To start this off, first and foremost, we hope that everything is as calm as possible in your area. We realize that how much your business is being impacted varies by state and market. For dealers that are open, it can be challenging to comply with the mandate for social distancing and still work with customers who need to purchase a vehicle or need repairs. The following are some suggestions on how to improve the virtual sales process while respecting consumers’ concerns.
The first step in situations like this is to over-communicate as much as possible. Consumers will have varying degrees of fear and apprehension, the more you can spell out how every step of the process will go, the more reassured and confident they will feel.
Minimize contact by using as few employees as necessary. Spell out to customers how a new vehicle purchase or a service appointment might go, and then limit the number of employees they will need to engage with.
Yes, we are biased for sure on this one, but we firmly believe using video in place of in-person interactions is critical. For stores still open and managing leads, using a video tool to share a video walk-around, as opposed to consumers coming to visit the dealership, limits personal interactions. It can help make a virtual shopping experience work better in areas where COVID-19 fears are keeping people away. The same goes for service customers, where you can share a video on needed repairs vs. showing them face-to-face in markets where social distancing is a priority.
Friendemic wants to help dealers where we can during this challenging time, so we are offering Video Ignition, our video sharing software, and mobile app, to dealers* free for at least two months during the coronavirus outbreak, and no obligation to continue.
To see how Video Ignition works, join our CEO, Steve Pearson, on Mar 26, 2020 02:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada) for a Digital Dealer webinar. Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/2815846218759/WN_hyQWj3GxTTitu5cF5OZ16A
What else can you do to make virtual shopping easier and make customers feel safer for their limited in-person visits? Let them know how you have increased the frequency of cleaning desks, waiting areas, and restrooms, that you have hand sanitizers readily available, that vehicles are cleaned before they do an actual test drive. Finally, reaffirm that the health and safety of your customers and employees are always a top priority, and you are committed to keeping up with all the issues surrounding the Coronavirus so you can take any actions as needed.
*Offer valid for new dealers not currently using Video Ignition.