By JoAnn Bedenbaugh, Sales Director, Volie
You walk through your BDC and things are humming. There’s activity at every desk and every agent seems to be engaged. You’re pleased.
Then you return to your office and realize you have no way to measure what your BDC agents are actually doing. How many calls did they make today? How many customers did they talk with? How many calls did not get made? How many calls converted into appointments?
Just because your agents look busy doesn’t mean they’re bearing good fruit. If you’re a dealer with a centralized BDC – or a dealer thinking about establishing one – you must have software to monitor and measure your agents and their activities. Otherwise, you’re spending money every month with no way to account for performance and what activities are actually making you money.
If your agents are using desk phones, spreadsheets, and your CRM to contact customers and run campaigns, there is no way to gain true visibility into agent activities and the customer experience. Consider these facts:
- BDC agents using desk phones must decide who to call next and then manually enter the phone number. This is time-intensive and there are no checks and balances to ensure an agent is calling the list you provided.
- Desk phones are not tracked to tell you when an agent is actively working and when they’re killing productivity by rummaging through your CRM for an hour deciding who to call next.
- Desk phones don’t immediately display for agents details about the caller so they can give returning customers a personalized experience.
- Desk phones don’t automatically record calls for training and quality purposes.
- Desk phones don’t seamlessly tie into your CRM for complete customer records.
You invested in your agents and in the BDC model. But without the proper tools, you’re limiting their success, the customer experience, and your bottom line. What are the remedies?
Implement a contact management system
Systems on the market today turn your BDC into a true call center with an automated dialer that eliminates manual tasks, real-time reporting, and visibility into every aspect of your operation. And it’s not just the phone. The best systems give a holistic view of text and email activity to seamlessly manage every customer touchpoint so your managers know when to jump in and help.
Track and measure employee engagement.
Working in a call center answering phones and reaching out to customers all day is not an easy job. It’s no wonder the average turnover rate is 30 to 40 percent. Investing in employee training and keeping a close eye on employee engagement is a great way to avoid burnout. A system that tracks how an agent is performing can alert you to training opportunities before the agent becomes demoralized and quits. Proper training also leads to more success, which leads to bonuses, which leads to happier employees who want to work for you.
Set benchmarks for success.
The abilility to track all activity allows you to set benchmarks that matter to your dealership. For example, you can measure customer loyalty by tracking how many buyers are coming back for service. Or track conversion rate to know for a fact which type of marketing campaigns are working best for your business. Or track CP dollars based on customer show rate. When you know your benchmarks and can track milestones you can implement the right processes to get your business where you want it to be.
It’s time to hang up those desk phones and invest in software to help you measure what matters. After all, you’ve invested in your agents. That cost will pay off in higher ROI only if you give them the tools and training to be successful.
About the Author
JoAnn Bedenbaugh has created call centers for over a dozen of the automotive industry’s biggest players.