One of the biggest challenges for many dealerships is simply getting potential customers on the lot – hands down. But with the recent recall announcements from General Motors, Toyota and other manufacturers, hundreds of thousands of consumers will be back at their local dealership seeking information and service, potentially looking to upgrade their vehicles.

Though recalls are never a good thing, dealers have an opportunity to make a bad situation better. After first taking care of each customer’s immediate concerns about their vehicle, use the interaction to conduct an informal needs assessment. This is something we did quite often with success back when I worked at a dealership in the Midwest. If your store has the right CRM processes in place, you can even notify the original sales person and have them follow up with their customer to continue building the relationship. While the individual servicing the vehicle may not be in market to buy just yet, there’s no telling whether or not their spouse, children or other family members are.