In today’s dealerships, BDCs are hobbling around their final lap. They were doomed to fail since they were tasked with overseeing one of the dealership’s most valuable assets with the lowest-paid and least-experienced workers. With little to no training and expertise, dealers have been passing over hundreds of thousands of dollars in leads to BDC departments.

In many businesses, the incredibly valuable asset of in-market car shoppers is squandered when customers desire more information than the BDC can supply before showing up for an appointment. Why do we make it so difficult for people to buy cars? Many BDCs are simply not equipped – and in many cases are not permitted – to give this information to today’s car buyers. In dealerships around the country, the customer engagement center will quickly replace the BDC. The BDC’s time has come to an end. Or did BDCs ever get their own day? BDCs were built with a few of catastrophic defects that made them virtually hard to succeed.


BDC employees are among the least well-trained and paid in the dealership. They are also many clients’ first point of contact and impression of the dealership. Initially, giving customers with minimum information and driving them all to a dealership appointment worked well. Today’s automobile shopper expects more, and most BDCs are unable or unwilling to give payment and other information. The first fatal flaw is this. The BDC pay plan is the second. Employees at the BDC are compensated according on the number of appointments they make. As a result, they make appointments for clients who haven’t had all of their questions addressed and aren’t yet convinced to visit the dealership. This is one of the key reasons why just half of the appointments are kept. It’s easier to agree to a time even if you don’t plan on attending than it is to get a BDC representative to pick up the phone. With an appointment set for a few days, the BDC representative leaves the buyer alone to look at other dealerships. Have you ever phoned a customer who failed to show up for an appointment only to discover that she had purchased a car the day before at another location? The TO from the BDC to the sales department needs to happen early in order to set meaningful appointments that clients will actually keep. The customer engagement center comes into play in this situation.


The CEC’s employees will initiate the initial contact with the consumer and obtain the necessary information. When the customer requests information that only the sales department can supply, such as payments, interest rates, and trade values, the CEC transfers the customer to a salesperson. In this scenario, the consumer is led inside the dealership by a salesperson who has all of the information necessary to persuade the customer to come in. There are inner and outside salesmen in most other firms. All inbound communications and queries are handled by the internal sales reps. Outside salesmen demonstrate products and close sales. Consider CEC representatives to be inside salespeople who filter through all of the prospective possibilities and pass the excellent ones on to outside salespeople to close. Your salespeople would prefer to only engage with clients who are ready to talk about buying a car. Wasn’t this the idea process behind BDCs from the start?


The first step in transforming your BDC to a CEC is to gain buy-in from both the BDC and the salespeople…


Invite them to talk about the optimal customer experience, how to communicate with both departments, and how to get there. You’ll be shocked to learn that after a few minutes of pointing fingers, they’ll actually agree. The BDC/CEC representatives want to gather data and deliver basic information to customers. When the conversation moves on to financial matters, they’ll want to hand it over to sales. What’s more, guess what? The salespeople also want to have control over this phase of the transaction. This is the best time for a TO, according to both groups. Now for the payment schedule. Bonuses for successful TOs and, eventually, delivered units, should be given to your CEC salespeople. Everyone should be striving for the same goal: automobiles burning gas over the curb.


**The customers who are ready to work a car transaction will be sent on to your salespeople by your new CEC reps.


Your salespeople will devote all of their time to customers who are ready to make a purchase.


Your CEC reps and salespeople will be happier, and your customers will be happier as well. **


With this new procedure, your dealership’s customer experience will improve. Every step of the way, from purchase to delivery, your customers will be dealing with the proper person.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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