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A Dealership’s Short Guide to Recovering From COVID-19

dealership-recovery-from-covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for many auto dealers, but there are several things you can do to accelerate your dealership’s recovery from the coronavirus.

Key Takeaways

  • Many auto dealerships have had problems engaging with consumers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
  • COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in cities and towns nationwide, and auto dealers have new opportunities to accelerate their recovery from the pandemic. 
  • Auto dealers must open the lines of communication with employees and customers and prioritize safety throughout the pandemic. 
  • Be ready to facilitate flexible car-shopping options, like at-home test drives, to engage car buyers who’ve been shopping from home for the past 6 months.
  • With automotive recon software, a car dealer can learn about its auto recon processes, find ways to optimize them, and position itself for post-COVID success. 

Auto dealers have learned a lot from the COVID-19 pandemic. It has choked the global economy to the point where the “new normal” for car dealers involves selling vehicles remotely. Yet, cities and towns are increasingly loosening COVID-19 restrictions (despite the occasional setback), and your dealership can benefit if it takes the necessary precautions. 

Regardless of how you sell cars, you need to do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and limit the risk that your employees and customers may inadvertently get infected by the virus. If you do that, you can show that your dealership really cares about the people who choose to interact with it and prove you’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep them safe, both during the pandemic and after it ends. 

5 ways to get ready for the new normal

The new normal is constantly evolving, and you need to be ready to adapt your dealership’s operations accordingly. Let’s look at five things you can do to keep pace with the new normal — and keep your employees and customers happy, healthy, and safe throughout this unprecedented period. 

1. Stay up to date about COVID-19

COVID-19 is an ongoing problem, and the number of coronavirus cases varies in cities and towns across the country. You should stay informed about COVID-19 cases in your community. This allows you to share information about COVID-19 concerns with employees and customers, as well as show your stakeholders you are at the forefront of COVID-19 awareness. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a free COVID-19 data tracker, which provides up-to-date information about coronavirus cases nationally. CDC also provides comprehensive resources you can use to learn about COVID-19. If you access these CDC resources regularly, you will gain the latest CDC insights into the coronavirus and be able to use them to safeguard your employees and customers. 

2. Communicate with your stakeholders frequently

Your employees and customers want COVID-19 information so they remain well-equipped to protect themselves and others against the coronavirus. By staying up to date and communicating with your stakeholders frequently, you can provide the information they need to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

Updating your website with information about how your dealership is managing COVID-19 is a great starting point. You can use the site to share details about your dealership’s mask requirements for employees and customers, social distancing guidelines, and other ways you are doing your part to guard against COVID-19. 

In addition, you can send emails and use social media posts to provide employees and customers with information about your approach to coronavirus. You should make yourself available via phone call and email to respond to any COVID-19 concerns, too. 

3. Offer flexible test-drive options

Outside-the-box thinking is a key part of adjusting to the new normal. As part of this thinking, you should explore innovative ways to engage with consumers and ensure they can evaluate your vehicles as safely and effortlessly as possible. 

Multiple. flexible test-drive options are available. For example, you can offer at-home car deliveries, so consumers can test drive a vehicle at their residence. Or you can provide appointments that allow consumers to meet with your employees at your dealership on a date and time of their choice. 

4. Provide incentives

New car sales fell in the first few months of COVID-19, due in large part to economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Although car sales are increasing nationwide as car dealers have adjusted to the new normal, you need to do your part to help your dealership stand out from the crowd. Incentives are a great way to make your vehicles attractive and affordable choices to budget-conscious consumers just emerging from their own quarantine. 

In terms of car-buying incentives, myriad options are available. You can offer a low interest rate or flexible payment plan to qualified buyers if they choose one of your cars. You can also offer payment deferrals that last anywhere from one to six months; these deferrals may prove to be great options for car buyers who anticipate their finances will improve in the months to come. 

5. Prioritize safety

COVID-19 has been stressful and exhausting for car dealers, their employees, and their customers. Going forward, safety must be the top priority when dealing with any concerns relating to the coronavirus. If your dealership puts safety first, it can give employees and customers the support they need during this challenging time. 

To keep your employees safe throughout COVID-19, implement safety protocols in all aspects of your operations. Review CDC guidelines, so you can provide your employees with the latest coronavirus safety protocols to use during their daily work. Furthermore, share your safety protocols with customers, so they know exactly what to expect if they visit your dealership. Be available to both your employees and customers, and ensure they are fully supported as the pandemic continues. 

Speed up your recovery from COVID-19 with help from ReconVelocity

In addition to using the aforementioned tips, a velocity-driven automotive recon operation can make a world of difference relative to your dealership’s COVID-19 recovery. ReconVelocity offers automotive recon software to help you streamline your auto recon processes and maintain full transparency across every step. Our software can help you optimize these processes and lower your operating costs, too. 

To learn more about the ReconVelocity platform, click here to request a demo, or call us today at (850) 616-6294 to talk to a recon expert.

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