A front-page article in this week’s Automotive News asks the provocative question about business develop centers at dealers also known as call centers – “Is the dealership sales call center obsolete?”
I can’t answer this question since each dealership is different and the call center is clearly working well for Rick Case. I want to highlight a point made in this article that relates to a post I wrote a few weeks ago.
The point I make is the internet is becoming too important to isolate a team responsible for handling customers that come through this channel versus those that don’t. Long gone are the days when you can have one internet rep in the back office of the dealership handling internet customers. These days every customer is an internet customer and every sales rep in the dealership should be an internet rep. This also means the internet reps need to be students of the industry and know the trends of shoppers which we’ve discussed here.
The reason that some dealerships are folding their call centers is because the amount of work placed on a fraction of the sales team was becoming too much to handle. Jennifer Boland, an auto sales expert is quoted as saying that “an average of eight calls is needed to reach an Internet lead. Some require more than 20.” The job of someone in a call center has evolved into the responsibility of every sales rep.
This is why I wrote a few weeks ago I wrote this post about the quality of an internet lead is becoming much more important than quantity. If dealerships factor in the cost of wages that it takes to work all of their leads, the ROI calculation changes significantly.
Some dealerships are responding to the tsunamai of internet activity by integrating the BDC with the rest of the sales team. Others are weeding out low quality lead providers. Whatever the solution, it’s clear that dealerships have to react to the times and the ones that are doing so are thriving.
Written by Turner Parlin
Photo source: BLUSOLUTIONS