We will have family potlucks again soon. And we will have softball games, parades and concerts in the park. For now, though, we must adapt to this new environment as the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changes the way we in the automobile industry live and work.
While the situation changes daily, many car dealers are not being ordered to close, even in most states and localities with the strictest rules. The Department of Homeland Security has said that businesses that provide vehicle service are on its list of essential businesses that are exempt from closure orders.
Now, more than ever, is a time for you to reassure your customers that you are doing everything you can to ensure cleanliness, safety and the best customer experience for which your dealership is known.
Not Business as Usual
Start by saying that it won’t quite be “business as usual.” Explain that you and your staff are taking extraordinary steps to protect both your employees and your guests. These steps can include:
- Describe how you are staffing your department personnel so that personal contact is minimized, and that social distancing is being facilitated. Share that if any employee has even a hint of illness, you are asking him or her to stay home and not report to work. Ask your customer base to forgive your dealership in advance if they observe reduced staffing when interacting with your dealership. Customers will appreciate your honesty and your efforts to minimize risk.
- Share with your customers the safety precautions you are taking at the dealership in the way of supplying soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, latex or rubber gloves, steering wheel covers and seat covers.
- This is an opportunity to explain the efforts you are taking to educate your employees about the CDC’s guidance for limiting the spread of Coronavirus. Tell them that when they visit your dealership, they can expect a warm smile and a friendly hello, but they will not receive a handshake. Tell them you are advising your employees to keep a distance of six feet from their coworkers.
- Even if your dealership is allowed to have its showroom remain open, remind your customers that they can also view your entire inventory online and complete much of the shopping and buying process without entering a dealership. Assure them you will even arrange to have a vehicle delivered to them if limited physical contact is preferred.
- Finally, and most importantly, share with your customers the steps you are taking to disinfect and maintain clean interiors of your vehicles. Kelly Blue Book suggests that car owners, dealerships, rental car companies and ride share entities use hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes to wipe down the interior of a vehicle and any other area that could be considered a high-touch area such as steering wheels, door handles, control buttons, seat belts, mirrors and radios.
However, even if used correctly and frequently, these wipes are normally unable to reach far enough into porous surfaces such as upholstery and nooks and crannies to address the contaminants embedded in those materials and areas.
Introducing a New Kind of Clean
To really step up your cleaning regime, it is time to learn about NuVinAir’s patented process and powerful treatments that are powered by chlorine dioxide. Such treatments generate a dry, hygienic gas which fills the vehicle’s interior and penetrates deeply into all surfaces. The gas rapidly dissipates after dispersion and, when use directions are followed, allows for the safe and rapid re-entry into a clean, contaminant-free vehicle.
It’s important to keep in mind that this pandemic WILL pass, and we will return to normalcy at some point in the future. Until that time, plan out and implement the above steps to entice your customers to continue doing business with you.
About NuVinAir Global
NuVinAir Global is a privately held, Dallas-based company providing healthier commutes for drivers and passengers around the world by delivering a patented cleaning process and proprietary product line powered by chlorine dioxide to dealerships, rental car companies, and other automotive businesses. NuVinAir’s ReStore and ReFresh treatments are used to clean the air of the vehicle and remove contaminants, odor, and pollutants by dispelling a dry, hygienic vapor that reaches places that sprays and wipes simply cannot. Products and programs are sold through its Franchisees, who own protected rights to their defined territories. For more information, visit NuVinAir.com and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.