We've helped hundreds of dealers send out email blasts to their customers regarding COVID-19, new practices and procedures, rewards and bonuses for coming in, and more. Here are the top things we've seen included in outreach to customers to keep them coming in to your shop during this unprecedented time:
Make Sure They Know You're Open
Assure your customers that you're open and there to help with any automotive services or repairs they need. While people aren't flying for travel, they'll most certainly be using their vehicles to get around. And with everyone working from home, they might have the time to bring in their car for the service they've been putting off due to a hectic schedule.
Despite several states' orders to stay at home, automotive service and repairs remains an essential business (see more from the CDC here).
Tell Them What You're Doing About ItAlthough your shop is in the business of servicing and repairing vehicles, guests are your main priority. Let them know about the proactive measures you're taking to ensure you keep customers, their vehicles, and the community safe:
- Vehicle Pick-up and Drop-off: Offer service to go to a home or business to pick up vehicles and return them when service is complete. To minimize contact, let customers know when you're on your way so they can leave keys outside or in the car. Return the vehicle when service is finished and leave the keys outside or in the car.
- Curbside Service: Allow customers to drop off their vehicles during business hours, park in the parking lot and call you from their cars. This way you can come get the keys from them or they can use a key drop box to leave the keys for easy access.
- After Hours Drop-off: Allow customers to leave their vehicles in your parking lot after business hours and drop their keys in a key drop box for service the next day.
- Appointment Scheduling: Of course customers can still schedule via phone, but adding an option to do so online will make it even easier (see America's Auto Care & Tire, for example).
- Payment Options: If you can, take payment via phone, online or via text message.
- Increase Cleaning & Sanitizing the Shop: Let customers know you've increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing the shop including high traffic areas and surfaces that are contacted most frequently like door handles, credit card readers, and restrooms.
- Eliminate Waiting Rooms: If customer insist on waiting, consider moving your waiting areas outdoors with chairs spaced at least 6 feet apart. (Note: most dealers have opted for completely "touch-less" experiences and do not allow waiting areas at this time)
- Increased Safety Protocols: Ensure proper and frequent hand washing, auto technician glove use, seat covers, steering wheel covers, floor mats, sanitizing door handles, gear shifts and any other necessary areas before returning a vehicle to any customer.
- Ensure any employees who are ill or suspect they may be ill, or have family members who are ill, STAY HOME.
Include Any Updated or Temporary Hours
If you've adjusted your hours at all, you should not only add this to your website, but make sure to include it in your customer outreach. Most dealers are focusing on the morning hours when they're busiest and eliminating weekend availability.
Include Your Contact Information
Make it as easy as possible for customers to contact you - just one click if possible! Make sure your emails include the following:
- Phone Number
- Email Address
Whether you're a BayIQ customer or not, we're here to help!
Current Customers: Contact support at email@example.com