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Tag Archive: Lindsey Quinn

Lindsey Quinn

Five BDC Trends to Watch in 2017

Business Team Corporate Organization Meeting Concept

In many cases the first contact customers have with your dealership, the BDC is an important part of your business. We’ve reviewed what our experts have written about BDCs this year and identified five critical trends your dealership should watch in the coming year.

1. Increased focus on internet BDCs and digital selling

With more than 90% of new vehicle shoppers investigating their options online, there’s no question that digital strategies will play a major role in BDCs in 2017.

If you haven’t already formulated a digital strategy for your dealership or are uncertain how to get started with internet sales, I recommend you check out the NCM Institute classes Mastering Internet Sales and How to Lead in the Digital Marketplace. Taught by experts from Kain Automotive, each focuses on specific strategies to get your dealership up to speed and gives your dealership the performance metrics it needs to gauge your success.

Already have a solid digital strategy in place? Then it’s time to refine your efforts. Take a look at Lee Michealson’s recommendations for how to properly merchandize online. Next, run your website through Paul Potratz’s “Drunk Person Shopping Test” to see how it performs.

2. Expansion of service BDCs

Whether or not to have a service BDC keeps coming up in NCM Institute classes and 20 Group meetings. And given the increasing importance of the service department in maintaining customer loyalty and identifying sales opportunities, it’s not surprising that so many NCM clients are interested in investing in one.

Here’s what NCM expert, Steve Hall, had to say about service BDCs in a recent #AskNCM video segment:

3. Even more collaboration between BDC and Sales

There are many BDC models you can choose for your dealership. But if your sales and BDC teams don’t work together well, customers will be confused and frustrated.

Alan Ram recommends that you consider sales/BDC as one unified team. Not only does it help your dealership deliver one consistent message to buyers, but it also improves your credibility as a business. Read the full article for more of Alan’s suggestions.

4. Hiring for a better customer experience

We all know that employee retention in our industry is terrible: In fact, dealerships have plummeted to a three-year low with a dismal 45% retention rate. (Most industries, excluding farm work, hover around 67 percent!) And just one-third of sale consultants manage to survive to their three-year anniversary. That’s why we’ve featured article from our content partner Hireology that focus on how you can recruit and retain the best employees.

One huge trend we’re seeing to correct the retention issue is the push to hire employees who are highly skilled—or at least temperamentally suited—for customer service jobs. As competition grows even fiercer, strong soft skills are what will keep clients coming back to your dealership. This approach is so necessary that Hireology even recommends that you consider customer service skills over technical ability when selecting service advisors!

5. Personalized BDC training

Another growing trend we’re seeing are NCM clients who choose to customize training sessions for their dealerships or 20 Group.

Recently, Group 20B5 worked with their moderator, Mark Shackleford, and our NCMi staff to customize a training course that specifically addressed their needs. Taught by Steve Hall, shown below, the class was a great success. Scott Stevens, General Manager at Gene Stevens Honda, had this to say about his experience: “If you are in need of training for a new or seasoned Service Manager, I would strongly encourage you to enroll in this class. Timely information, real-world scenarios, all presented by people that have lived it, and been very successful at it.”

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The class, Scott explains, was exceptionally rigorous, “I am in an NCM 20 Group; when we meet, I take a lot of notes. I took twice as many notes in this ‘specific department’ training than I take at a normal 20 Group meeting!” And, he added, it was a good value, “I know that my money was well spent because of the lessons learned and the training material that we took home.”

Customized training can be held on-site or at NCM’s headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. (Might I recommend you come when the Chiefs or Royals are in town?) During the session, we can help you address BDC concerns or work with you for training in any department. Just contact the NCM Institute for more details.

There’s no question that the automotive industry is evolving. Have you seen these trends in action or are you noticing other changes? Tell us below.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/five-bdc-trends-to-watch-in-2017/

Lindsey Quinn

3 Steps to Protect Your Dealership from Data Breaches

Your dealership data is a tempting target for internet bad guys.  And, if they hack your system, you’ll face huge fines. Our newest infographic explores the growing cybercrime problem and outlines the three crucial steps you should take to protect yourself:

CybercrimeInfographic

Don’t leave your dealership unprotected. Learn how to protect your data and get even more insights from it.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/10/3-steps-to-protect-your-dealership-from-data-breaches/

Lindsey Quinn

Christy Roman: Changing the Face of Automotive through Leadership

woman in front of cars

Dealerships around the country struggle to find innovative ways to recruit and retain top female talent; meanwhile, women themselves face challenges balancing work and home, and often have to establish their place in the traditional dealership. It’s a situation that many believe needs to change.

We recently interviewed Christy Roman, founder of Women in Automotive (WIA), about the difficulties women face and asked her how the industry can address them. Read on to discover her solutions.

NCM Associates: What do you think are the biggest obstacles women face in automotive-focused careers?

Christy Roman: It’s a very family-unfriendly environment—and it’s male-dominated. There are many antiquated requirements that could be changed that would make hiring and retaining women more feasible. The industry needs to make some of these adjustments, or their store demographics will not match those of their customers.

It’s not just women, either, it’s young people. The days of working 12 hours a day, six days a week with a draw and little to no training are coming to a close.

NCM: This seems like a question of leadership; it reminds me of a great meme going around LinkedIn right now. What do you think of this? Do you agree?

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CR: I love that—I think developing people is the mark of a good leader. Too many managers don’t understand that is their primary role—not just to provide a service or product. Developing people is the name of the game. That’s part of why we created this organization—to assist dealers in understanding that changes need to occur in order to attract and grow people in the industry.

NCM: Tell me more about what inspired you to create the WIA?

CR: I went to a “marketing to women” conference, and it got me to thinking about the industry and how cool it would be to host an event that we could tailor to women in the industry—from how to recruit and retain, train and develop women as employees to how to market to and capitalize on their strength as consumers. It just seemed like it might be a good idea. We had no idea until we had the event how beneficial it would be. It was magical!

NCM: What role does WIA fill in women’s lives?

CR: It’s an opportunity to network, learn, and be inspired by a great industry—it helps give women direction and shows them how much opportunity exists in automotive. At the same time, it helps dealers and human resource directors learn and share strategies that benefit employee satisfaction and retention. Marketers can come and be educated on how focusing on women is a good thing and can be very lucrative.

NCM: Do you have a particular mentor who helped guide you through your career?

CR: Jody Devere of Ask Patty has been one as it pertains to this industry and growing my business. Molly Curry of CDK also had a huge impact on me years ago, but there have been others along the way.

It’s always helpful to have someone who’s “been there and done that” to give you advice. It keeps me calm, so I don’t freak out when things are difficult. And, as an entrepreneur, things are often very difficult.

NCM: How important do you think mentorship is for women in automotive?

CR: I think it’s incredibly important. It’s not an easy industry, as much opportunity as there is and as great an industry as it is. To have people who can commiserate with you and provide a sounding board is an invaluable tool to help you weather some of the storms that invariably come with careers in automotive.

NCM: Does WIA help fill that role? Do you want it to?

CR: We have a mentoring program that we have been piloting and plan to more formally roll out at this year’s event. If we can garner enough interest, we will certainly fill that role.

NCM: Who should those mentors be? Should women look for other female leaders in the industry?

CR: I think mentors come in all different shapes and sizes—so find one in the industry, or any other line of work, I don’t think it’s a necessity to be part of this industry. Beneficial, but not necessary.

NCM: Do you think it is important—especially in automotive—for women to have a male mentor in addition to female mentors? Why or why not?

CR: I stand by what I said above, mentors come in all shapes and sizes, and absolutely men can mentor. I think it’s more about how you relate to the mentor/mentee and how it values both parties than whether it’s a man or a woman.

NCM: How can young women in the field—or women considering a move into automotive—find mentors? What should they do?

CR: Come to Women in Automotive and sign-up!

NCM: Do you mentor anyone in the field? What’s one of the most important lessons you’ve given them?

CR: I like to mentor those who ask me to do so—I have helped a number of people who have embarked on the oftentimes scary entrepreneurial track to help them be strategic and avoid costly mistakes. I’d like to teach young people about entrepreneurship: It took me until I was 30 to figure out I was an entrepreneur!

Want to learn more? Attend the next WIA conference or sign-up for the NCM Institute’s course, GMEP—General Management Executive Program. Each year, NCM gives away a free scholarship to one lucky winner at the WIA conference. This allows the winner to attend a full GMEP course during a time of her choosing and take amazing lessons back to her dealership and apply them.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/06/christy-roman-changing-the-face-of-automotive-through-leadership/

Lindsey Quinn

Automotive pay plans that work: 4 elements for success

Bundle, Money Roll, Currency.

Developing an effective compensation strategy is an ongoing issue for most dealerships. You need a plan that drives solid performance from Sales. And you want to motivate employees … but you can’t afford to overspend for the market. So, what do you do?

NCM’s experts always advocate keeping pay plans simple and making sure that the criteria you select allow employees to track their earnings on a daily basis. Choose items that are under the direct control of the employee—after all, they can’t develop buy-in without feeling a sense of ownership!

Whenever possible, NCM believes you should limit automotive pay plans to four criteria. Here are some examples:

1. Volume

  • Unit deliveries for salesperson
  • Same‐store sales and/or market penetration for Department Manager
  • Hours sold for Service Advisor
  • Total hours produced by Service Department for Back Counter Parts Person

2. Margin

  • Income per delivery for F&I Producers
  • Effective labor rate for Service Advisors
  • Gross profit percentage for “Front” Counter Parts People
  • Controllable profit for Department Managers

3. Customer Satisfaction or Customer Retention

  • Regional or zone average at a minimum
  • Compensation rewards tied to “world class service”

4. Miscellaneous Incentives

  • Immediate department initiatives
  • Specific goals to drive short‐term performance

Sales compensation is a tricky subject for everyone in the automotive industry. Learn pay plan secrets of top performing dealerships in the NCM Institute class, Sales and Management Compensation. And discover how to hire motivated high-performing employees in the first with our class, Finding Top Talent.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/12/automotive-pay-plans-that-work-4-elements-for-success/