By JoAnn Bedenbaugh, Sales Director, Voile
Marketing and lead-generating activities take tons of time and money. Unless you automate them. Marketing automation can increase sales by as much as 33%, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review.
Chalk those results up to the fact that automation allows BDC agents to make more calls in less time, send targeted campaigns to thousands of recipients in seconds, easily access customer data, and instantly retrieve campaign analysis. Ultimately, generating more leads and doing more of what makes you money.
Ad hoc phone calls, individual emails, call lists, and sticky notes are the way of the past. So is relying on your CRM. Using your CRM to pull records, monitor tasks, and click to make phone calls, is a fatal mistake that will never get you the productivity and results you can expect from a truly automated contact management system.
With a system that manages campaigns, customer data, and communication types in one platform, you can easily automate these essential BDC activities:
Deciding who to call next
Agents can waste countless hours rummaging through your CRM or peering at spreadsheets trying to decide who to call next. Automation erases all of that guesswork and dramatically improves productivity. You set call and campaign priority, and an agent’s screen automatically populates with who to call next.
Placing outbound calls
Click-to-call functionality within your CRM is inefficient and hard to monitor. Are your agents consistently making call after call or are they taking their time with plenty of breaks between clicks? A system with a dialer that automatically calls the next number erases that downtime and significantly increases agent productivity. An agent making 60 to 80 outbound calls a day with click-to-call can jump to as many as 300 calls a day with an automatic dialer. That’s productivity you can take to the bank!
Finding customer information
Having a customer’s information and history readily available on the agent’s screen when a call comes in saves time and makes for a better customer experience. The right platform will automatically verify a customer’s identity and track that customer through multiple data point changes and campaigns.
Blending inbound and outbound calling
Your agents should handle both inbound and outbound calls, but how do you know what they’re prioritizing? The right platform blends the calls so inbound calls take priority. The system automatically routes these calls to an available agent so customers never get caught in an endless hold loop or sent to a voicemail box.
Nothing ticks off a customer more than too many follow-up calls, emails, or texts. Customers who feel harassed will not want to visit your dealership. Automated follow-up allows you to set rules so that agents contact customers appropriately according to your prescribed cadence.
Automation also allows you to trickle down information to prospects based on who they are, what they like, and how they found your dealership to begin with. This allows you to engage with them on their terms so they’ll want to do business with you.
Tracking conversion rate
It’s nearly impossible to track campaign conversion rates within your CRM, so many dealers don’t do it. But how do you know if your BDC is profitable if you can’t measure results? An automated system will automatically track conversion rates so you know what type of marketing campaign is working best for your business and what type is not. This allows you to make informed decisions and expand those efforts that make you money.
An automated system will also track agent performance according to the metrics that matter to you. This can include contact rate and effective rate, meaning the connection motivated the customer to act in the way you wanted. Tracking performance is key to accurately award the commissions and bonuses that help you retain good BDC managers and agents.
Don’t make the mistake of sticking to manual processes in your BDC. Automating essential BDC activities saves you time and money and effectively grows your business. It’s the key to a well-oiled department that will increase revenue and customer satisfaction.
About the Author
JoAnn Bedenbaugh has created call centers for over a dozen of the automotive industry’s biggest players.