The latest crisis around COVID-19 has pushed many dealerships to the edge, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Many dealerships are not just surviving, but exceeding all expectations in this difficult time.
Our Unscheduled Maintenance podcast is here to highlight those inspirational stories. Through our dealer interviews for this series, we’ve identified 10 things (five for consumers, five for your staff) that top dealerships are doing today to evolve their business. Check out the list below and learn how implementing just a few new approaches can enable a business transformation to see you through COVID and beyond.
Offer Home Delivery
Almost every business sector has been hit by the COVID-19 epidemic except for one: Delivery-based businesses are surging. Companies like Amazon have turned efficient consumer delivery into the norm. Now you can too! With our local delivery badging you can become a home delivery expert. Learn about our home delivery badging and other product offerings that can help keep your car business running.
Promote “virtual appointments”
Virtual meetings have been around for years, but technology is finally catching up with people’s expectations. Plus, this epidemic has forced us to get comfortable connecting virtually. Take the extra time to invest in your buyer’s virtual experience with live video chat and make sure your consumers know about it before they reach out by adding the badge to all your listings.
Use video to spread meaningful messages
Video is an attention-grabbing medium. It connects with people more easily and effectively than photography and written copy. Attention and connection are more important now than ever. When your message has meaning, use video to spread it with an added emotional impact.
Enable Digital Retailing
For many dealers, digital retailing is the only option. And for the majority of dealers who can conduct business in-person, digital retailing is going to be your future. Whether it’s the current epidemic or not, digital retailing is only going to get bigger. So even if it’s simply snapping screenshots from your DMS and sending them to the consumer, you need to start the transition to a digital retailing mindset now.
Be hyper-present on social media
Dealerships are pillars of their communities. Many people rely on them for more than just transportation. Right now, be present where your people are — online, on social media — with news and messages of reassurance. Facebook recently reported that 53% of people are browsing Facebook more often than normal, while 32% of people are using Instagram more often during the pandemic. Continue to support your communities like you always have.
For Your Staff
Open staff meetings for friends and family
Right now, everyone is scared. That includes your people and their family and friends. Your staff meetings are a source of alignment and inspiration. Consider opening some of them up to let friends and family in on what’s happening. It will offer everyone a little bit of certainty in uncertain times. On our recent ‘Unschedule Maintenance’ podcast David Long, of the Hansel automotive Group discusses this notion and how he keeps his team inspired and engaged.
Ensure service acts as a sales and acquisition center
Leveraging your service department for sales and acquisition has been a trend for years, but it’s more important now than ever. Many localities are only allowing service. While you lack a critical pipeline for sales and acquisition, you need to rely on service to sell more now than ever. Listen to our Unscheduled Maintenance episode 4 where Hyundai motors America’s CMO Angela Zepeda shares just how much good OEMs and their local dealer operators can deliver to communities in crisis.
Empower sales reps to leverage their personal brands
Salespeople have been building their personal brand for years, whether they thought about it that way or not. Brand relationships are most important in times like this. We all fall back on the people and brands who’ve taken the time to connect with us. Let your sales reps build and leverage their brands.
Expand chat access for more engagement and increased coverage
Consumers are just like all of us: facing a lot of uncertainty. All of your channels should be open and accommodating, but there’s real space for many dealers’ chat to be more engaging. Now is also a good time to expand the coverage to address questions and concerns quickly.
Keep your staff engaged with educational and professional development activities
The truth is that this is a big downtime for us. With a drop in sales and service, your people will have a lot of free time, and there is only so much cleaning and organizing they can do. This is the perfect opportunity for them to learn and develop their skills. Many companies are offering free webinars and online courses to service this exact need. Take advantage of them.