Our first in an on-going series of Q&A for dealers by eCommerce experts and trainers. Soon to be featured on the upcoming, redesigned DealerKnows website: Joe Webb and Bill Playford will weigh in on your pressing dealership questions.
Our BDC agents set a lot of appointments, but when the Internet customers show up, they keep falling into the wrong salespeople’s hands (or are simply taken away and never introduced to anyone on our Internet team). How do we make sure that they ask for us when they come in?
What? Skating from the Internet department still happens? Say it ain’t so…. J
Great question, Juan, and it is something that many BDC’s struggle with. It comes down to structure, discipline and management. Many of these you have limited control over so I will give you just a few word tracks your team can use to make sure that all of the appointment-setting they do pays off for them.
First off, when setting an appointment, your BDC team needs to do a few things…
1) Ask the customer to write down the name of the Internet sales specialist they are coming into see. (Or, at the very least, a trusted sales manager should be the inbound customer’s point of contact. If all else fails, while it isn’t ideal pulling a BDC agent away from the phone, have them ask for them personally. More on that later.)
2) Tell the customer in a somewhat hushed tone as if it’s important “I’d rather you speak to one of our Product experts that help our Internet customers rather than just a salesperson.” Sounds harsh, but it works like a charm. Now you are making it seem as if the customer has a true advocate at the dealership waiting for them opposed to an adversary.
3) Whenever your BDC team sets an appointment, send out an appointment reminder email with a picture of the Internet team member or sales manager they should ask for when they arrive. Putting a face with the name is imperative and they’ll visualize working with that employee specifically. If the customer has given you permission to text them information, this works even better over text. (RFID tags aren’t prominent or widely used yet, but this will solve everything in the future….stay tuned on that technology.)
4) Let the customer know that to ensure they receive, “not only the best price, but best experience possible, make sure to ask for a member for our Internet team. They’ll come get me so I can personally shake your hand for stopping in.” Now you are guaranteeing, not only a higher level of customer service, but personal attention and adulation as well.
And here’s one more intuitive way to remind people who to ask for when they arrive….
Get a white easel board and put it at the front of the store. (If you have the technology for a digital display, by all means, do that as well. However, it may not grab the attention the way a digital screen/monitor can, but a white easel board will suffice for most dealerships.) At the top of the board, it should say “DEALER NAME wants to thank (Customer’s first initial and last name) for stopping in and working with (Salesperson/Internet Salesperson’s 1st name). At the bottom, it can say – “Let us know when you arrive!” Next to the salesperson’s name, you can have little magnetic pics made of their faces (or icons/pics if using a digital display). When a BDC agent sets an appt, they can either walk down and write it on the board next to the salesperson’s name and pic or enter it into the Appointment calendar online that feeds to the monitor.
Hope this helps.