer service experience to be rivaled by other dealerships. Here are the steps you can take toward fostering a Customer Care Culture within your dealership:
Cross train BDC skills to other departments
- Monitor activity and tasks the BDC performs.
- Observe how their activities differ and complement the sales department activities.
- Listen to call guides used to sell and confirm appointments and follow up on missed appointments.
Not only will the salesperson or staff member start out with a great understanding and positive view of the BDC, but he or she may pick up some new phone skills that will help with their own follow up or customer interaction. Additionally, even the most tenured variable operations employees can benefit from an hour or two of working leads in the BDC on a regular cycle.
Share all promotion details with the entire store
Each and every promotion for sales or service should be known by all who take incoming or make outgoing calls. If a customer asks a question regarding a promotion for the store, they should be able to get an answer. This doesn’t mean that they have to be able to recite each and every detail that the promotion has. It simply means that, if a customer calls and a general question is asked about a promotion the person answering the call can acknowledge the promotion and transfer to the appropriate party. This is easier to do than you think. At the end of the month, simply type up the basics of each promotion on a document and distribute to all department heads to cover with their teams.
Invite your BDC staff to a weekly sales meeting
They don’t have to attend the entire meeting. Just bring them in for a short period to encourage, motivate, and let both teams interact together. Allow questions about promotions or processes to be answered or resolved. Make sure both teams are customer focused.
Host a monthly lunch meeting for the entire dealership staff
Great customer care begins with ensuring your staff is excited and motivated to serve your customers. Some things to do to encourage both a level of excitement and motivate include:
- Announce and acknowledge referrals
- Announce employee anniversaries and birthdays
- Award Employee of the Month programs (customer oriented based programs)
Encourage all employees to make suggestions to improve the customer experience
This could be anything from an email template or BDC practice, to an idea for service customers waiting for their vehicles. No limits on suggestions. Then implement as many as make sense for your dealership. Once your staff realizes that their ideas matter they will take more ownership and pride in their performance and the store.
Make public announcements
Remember, in high school, when the Principal or other staff member made announcements over the public address system? Have a staff member do the same in the dealership. Things to announce might include:
- A motivational phrase to start the day
- Special events
- Announcing a new customer taking delivery of a vehicle
- An employee anniversary, birthday, or other milestone or achievement.
- Employee of the Month
- Dealership awards and accolades
Adapting to this company culture not only encourages and motivates your entire team to work together to deliver the best customer service experience for your customers, but also fosters a positive work environment for your team members. What can you do to increase the number of people working toward a common goal? The results of your efforts will be rewarding for all. Embark on your journey today.