What Dealers Can Do To Minimize COVID-19's Impact

Image of Skip Soucie
Skip Soucie

It's been nearly a month since the Coronavirus pandemic began in the U.S., and many industries are feeling the effects of it. While the automotive industry is no exception, there are many dealers taking extra steps to minimize COVID-19’s impact on their business.

Here are a few "go-getter" actions that we have seen implemented across the industry. 

Close The Distance As Much As Possible

Obviously, we have to adhere to our respective state mandates as far as isolation and quarantining goes. However, there are ways to close as much distance as possible between you and your prospects. The best way to do this is to offer pickup, drop-off, and delivery for sales and service customers.

Including the ability to bring potential cars to them for test drives, picking up their vehicle to service it, or dropping off their brand new car is vital. Offering these features with online scheduling services, email, or by phone can dramatically increase your leads and potential sales.

Advertise Health Policy & Cleaning Protocols

It’s vital to show customers just how clean and safe your dealership is. Here are some excellent tips to help you do this.

  • Ensure employees are washing their hands and sanitizing as much as possible with frequent signs, reminders, and sanitizing stations
  • Train staff on proper hand washing techniques
  • Urge anyone, customers or staff, to stay home if they are displaying any symptoms whatsoever
  • Offer complimentary masks, shoe slips, and gloves to concerned customers

Address Buyer Concerns In Your Current Marketing Efforts

For dealerships that are able to remain open to help service those in need, you'll want to include information about all the efforts you’re taking to keep a safe, clean dealership. We encourage you to highlight this information within radio and commercial scripts, marketing emails, mail-outs, and especially social media communications. 

Confirm And Feature Hours Of Operation and Staffing

We mentioned this in last week’s blog, but it’s crucial to let buyers know when you’re going to be available and open. Be sure to communicate frequently about new or changed service options. 

Often times, customers are going to be in contact with a sales member already. It’s important that they either know or have access to the scheduling of team members available, as well as overall hours.

Communicate often with your existing customer base through your website, email, and social media. If you haven't already, consider providing alternatives for scheduled services.  

Gear Up Your Service Department

It's not too soon to start preparing for when the market re-opens. In fact, you may be able to generate extra cash-flow now by pre-selling service packages that can be redeemed anytime this year.

In an effort to help your customers and the community through these difficult times, consider extending special service offers via email and social media. Look for opportunities and ways to literally be in service of everyone who may need automotive services. 

Final Thoughts

Not knowing how things will play out has many feeling unsure and out of control right now. There’s no doubt, you’ll likely need to make some changes to your marketing strategy, but it’s how you navigate the downturn that can have you leaving the competition in the wind when the economy returns. 

We're here to help you get through this. Our team has over 20 years of automotive industry expertise. We understand the need to be incredibly flexible and are prepared to work around what ever marketing needs your dealership has right now. Let us be your trusted adviser as you navigate the downtown.

Be well and be safe out there! 

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