Our Blog

Tackling Service Department BDC Productivity with Technology

Tackling Service Department BDC Productivity with Technology
August 11, 2023

This Blog was Originally featured in the May/June '23 edition of Fixed Ops Magazine. Click Here for the Full Issue.

An interview with JD Musick

Tackling Service Department BDC Productivity with Technology

North Georgia Toyota is a single point store in a small Georgia town that’s leveraging technology software in a big way to deliver great customer service and to generate more service revenue. An enthusiastic proponent of the store’s progressive and technical approach is JD Musick, Head of Strategy and Manager of both the Sales and Service BDCs at North Georgia Toyota.

The store lives by the popular football metaphor, often mentioned by its General Manager and Co-Owner Greg Epps, that teams can have all the stars in key positions but if they can’t block or tackle they are doomed. “Customer service is very similar,” says Musick. “Technology has come a long way and can take on the thankless grunt work that allows our service and BDC stars to do their work so well. ”Nearly a decade ago, Musick began his career at North Georgia on the sales floor. He moved up to become Inventory Manager, then Sales Manager, and eventually took over the helm of the BDC, where he oversees both the Sales and Service BDCs with six agents total. Currently, the service drive is supported by two service BDC agents and one manager working to schedule appointments for five service advisors and 15 technicians. The shop handles around 1,600 Repair Orders (ROs)per month.


Moving from the sales side of the store to the service side was an eye-opener for Musick. “My first observation was that sales utilized multiple proactive approaches to drive business including the CRM, equity mining tools, and marketing communications. They also received the bulk of employee training,” he said. “Service was more reactive. Mostly, we were waiting for customers to call when they needed a repair or maintenance and we weren’t doing a lot of training.”

Musick saw a lot of missed opportunities to drive business into the shop. The BDC was busy answering easily appointable calls such as oil changes and tire rotations and lacking the time or process to concentrate on revenue-producing outbound calls. When there was time for outbound calls, agents worked off of Excel spreadsheets that made it difficult to track activity, customer response, and results.

“Initially, we would pre-book service appointments by estimating when customers would likely need to return for their next maintenance,” continued Musick. “We would then begin to call them to book their next appointment. This was done with a spreadsheet, and we would go down the list. The issue here was that there wasn’t a great way to keep track of who we called, when we last called, or when they returned a call, what we were calling about. We didn’t have a CRM focused on service or a tool to help with call reporting.”


Musick first focused on how to free up time so BDC agents could be more proactive. He identified AI-enabled software to do the blocking and tackling he needed to free-up his agents to make revenue-producing outbound phone calls.

Familiar with Proactive Dealer Solutions of Huntersville, NC, he tested and then implemented Brooke, the company’s customer-facing digital voice assistant (DVA),to handle and appoint calls for express services.

Integration between Brooke and the store’s DMS provider, Reynolds & Reynolds, was easy and the software quickly met the store’s needs. Explains Musick, “She allows customers to schedule services anytime via phone since she’s always working, and she’s freed-up our agents to schedule more profitable services. Our agents now have the time to proactively reach out to customers and schedule previously declined service sand recalls which has helped with growth in our shop.”

With Brooke on-board, customer pay and warranty work increased by 21 percent as compared to the previous year. Dollars per RO also increased by approximately 21 percent. Brooke takes the place of 1.5 BDC agents in terms of overall booked appointments, but Musick says that perspective doesn’t do justice to the true value. “She does the work around the clock which, if a human was doing it, would be exponentially more expensive,” he says.

As far as how customers react to Brooke, Musick says it’s been great despite having an older customer base. The shop did put in extra layers of protection by allowing customers to reach a live person if that was their preference, but most are happy to schedule an appointment without waiting for a human.


As it became obvious that AI-enabled software was very good at blocking and tackling, the store began dipping a toe in other solutions. North Georgia recently launched ChatGPT on its website to enable customers to have human-like conversations around-the-clock. This tool answers vehicle questions, provides dealership information, and more.

The dealership is also part of Toyota’s Connected Services program which uses AI-based algorithms to collect data on needed services from vehicles on the road, such as a maintenance light, and send that data to participating franchised service centers. “The OEMs are recognizing the competitive advantage they have over third-party repair by doing this,” offered Musick. “We use that lead to get in touch with customers before they think about picking up the phone.” It’s another example of AI technology doing the thankless grunt work that allows BDC agents to bring in revenue.


With BDC agents revved-up making outbound calls there was still the issue of structuring each agent’s daily customer outreach. Spreadsheets weren’t cutting it anymore. After researching options, Musick chose the Volie BDC communication platform. Based in Fort Myers, FL, the Volie platform also integrates with the store’s DMS to import call lists based on dealership criteria. It speeds up communication and accelerates agent productivity with an automatic dialer that mimics those used in big call centers.

When inbound calls come into Volie, the platform shows agents the caller information and which campaign they are responding to. “We save time because we don’t have to look up information and can directly proceed to book the appointment,” says Musick. “It allows the agents to be much more efficient and it’s a better customer experience because it keeps us from calling too many times. It keeps everyone on track and gives us the reporting we need to know which campaigns are working and which are a waste of money.”


The technology solutions used by North Georgia furthers the capabilities of its BDC agents and empowers them to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time creating better customer experiences. Incorporating the solutions also allows the dealership to keep pace with today’s “now economy.” As Musick says, “Customers want 24-hour service but we can’t be here around-the-clock. Technology can.

”He points out that technology also gives employees a better work-life balance. “We’re finding that younger staff aren’t willing to work 12-hours a day, six days a week.” The more balance the dealership can offer, the more attractive it is to prospective employees. Ultimately, technology handles the blocking and tackling of customer service so the North Georgia BDC agents can turn their skills to bringing in more ROs and supporting the overall revenue goals of the dealership

JD Musick joined North Georgia Toyota in 2013,starting in sales and quickly transitioning to inventory management. With a keen interest in strategy, process optimization, and analytics, he now serves as the Strategy and BDC Manager. Collaborating closely with the Owner - General Manager, they embrace technology to foster cohesion between sales and service, driving mutual success. JD understands the industry’s rapid evolution and recognizes the pivotal role of technology in cultivating customer partnerships. Committed to leveraging innovative solutions, he aims to further develop and nurture these relatioships in the ever-changing automotive landscape.