- March 18, 2020
- By Fraser Brown
- In COVID-19
Despite the ever-changing landscape caused by COVID-19 and the challenges this inevitably brings to business, the bottom line is you still need to generate revenue in order to survive, and aftersales is going to play a big part in that.
Customer communication is crucial in this environment, whether by email, phone or on your social media platforms. Customers need to feel reassured that although it is not business as usual, your dealership is open for business, and the important aftersales services that you offer are still available.
However, it is important to address the inevitable concerns customers will have regarding the pandemic. Key areas to address are:
Safety and hygiene
– Enhanced cleaning protocol to keep staff and customers healthy and safe.
– All mechanics and any staff member that is collecting or delivering vehicles will be wearing gloves.
– Dealerships and all workshops cleaned more often throughout the day.
– All cars to be washed, vacuumed and all contact points sanitised, for example steering wheels, handbrakes, interior and exterior door handles, boot locks and customer keys.
– Offer antibacterial hand sanitiser to everyone visiting the dealership.
– Try going cashless – take payments over the phone to avoid close contact.
– When returning keys to customers’ homes – pass them through the letterbox.
Missing their service and MOT test expiry
– Offer a collection and delivery service to all customers.
– Let customers know they can get MOT tests carried out before the due date.
– As a last resort, if money becomes a concern, advise customers to SORN their vehicle. You can assist in helping customers do this and in helping when they start to reuse their vehicles again.
– Costs to all customers will be kept to a minimum but in line with manufacturer guidelines.
Parts availability for car breakdowns
– Aim to keep a larger stock of commonly used parts.
– Look for suppliers locally to replenish where possible. This will also help local businesses stay afloat.
– Offer cheaper parts alternatives to help alleviate the overall cost.
– All courtesy cars and staff cars to be sanitised daily and after each use.
– Offer to drop off loan cars when collecting customers vehicles so they can remain mobile.
– Keep courtesy cars available where possible just in case of customer emergencies.
Help your local community
– When collecting and delivering customer vehicles, offer to collect household essentials for the older more vulnerable customers.
– Give customers a call that you haven’t seen for a while – a single phone call can do a lot for someone who is forced to self-isolate alone.
By adapting your business processes in line with customer concerns, you are better positioned to allay customer fears and maintain your aftersales revenue into the business.