As more auto dealerships begin to open their doors again amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they need to prepare for the new normal and show their customers it’s safe to do business with them. Most of the strategies your company adopted during the height of the pandemic will continue as customers will demand extra care and service. It’s important to share your sanitizing process, safety measures, and charitable efforts during this time on social media, as well as leveraging Google’s free features to showcase that you’re open, safe, and offering great specials and incentives.
To get your dealership ready, here are 10 things you should be doing to welcome back customers:
1. Face coverings/masks
Help your team and customers feel more comfortable during in-person visits by wearing face masks, asking your customers to wear face coverings, and providing masks for your customers who may not have one. You can even offer face masks branded for your dealership. Digital Air Strike can help with this and offers free or discounted face coverings to new clients.
2. White glove services
Continue the concierge services and rigorous sanitization efforts started before the pandemic, including wiping down all surfaces, making hand sanitizer readily available, and removing any shared items from waiting rooms such as remote controls and magazines. Continue offering vehicle pickup and delivery for sales and service to allow your customers to spend less time at your dealership. Some customers may still prefer this instead of coming into the dealership and will appreciate that safety is a priority.
Use video to communicate with customers and help them do more of their researching and shopping from home. Create videos that showcase your vehicles, safety measures, and service orders. Digital Air Strike’s Video Logix video technology records and sends videos to consumers and tracks all engagement and interactions so your team can quickly follow up.
4. Artificial intelligence
With possibly less staff and/or staff working remotely, AI can be used to provide 24/7 customer service. AI chatbots nurture conversations, pre-qualify buyers, and match them to vehicles in your store and on your website. It also engages with consumers interested in vehicles you’re selling on Facebook Marketplace, as well as those that text your dealership.
5. Automate your lead response
People are still shopping for vehicles so deliver a response that will make them want to buy from you. Include multiple vehicle options, the ability to explore your inventory, and get pre- qualified. Your follow-up plan needs to be better than ever with the longer than normal buying cycle caused by COVID-19. Ensure your team is following up for six months or automate this process so you are top-of- mind when buyers are ready to purchase.
6. Text messages
Research shows 93% of text messages are read within five minutes, but consumers only open one in five emails they receive. Text messages quickly and effectively deliver your most important updates to your customers’ mobile devices. Response Path Power Text delivers custom messages in bulk to consumers and AI chatbots engage with people who respond. Your team can jump into the conversation from any device, anywhere.
7. Electronic contracts
With pickup and delivery options, customers will also want to continue that online shopping experience with electronic contracts. Make sure this online process is easy and streamlined so your customers have no issues when signing the contract. Keep that service going to assist all your customers, especially when they don’t want to come into your store.
8. Safe scheduling
Offering an online appointment scheduler is key to not having too many people at your dealership. It’s also more convenient for customers and is something that can be done through automation instead of with a team member.
9. Safe servicing
As more customers prefer pickup and delivery options, make sure you have a way to communicate service orders, such as video, and the process your team uses to ensure the cleanliness of the vehicle from pickup to drop-off.
10. Listen to your customers
You have to be able to meet customers’ expectations now. Listen to their suggestions to see how your sales and service can continue helping them in the safest way possible. Remember to survey car buyers and servicers after every visit and allow happy customers to post their feedback on public review sites. Today’s consumers truly appreciate dealerships’ efforts to keep them safe.
For more ways to engage consumers shopping from home, visit