Sell More Cars with CRM and an Outsource Call Center

Since this month Auto Dealer Monthly focused on BDCs and call centers, I wanted to share with you two very recent success stories: Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Columbus, Ohio, and Allen Cadillac GMC Hyundai in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Both of these dealers have gotten creative in their use of a BDC, call center or combination of both. Hopefully, their method of success will give you some insights into how you can improve your BDC or call center programs.

Jim Loynes, sales and marketing director for Allen Cadillac GMC Hyundai, wanted to see if he could increase sales by developing a highly-targeted lease renewal campaign and sending the leads to an outsourced call center. He was very happy with the results.

“I sent a list of 85 leads to the call center, and we immediately sold three cars to individuals on that list. That’s pretty impressive,” said Loynes. “This was a test for us to see what results we could achieve. Through our CRM, we have automated campaigns already set up for lease returns, but I wanted to see if we could get an additional lift using a call center. Rather than just relying on the sales team to make the calls and get the customers back in, supplementing the calls and e-mails with a call center worked out very well.”

When asked what the best part of the program was, Loynes explained, “The positive feedback from both our sales team and directly from the customers. The customers knew it wasn’t a call from our dealership, they understood that it was a third party calling, yet they were very pleased with the professionalism and detail the call center provided. Our sales team, who was skeptical at first, was also very happy with the outcome. All the notes about the customer were directly put into our CRM and the customers showed up for their scheduled appointments; how can it get easier than that for them to sell a car?”

He plans to continue using the call center for some upcoming campaigns. He says his next campaign will be either another lease renewal campaign or focus on getting people in for service. Either way, he is sure that he now has the sales team and the general manager on his side and is happy he decided to think a little differently and add an outsourced call center to his marketing mix.

For Liz McNeer, BDC manager of four rooftops under the Jack Maxton Chevrolet umbrella, her CRM has made her BDC run like clockwork. “Our CRM has made a tremendous difference. This tool keeps us ahead of the curve. While some other local dealers have gone out of business in this down economy, we have experienced more business than we could have handled a few months ago and have actually expanded.”

Before implementing their CRM, customer tracking was a manual process driven by phone calls, paperwork and lots of interoffice follow up. “Our process before was extremely time-consuming. On every single lead for four locations, our BDC reps would have to make repeated calls to finance managers and sales associates to get the status on a particular customer,” explained McNeer. Their manual process left a lot of room for error and miscommunication. “Sometimes we would ask a salesperson for an update on a particular customer and the salesperson might not even give you back information on the right customer! Everything is streamlined now through our CRM and we can get accurate information on any customer instantly.”

McNeer’s favorite CRM report allow her to see “who is doing what and who is not” and help her “decide who gets leads and who doesn’t.”

After implementing the new CRM program in August 2008, Jack Maxton Chevrolet has seen a tremendous improvement in their sales, marketing and CSI efficiencies. As McNeer put it, “Half the busy work is gone! Our BDC representatives have doubled their efficiency and we have expanded the department.” The BDC is not the only group benefiting from CRM; managers and general managers are using the CRM solution to justify and refine marketing spending and improve salesperson performance. McNeer said, “Everyone all the way up the chain can see who is doing what. We can better track where we are spending our ad dollars and what is working. I pull reports almost every day. Our CRM has really helped us manage and refine both our marketing and sales activities.”

 Vol. 6, Issue 6