Feeling like the world has gone a little crazy? As an automotive repair shop owner, your #1 priority is keeping your team safe and busy. Your #2 priority is reassuring your customers that you are here to serve them. How you fulfill both of these is going to help determine whether you thrive in the coming weeks.
Here are my top 5 tips to make sure your team and your customers feel confident:
1. A Higher Level of Service
If you have not offered pick up/drop off service or appointments in the past, this is the time to start. If you already do, this is the time to highlight these services to every single customer. These options reduce the number of people waiting around your shop for their vehicles and fulfill requests for social distancing. Get your customers in the habit of setting an appointment “so we can be sure we are ready for you,” meet them at their car outside, or schedule a pick up/drop off – especially with elderly customers. Plan on keeping these services in the future – customers will love it!
Want more tips for how to survive and protect your business during COVID-19? Discover valuable ideas and strategies in ATI’s FREE webinar Top 5 Ways to Thrive During the COVID-19 Outbreak.
2. Disinfecting Service
Provide your team with gloves, disinfecting wipes, and a can of Lysol. Seriously. If you feel this is an overreaction, do it anyway. It gives your team and your customers peace of mind. Record on a simple smartphone a video talking to your customers about these extra steps you are taking, showing yourself or a team member wiping down door handles, steering wheel, gearshift, seat adjustments, window controls, etc.
3. Call Your Fleet and Government Customers NOW
This is the perfect time to service those customers who have let maintenance, oil changes, and general repairs fall behind because they couldn’t spare the vehicles. Chances are a lot of those vehicles are sitting idle right now, so let’s take care of them.
4. Think Outside the Box
Deep clean the shop, reorganize the bays for better workflow, walk the outside to pick up litter, paint or put out some plants. Offer to deliver meals in your company truck for healthcare providers, and services helping the elderly to stay indoors – many school systems are still providing free lunches and would appreciate the help distributing them to students. Keep your team productive in ways that help both the shop and the community at large.
5. Stay Open
If it is within your power to keep the doors open, do it. Reach out to customers you haven’t seen in over 6-8 months and get their services caught up (again, offer to pick up and deliver their vehicle). For most states, automotive repair is considered an essential service and will not be required to close. Check your state’s “essential businesses” list to confirm this if a shut-down is mandated.
For more tips on protecting your business, staff, and customers during these challenging times, check out our FREE webinar Top 5 Ways to Thrive During the COVID-19 Outbreak.