Times are changing rapidly, but we are going to get through it together. As an industry, we will adjust, adapt, and re-think the customer experience. We will walk lockstep through today’s challenges and come out stronger, poised for success. Let’s explore best practices you can implement in your service department and discuss how to communicate that to your customer.
In the Service Department
First let’s look at your service department through our social distancing glasses. What can and should be done to ensure the safety of your team and your customers?
Clean and disinfect your entire service department — wipe down hard surfaces every 60 minutes or less. For your employees, provide supplies that limit their exposure, like disposable gloves and seat covers. In addition, encourage frequent hand washing and make hand sanitizer available. Take additional steps at delivery as well and sanitize the vehicles before returning them to your customer. Visit CDC.gov daily for further information on how to prevent the spread of disease and take the necessary precautions.
High Traffic Areas
You can promote social distancing by giving your high traffic areas another look. If possible, provide outdoor seating, and minimize the number of people in your waiting areas. You may also consider parking cars farther apart on the service drive.
Don’t forget to audit and adjust your appointment scheduling availability to reflect updated hours of operations or capacities. You can also use your scheduling tools to reduce the number of appointments available to waiters.
What face-to-face interactions can you make a digital experience? When your customer arrives at the dealership, give them the ability to check-in with their phone. Similarly, provide options to sign off on service recommendations online and pay invoices virtually. If the process simply can’t be done digitally, like the key handoff, create a new process that protects your employee and the customer.
Pick-Up and Delivery
There is no time like the present. Evaluate the benefits and efficiencies a concierge service could bring to your service lane with pick-up and delivery.
As you consider limiting the number of waiters in your service department, you may think about customer transportation to and from your dealership. Rideshare can help you limit customers in the waiting room and differentiate your service experience. The short-term investment will drive long–term customer satisfaction and loyalty.
To explore any of these options, contact your Xtime Performance Manager. They will help you evaluate and assess these ideas and may make further recommendations for your service department.
Communication is Key to Continuity
You’re doing all the right things, taking all the precautions, but how will your customers know? Let’s make sure and tell them.
Your website should be where you tell the world what you’ve been up to — the sanitization, social distancing enablement, valet service offers, and digital experience enhancements. Every precaution you’ve taken should be out there so customers feel comfortable booking their appointment, because they know you’re taking steps to ensure a safe service experience.
Not everyone will visit your website. Go ahead and proactively reach out to your existing client base. Let them know you’re open for business and ready to service their vehicle safely and conveniently. Send emails, post to social, and don’t forget about text messaging. These communications are also a great place to remind your customers how much of the service process has moved online, like self check-in and invoice payment.
We will work side-by-side with you to face the challenges of today. Customer experience will change, as will the way you look at your dealership. As your partner in success, we will rethink the approach together and come out better on the other side. Right now, make sure to implement practices to keep your team and customers safe and tell your customers about the precautions you’ve taken when you let them know you are open for business.
Please contact your Xtime Performance Manager to discuss your dealership’s challenges and solutions to face them head on.
Continue to follow the most up-to-date CDC guidelines.