How to utilize your dealership’s service BDC for maximum success

How do you get more people in the service drive to utilize your BDC and increase profits? Is there a solution in today’s climate? On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome back David Lewis, President of David Lewis and Associates and the host of CBT’s Straight Talk, to discuss the service BDC and what he’s recommending for car dealers today. 

A lot of car dealerships have done away with their service BDCs, says Lewis. Many have tried to run BDCs on their own, but not with much success. It’s not that they aren’t knowledgeable or don’t have expertise. They are simply using a retail mentality on a customer that doesn’t want a retail product. People call the dealership for information and to engage with its employees. They want to feel comfortable coming into the sales or service environment.

Related: David Lewis shares best practices to generate sales in the service lane

Data shows that 95% of all customers who need car service come in after calling first to make an appointment. On the surface, those calls are easy to manage. Where things start to get more complex is when customers start to ask more detailed questions.

service departmentYou have to keep these calls away from the service advisor. You also have to move away from quoting prices. The way you drive customers into the dealership is to give them alternatives. Ask the customer why they think they need this service. Once you gather that information, suggest alternatives. Ask them if they could come by the dealership to have the service department take a quick look. If it is a simple fix, make the adjustment for the customer. If it is a more elaborate repair, provide a written estimate and let the customer make the choice.

Let’s go a step further. Service managers might be asking, what do I charge them for a diagnosis in this situation? Lewis says you charge them nothing. You know you can sell the service, the goal here is to get the customer to the dealership. From Lewis’s perspective, 99% of these calls can be handled by the service BDC.

Now is the time to get your fixed ops department in order and functioning properly to not only have a successful 2022 but also a strong 2023.

Lewis will be discussing this and much more at the upcoming NADA Show in Las Vegas. His workshop, Understanding the Service Customer, will be held on Thursday, March 10, from 01:00 pm to 02:00 pm. During this workshop, attendees will hear all about the customer. What their expectations are. What they are looking for. How to service them. How to bring them into the dealership, and many other pressing issues.

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