There are always challenges when navigating changing times within the industry. With the outbreak of COVID-19, a lot is expected of businesses around the world to immediately adapt to the this new normal, by making strategic yet impactful changes.
Below we’ve outlined simple actions and techniques that you should implement within your dealership to instill confidence with both online shoppers and those who choose to visit in person. If your province is in a state of shutdown, it’s likely these measures will be just as important in the eventual months of economic recovery as they are right now.
Maintain a Clean Environment – And Make It Obvious You Are Doing So
- Frequently disinfect high touch areas, such as all doors, keyboards/mouse, pens, faucets, hand railings, phones, chairs, desks and countertops, keys AND vehicles, (door handles, steering wheel, B-pillar, etc).
- Wash your hands frequently and properly! Be sure your co-workers are doing the same.
- If possible, make hand sanitizer available at the showroom entrance(s), in each sales office, at the service/parts department counter(s), etc.
Take Social/Physical Distancing Seriously – Your Customers Will Appreciate It
- Greet and acknowledge customers with a smile, wave, or nod. Don’t shake hands.
- Whether in your sales, service or parts department, communicate with your clients at minimum distance of 6 feet, (2 meters). Do the same with your colleagues.
- Make the necessary adjustments to your waiting area, ensuring a 6-foot buffer is placed between chairs. Eliminate seating as you see fit.
- Refrain from having staff meetings in close proximity to each other. Leverage virtual conference environments of conference bridges where available.
Have a Top Notch Virtual Showroom
- Ensure all your vehicle options are available for consumers to browse online. Descriptions, features, accurate pricing and detailed photos are more crucial now than ever.
- Offer practical services online to decrease time spent in the dealership. You likely already have trade-in options, finance applications or calculators, and the option to schedule test drives.
Now it’s one thing to fulfill the tasks associated with keeping good hygiene at your dealership, but what’s more is making your potential customers aware, and your staff. Let them know that you are constantly cleaning and disinfecting the dealership multiple times throughout the day. Add a banner on your website, create a social post and add signs in the dealership outlining the steps you are taking. This will allow them to feel more confident about coming into test drive or purchase a vehicle.
Keep in mind though, consumers are not looking to leave their homes and are spending this time browsing online. They have the time to do the research and may find a vehicle they can’t pass up. Having the above items checked off your list will help encourage them to make a purchase because they feel comfortable knowing your dealership is taking the necessary precautions. This also is a good time to experiment with new options for consumers such as dropping off vehicles at their house to test drive, bringing papers to their house to sign and then dropping the vehicle off for those who make a purchase.
Please check with your local health officials’ guidelines for additional steps and advice they deem necessary.