How to Sell Through New COVID Standards
COVID-19 has led to many national, regional, and state-level suggestions and restrictions. Many of us need to adapt from our previous everyday expectations to our “new normal.” Although businesses are being closed or told to work within new social distancing parameters, those requirements are also fluid. Some states are still anticipating stricter measures, while others might be relaxing those expectations in the coming weeks. Here are five tips on providing the best customer service possible in the middle of so much uncertainty and sudden change.
1. Make sure your website is continually updated with processes and procedures so potential customers can know what to expect. Since requirements differ state by state and even day by day, having the most up-to-date information available online will help customers prepare for the experience. Although customers may have purchased vehicles before, the experience during COVID-19 concerns will still be new, with its own stresses. This includes the way you are choosing to handle a test drive. Inform potential customers of whether they will be able to drive the car alone, or if single-use masks will be provided, as well as how they might have to sign up for a specific time slot in order to see the car.
2. Wipe down all surfaces the customer will touch – if possible, within sight of the customer. This includes all surfaces in the car, as well as the desk and pen where the customer will be signing forms. You want to make sure that the customer does not feel the need to rush and allow them the time to properly read everything while offering the comfort of knowing that you are prioritizing their health. If it is not possible to clean all surfaces in front of the customer, have wipes handy so that the customers can do so themselves.
3. Use visual cues to enforce the six-foot distancing recommendation. By using colored tape or otherwise marking this distance, you will indicate your concern for your customers’ health. Customers who need to buy a new-to-them car at this time will already be under new levels of stress, and these reassurances that you are aware of, and adapting to, health recommendations will be comforting.
4. Have the information handy if customers will be able to take advantage of any mobile inspection services by an independent mechanic. If a mobile inspection is not possible in your area, be able to tell the customer of any mechanics known to be willing to come to the dealership, or if you are able to offer to take the vehicle to the mechanic for the customer. Having this information handy – and also available on your website – will help customers plan for all steps of the purchasing process.
5. If you yourself are being asked to wear a mask, smize: smile with your eyes. Although Tyra Banks coined the phrase to help out America’s Next Top Models, wearing a mask to prevent the possible spread of the virus has the downside of covering most of your face. Your smile will have to reach your eyes in order to be visible to customers and make that valued personal connection. Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation, and practicing your smize will help break down some of these newly-enforced barriers.
In such a fluid – and unprecedented – situation, being able to adapt to new restrictions while still being there for customers in the way you always has been a challenge. With a few small changes, you can reassure customers that their health, as well as their satisfaction, is your priority.
By Rebecca Frost