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Sales growthHave you ever thought of your BDC as the staff of your virtual dealership? Like Flo in the Progressive commercials, real people in a virtual space for the purpose of making it easy for your customers to do business with you.

 In essence, that’s what your BDC agents are; the cheerful and helpful person on the other side of that “Get EPrice” button. He or she is the patient and helpful unseen person operating the keyboard in the chat session. The downright awesome people person answering the phone when the website number is dialed.

When shoppers arrive to your website and are ready to make contact, you can influence the whole customer experience by optimizing your website for that crucial interaction.

The harsh reality is you may not get a second chance at that interaction. If your customer has a bad experience on your site, are they likely to come back? If you have to choose between maybe or probably not, you’re probably not liking your choices.

Let’s start with your home page. I’ll refer to this good old analogy; Macy’s or the Dollar Store? Meaning does your website project a Macy’s feel? Figuratively speaking of course. Not Macy’s website but the feeling you get when you walk in to Macy’s.

I mean did you have to buy every widget known to the industry and put it on your home page. Pop ups, pop outs, sliders, videos, toolbars, chat windows, talking video apps and links to social media coming at you like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Which is exactly what they are trying to avoid by using your website instead of just pulling on your lot.

The most popular website on the planet is Google. Check out Google’s home page and what do you see? A search bar and that’s pretty much it. Google offers hundreds of other features and products but they don’t blast you with everything on the homepage.

From a BDC perspective there are 5 leads that are going to out perform all the rest coming from the website. Some should be on your home pages and others do better when located deeper in the site.

Higher quality interactions lead to more appointments and more walk-ins. Guide customers to the calls to action that have the highest conversion rate. Rev up your BDC sales, improve the customer experience and sell more cars and service with these 5 simple CTA’s.

 1. Your phone number. Have you hit *67 and called the number on the homepage of your website lately? Asked to speak to someone about a car on the website? If the call went straight through to a trained appointment setter with excellent communication skills, positive energy, knowledge of the car and the resources to help the customer with any of the shopping steps that may be in the way of a test-drive, good for you. I don’t mean that sarcastically, I’m proud of you. You are leading the way in transforming our industry one customer at a time. Changing our reputation one ring at a time.

Or did you get put on hold without so much as a “please hold”. Then waited. And waited. Finally someone picks up and you here “Parts, this is Joe”. Ouch.

 It’s OK though. Customers will call back. It’s not like they can just click their mouse button and call the next dealer in their list of 3 to 5 dealers in their shopping scope. OK, that is sarcasm, but for Pete’s sake, answer the phone properly and get off to a great start with your customer.

 I see every ring of the phone as a chance to wow a customer. Just thinkof the impact on your business if every time a customer called your store they hung up and thought, “wow”? How easy would that be to create with the right people, training and accountability?

The phone number on your homepage is a quandary when it comes to mapping the call flow. You have a couple of choices in making this call a great experience for your customer. The number rings to a main operator who screens the caller and only sends bonafide sales calls to the BDC or the BDC is your main switchboard. I prefer the latter. Even if it means locating your operator in the BDC, the smooth flow and handoff of website phone traffic may be the single most important interaction for your business.

 2. Live Chat. You really need Live Chat on your website. Live chat is a powerful communication booster and can drastically improve website conversion. A properly staffed BDC is perfect for chat conversions. Again you have a choice. Dedicated BDC agents to operate live chat or outsource it to the chat provider. At least one chat provider accurately boasts an 80% name, phone number and email capture. This makes the decision easy. You can either achieve those outstanding metrics or you can’t. The key is dedicated chatters, yours or someone else’s.

 3. E-Price. I love the “Get E-Price” button on the vehicle detail pages. It converts which is the only measurement that matters. But converting that lead to an appointment requires you enabling your BDC rep to have a better price or offer than displayed on the VDP. If the car is priced at $19850 and a customer clicks the “Get E-Price” button, fills out the form and waits for your reply, what are they expecting? A lower price for sure.

 So give your BDC something to offer. Maybe a coupon for setting a Priority Appointment or a pricing grid that uses a percentage formula to calculate a lower price the BDC agents can calculate quickly and  provide a speedy response to your customer.

 4. Credit application. The credit app is my favorite electronic lead for a BDC by far. What a buying signal! At AllCall, we get one out of three credit app customers in the door to meet with a financial advisor, establish a line of credit and show them the cars that meet their needs and the banks conditions. You can even take delivery the same day.

 5. Trade Evaluation. The What’s My Trade Worth lead comes in right behind the credit app in the “customer is in transaction mode” category. My advice on trade-in leads is call immediately. The customer needs a hug quickly. Your website just told them their car is not worth what they owe. They need to know it’s not a problem; we help customers in that situation every day. Let’s set up a time to give you a firm cash offer, help you find the perfect replacement vehicle and have a proposal ready in writing that you can easily agree to.

 Your BDC works with leads of all types and sources. But these 5 CTA’s will produce a close rate anywhere from 15% to 30% and you should do everything you can to get your BDC structured, trained and ready to rev up the sales with a BDC optimized website.