Traver Connect CEO John Traver is charting the evolving BDC experience to make sure retailers stay ahead of customer expectations

Traver Connect CEO John Traver is charting the evolving BDC experience to make sure retailers stay ahead of customer expectations.

Source: Automotive News

Even after 37 years in the automotive business, John Traver still gets excited about the day-to-day wins for his Business Development Center solutions company, Traver Connect.

In July, the company announced that General Motors had approved an expansion of its solutions as an in-Market Retail turnkey product and Parts and Service Excellence Service BDC enabler.

“This is pretty big for us,” Traver says.

The product offerings will help GM dealerships improve customer satisfaction and focus on retention ratings in fixed operations while they also will receive co-op reimbursement for their use of the Quick Connect sales lead product.

Traver says that approval by GM “better aligns us with their direction, and we’re able to create new products to further align us.”

“Our job is to assess and recalibrate the BDC direction,” he says. “What we do is not just transactional. We’re not just processing phone calls.”

Traver Connect is focused on the impact of the customer-dealership BDC exchange to find the convenience — perhaps mobile service or pickup and delivery — that will motivate a customer to action.

“We have to get in the customer’s seat” to think about the conversation from their perspective, he said.

He recalls the days when dealership focus groups tried to find out what customers wanted. Now, online review platforms and social media give consumers a bullhorn.

Meanwhile, online shopping sites have led customers to expect transactions to happen immediately.

“The customer expectation has evolved,” he says. “One-click Amazon ordering, overnight delivery.”

Traver says the automotive industry must be mindful of how those evolving expectations can potentially impact business. That’s why he’s a fan of the business maxim “It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow.”

So how should an exchange between a BDC agent and a customer go? Traver says that’s easy: “Ask good questions, keep it simple, and nail the experience,” he says.

Those good conversations are what make Traver content.

“I love the BDC,” he says. “I get to design and develop solutions to problems that hold us up. Our industry has always been innovative. And there’s room for everybody in automotive.”

Q&A with John Traver

First car: 

1974 Pinto wagon. Leaked oil like a sieve. Once the windshield was smashed out, so I had to drive to school wearing shop goggles for about two months.

First concert you attended: 

Bruce Hornsby

Name a pet peeve: 


Most thrilling/adventurous thing you’ve done: 

Starting my first company with hardly any money after moving away from our home state

First job: 

Detasseling corn in Wisconsin for $2 an hour. Good money; horrible job

One thing you learned on the job you never forgot: 

How you treat others really matters.

If you could pick up a new skill, what would it be? 

Singing! I can only wish …

First website you go to in the morning: 

LOL — my email. I need to make sure everyone is taken care of.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? 

An NBA player — specifically a Milwaukee Buck.

Do you collect anything? 

I’m just not into clutter.

What are your streaming binge shows? 

“Blacklist,” “Reacher,” “Yellowstone,” “Blue Bloods,” “Castle,” “NCIS,” “M*A*S*H” and “Bull”

First album you bought: 

George Thorogood

Favorite comfort food: 

A great burger at Houston’s Restaurant (with spinach and artichoke dip, please)

Favorite line from a movie: 

“You can’t handle the truth!” (A Few Good Men) or “Help me help YOU!” (Jerry Maguire). Both had Tom Cruise in them.

Who’s on your Spotify playlist? 

Cody Johnson, Luke Combs, George Strait, Commodores, Tom Petty, Eddie Money, Boston, ’80s R&B and Tim Keller podcast