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Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog

BDC Bad Habits: Automation and Templates

Written By: Jessica Kain
Posted on April 21, 2016

I am lucky enough to spend each week traveling across the United States helping dealers improve their internet operation and, therefore, their overall success.

Prior to each of my visits, I analyze the current processes and communication tactics leveraged by each dealership. After years of review, I’ve discovered an eye-opening truth: Unfortunately, no matter the market, unique background or size of the store, they all seem to share the same bad habits!

Over the next few months, I’m going to review these “BDC Bad Habits.” Keep an eye on the NCM blog to learn what common BDC tactics you should avoid—and why you should replace them—to improve your internet sales department!

Automation is great, but it can’t succeed on its own

Automation and templates can be great tools for small businesses. In fact, they’ve been so successful for the automotive industry, that we’ve become extremely dependent on them.

So, what’s the problem? Well, this trend becomes a bad habit when you pair it with the automotive industry’s rarely changing processes. Unless your templates and automated marketing address current customer needs and pain points, it’s not going to help you close sales. And, if your messaging is too far off the mark, it can be a recipe for low close rates, ROI, and morale.

Four steps to fix the automation BDC bad habit

Knowing how to repair the automation problem can sometimes be the most confusing part. Here’s what I recommend: We are going into the summer selling season, which means this is the perfect time to do some spring-cleaning!

First, go through your CRM. Clean out any old templates that are not engaging and have reached their expiration date.

Next, replace your first two days of customer follow-up with personalized responses. Personalization is key to standing out from your competition that is sending template after template to fill a follow-up task. The only way to convince someone to come into the store and buy a car is to get a response, so make it a good one. Personal sounds easier than it really is, so make sure your team is equipped to do a good job. Here are some great examples from Hubspot to get you started.

Third: call. I continue to see that we have an overwhelmingly bad habit of not calling the customer and this can play to be extremely dangerous. According to a BIA/Kelsey study, mobile searches will generate 73 billion phone calls in 2018; so phones clearly aren’t dead! In fact, I’d argue that our customers are tired of waiting for us to answer their questions, so they are now reaching out directly. We have to make sure that we are prepared to pick up the phone when that lead hits our system and have a productive conversation with our customer.

Lastly, bring your procedures out of the Dark Ages. If you are not using a proven BDC process, start right now. Every method should be based on 100% task completion but also 100% quality. And you must ensure that your team knows that the process is the connection plan.

Need help breaking your BDC bad habits? Join the NCM Institute for their class, Internet/BDC Operations Management, for even more insights on how you can improve your dealership’s BDC processes and lead generation.

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