By now we've all seen the reactions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. And while we certainly don’t want to perpetuate the panic, we must do all that we can to offer peace-of-mind and a sense of calm reassurance to our customers.
Unless you’re in the business of selling toilet paper or hand sanitizer, you are probably wondering what kind of impact this virus will have on sales. DON’T LOSE HOPE! People still need cars. And people are still shopping. But in order to drive their interest to YOUR store, it's critical to take the necessary steps to manage the concerns of your customers.
1. Get Creative
Your customers might be hesitant to leave their homes. That’s okay, because you have a transportable product. Bring a test-drive to them! Offer a pick-up/drop-off option for service customers! Find a way to validate their concerns, and demonstrate how you are willing to accommodate them.
2. Utilize Your Digital Marketing
Instead of walking into showrooms, many will be shopping for their next vehicle from the safety of their own home. Use this as an opportunity to focus on your online presence. Facetime your clients. Record virtual tours of your vehicles and post them to social media. Until this mass fear has subsided, technology will be your best friend.
3. Reach Out With Real Solutions
Now more than ever, refinancing will be top of mind for your customers. Thankfully, this is an area you can provide real value. Reach out with specific refinancing strategies that your dealership is offering in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Improve Customer Experience
Do you really know what it’s like on the other side of your store? Now is the time to focus on your customer experience. Secret shop your store. Fill out a lead form and see how your staff responds. Send in a chat on your website. Have a friend call your dealership on speakerphone, pretending to be a customer, and listen to how your staff treat those calls. Take this as an opportunity to troubleshoot your sales process, highlight the problem areas, and find solutions.
5. Show REAL Customers
Right now, many people are isolating themselves from the public. When you post pictures and videos of real-life customers buying vehicles and getting service work done, you are easing the fears of other potential customers. A little social proof goes a long way.
6. Demonstrate Your Preventative Measures
Acknowledge your customers’ fears. Even if you don’t agree with the level of panic that is happening, the fear of this virus is real for many people, and you need to make them feel safe. Demonstrate the precautions your store is taking to provide a clean, sanitized environment.
7. When Others Step Back, You Step Up
While your competitors cut their advertising budget in this hard time, it gives you the opportunity to connect with their customers. If your market has fewer messages reaching them, yours will be more likely to grab their attention.
8. Maximize Your Leads
Your leads are gold. During this time, every sale will matter. So treat every lead like it’s your most important. Ensure your staff are making every potential customer feel heard and valued. You will want to build multiple touch-points (ways to communicate) with your leads. Be everywhere at once, and then FOLLOW-UP!
Now more than ever, refinancing will be top of mind for your customers. Thankfully, this is an area you can provide real value.
We're here to help. For more detailed information on how Cruise can help your dealership mitigate risk and relay critical information to your customers, please reach out to email@example.com.
*Thank you to David Bustle for inspiring these tips on combating the effects Coronavirus may have on auto dealerships.