It won’t be news to anyone who runs an auto dealership business that sometimes, interdepartmental relationships can be tricky and competitive. (You may even classify them as a “terrible headache.”) Fixed and variable ops can go toe-to-toe. Sales and DMV don’t always get along. Sometimes, sales and the business development center (BDC) don’t always see eye-to-eye. While it’s important for every department to be working toward the same goals and cooperating, there is one place it’s extra critical for everyone to be on the same page: marketing and BDC.
It’s About the Customer Experience
If there are two department that need to always work in congress, it’s your marketing department and your BDC. After all, the BDC is on the front lines of customer interaction, right at the point of inquiry when customers reach out to you. What is more important that knowing where those customers are coming from and why they’re calling? If you don’t, how are you going to market to them effectively?
It’s About Tracking Marketing and Customer Support Functions
Everything that your marketing department does needs to be tracked. Without proper tracking and analysis, how would you know if your efforts are working? Proper tracking, however, means that your marketing department needs to share everything that is going on with the BDC. The BDC needs to have advance copies of any direct mail pieces that are going out, since they’ll be the ones answering direct customer inquiries. The marketing department needs to share monthly lease specials that are being advertised on the website and on Google with the BDC. The BDC should also know in advance of any radio or TV stations the dealership is advertising on, so that they can properly track incoming phone calls and associate them with the right marketing campaign.
It’s About Not Having to Make Guesses
How often does a customer call in and say, “I got this thing in the mail from you” and the BDC must make an educated guess as to what the customer is looking at? Or “I heard about your $99 lease specials on the radio, do you still have that?” when in reality, the customer was talking about a commercial for another dealership. If your BDC was truly in the loop about all your marketing and advertising efforts, they would know immediately that it wasn’t your radio commercial, and they would be able to tell which direct mail piece the customers were calling about. They could anticipate customer questions and answer them with educated responses.
Communication is Vital
Communication is key between these two departments. Not only is it the responsibly of your marketing department to keep the BDC informed regarding all your advertising, it’s the BDC’s responsibility to share feedback with the marketing department. Who knows better what drives traffic than the BDC? (It would be helpful to know whether a campaign is enthusing customers…or confusing them.) BDC employees need to share all the information with your marketing department at least twice a month. If you’re considering cutting an advertising source, a third-party site, a direct mail company or a digital campaign, the BDC should always be part of the decision-making process, since it can offer some deep insight.
BDC + Marketing = Actionable Insight
The BDC and the marketing department together have most of the information necessary to determine what works and what doesn’t work in terms of advertising. There are, of course, many other factors that can help the decision-making process like proper use of the CRM and conferencing with the sales managers for feedback as well. A good operating procedure is for your BDC and marketing departments to work together with a common goal in mind and have a digital platform on which they can share and track relevant information.
If your dealership doesn’t currently have a process in place for the marketing department and BDC departments to share information, you’re missing out on the proper tracking and assessment of advertising. You may also be wasting quite a lot of your marketing efforts, and missing significant sales opportunities.