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How Automotive Dealerships Maintain Business Continuity in Times of Crisis
Having a business continuity plan can keep your automotive dealership moving forward during a temporary disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your automotive dealership’s COVID-19 response should address practical considerations such as changes at your physical location, changes in employee procedures, availability of key personnel and continuity of customer communications.
The customer experience will be different during the COVID-19 crisis, but your business continuity plan can still make a positive difference. Three critical aspects of your COVID-19 response should be updating your automotive dealership business listings, continuing to engage on social media and providing crucial updates to your business website.
Updating Automotive Dealership Business Listings
Your Google My Business listing can have a strong effect on how well you uphold the customer experience during a disruption. It should always reflect the latest and most accurate information, including changed business hours. If your automotive dealership is temporarily closed, monitor your Google My Business listing for Google’s planned addition of a “temporarily closed” option. Until then, however, you should ensure your business hours are correct, even if you must manually change them.
Another good enhancement to your listing can include an updated business description with current details about the precautions your team is taking. Creating posts on your listing can also help you share what is going on at your location. Adding photos or videos will make these posts more appealing.
Social Media Continuity
Use your social media presence to communicate and inform. Social media can be excellent for communicating changes to normal business practices and for informing your audience about sanitation efforts like increased frequency of professional cleaning and installation of sanitation stations.
If your dealership is handling sales-related transactions remotely or delivering newly purchased vehicles to customers’ homes, you can communicate this on social media, at once reassuring customers and demonstrating your commitment to a positive customer experience. Be sure to post all major business updates on all your social media channels.
Your Website’s Role in Business Continuity
Your dealership website should contain information that is completely consistent with the information in your business listings, including changes to business hours, phone numbers customers can use and other information on how to contact you.
Many dealerships choose to have a webpage dedicated to their COVID-19 response, complete with social media links and links to posts on their Google My Business listing. If your website uses live chat, work with your live chat provider to ensure all scripts and pre-made messages are up-to-date.
Some automotive dealerships find that assigning a dedicated COVID-19 response team leader is a great way to ensure everyone receives consistent information. This team leader can also ensure that someone monitors online customer conversations at all times and can ensure timely and appropriate responses to customer comments and questions.
Your dealership’s business continuity plan can help ensure the preservation of your reputation and services (where possible) during disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a good practice to make notes and amend your business continuity plan in real-time as unforeseen situations arise, to make things easier during future disruptions. To learn more, access our COVID-19 Resource Page today.