It is hard to manage a service BDC. Managing one successfully requires a ton of small victories to run the BDC profitably. Staffing the BDC has always been challenging. Labor shortages put a ton of upward wage pressure on you, which causes the average cost of a contact to rise. It’s always been a challenge running a BDC; now, with increasing labor costs, knowing your metrics or numbers is even more important.
A lot of BDCs can barely get to any outbound calls. It’s vital to grow your customer pay business since warranty and internal pay work is done. The best way to do this is to proactively contact your database when they are due. If your BDC is fully staffed, your agents should take 70 inbound calls and make at least 140 outbound attempts daily. Try to keep this number up. Reaching these levels can result in 80 outbound appointments per week per agent.
How are you managing the business that your customers are trying to give you? This is a tough one. You will never have a zero % drop rate. At some point every day, more people will call in than you have agents. A 6-9% drop rate will mean you are getting to the calls you mathematically can. The ones you miss, you should call back.
70% of people calling your service BDC are looking for help. Most of them want an appointment. Do you have processes to call back the people you missed? It is estimated that 70% of people you don’t help go elsewhere. If you miss 50 calls a day and don’t call them back, this is potentially 15 service appointments missed. Getting this rate to 100% is somewhat a function of staffing levels. You should measure this rate and try to make it perfect.
How efficient are you with your dials? We see stores with a contact rate of 35%. We also see stores around 20%. If you are closer to the latter, look for a service such as Dealer Identity to white label your numbers with the carriers to ensure they aren’t labeled as “potential spam.” On top of that, some other basics include leaving cheerful voicemails, so customers are more willing to pick up the next time and make calls only in appropriate calling windows.
A good BDC will convert 9-12% of its service retention campaign calls. Watch this rate closely. If you are below it, go back to the basics. Listen to agent calls, scrutinize scripts, and start doing daily training. Start the day with 5 minutes of training for your agents, and you’ll see your conversion rate increase. Make sure you train the agents to leave thoughtful, sunny voicemails. We’ve seen voicemails up the conversion rate even if the agent never conversed with the customer.
Inbound conversion rates will vary for different stores since the duties can vary. Some BDCs act as receptionists, and others handle status checks. Some BDCs only take appointment calls. The conversion rate is affected by what calls are being answered. Set a baseline for your store and continually measure it. This rate needs to stay constant or rise to run your BDC profitability.
How much time are your agents on the phone during the day? Good BDCs keep this level above 75%. Some excellent ones have agents who are 90% efficient. Unfortunately, many BDC agents only spend about 40% of their day on the phone; this will cost you a ton of missed productivity, and will hit the bottom line hard.
Missed appointments happen. Your show rate will never be 100%. If your show rate is below 75-80%, you must devise a plan to determine why. Listen to calls. Are these legitimate appointments? Having missed appointments doesn’t mean the agent was dishonest. It could be that they just weren’t as specific as they should have been on the phone. Are you confirming all appointments before their date? If not, this will cost you dearly. Not only are your technicians wasting time with no-shows, but the time slots first scheduled are the prime spots. Someone would have filled them. Besides instituting a confirmation campaign, make sure you call the missed appointments. Most of them simply forget and will reschedule – especially at a time when service appointments are taking longer than expected.
How many inbound calls are your agents not answering during the day? A couple a day is normal. There are times when an agent will walk away from the phone without logging out. Sometimes other tasks or people need their attention. But if the number is more than a couple, you have a problem. Not only is this putting extra pressure on your other agents, the customer will be on hold for an average of 9 more seconds which will aggravate them.
How many times a week are your customers calling and you are not able to find a time that works for them? This can be because of a shop capacity problem, a labor shortage or the BDC restricted on filling up the schedule because of service advisor restraints. I recently saw a store who made 6300 outbound calls in a week. They had 35 “no availability” calls. Perfect. I’ve also seen stores in the 300 range. This needs some evaluation.
These are the top 10 key metrics for a successful service BDC. Once you start tracking and measuring your numbers, you will grow your service through your BDC. Having the right automotive BDC software will help you get there quicker. Reach out to volie.com to learn more.