A Lot has happened since the start of COVID-19. Different sectors were severely affected, especially the automotive sales industry. This is reflected when big car makers like the Volkswagen Group, which includes VW, Audi and Porsche, have ramped up incentives by 27.8% just to entice car buyers to dwell in buying cars again. In fact, a lot of car makers are now delaying some newer car models and continuing to sell last years, just to brave the Covid-19 sales storm.
The question is, as an automotive sales business owner, what are the things you should do to help you prepare in battling against this pandemic? We listed down some of our expert tips and suggestions to help you guide your business to a better tomorrow.
- Embracing The New Normal In Marketing
Not only are car sales going down, consumers are not even coming out of their houses anymore in an attempt to decrease the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus. This is the reason that old marketing strategies such as flyers and big signs are not ideal anymore during these times.
So, what is the new normal in marketing? Going digital. One thing that we learned this 2020 is how people can quickly adapt to a digital world when the need arises. Schools, offices, businesses, everyone right now are transitioning into a digital platform where they can learn, play, and explore all of what digitalization has to offer. This is especially true for the sales industry as consumers are realizing how convenient online shopping is right now, and yes while a small part of the population will return to the old way of going to showrooms for buying a car, the majority will stay online shopping. This is why during this pandemic it is of utmost importance that you shift your marketing plan and invest in boosting your online presence. Think of it as an investment in a new and innovative market that will surely explode in the coming years.
- Exquisite Customer Service
As with every sales business, after sale support is one of the key elements in ensuring your business does well especially when your customers are in tough situations where there are limited opportunities to physically go back to their dealer in case there are any problems with your cars.
Lack of resources is not a problem anymore with the myriad of opportunities that are provided by going digital. Chat bots for example are one of the newer techniques that are integrated to your dealership’s social media accounts for example, to answer basic inquiries of your target consumers. We know that this might sound like you’re creating a distant relationship with your customers but a lot of studies indicated that the mass populace are actually in favor of implementing social distancing principles to help battle the Novel Coronavirus.
- Connect With Your Customers Through Social Media
With more and more people working and studying at home, most consumer time is spent online. This is the perfect opportunity for your business to connect with them through posts in your social media accounts. Create eye-catching graphics accompanied with valuable information like car sales and promotions, or just general informative car trivias to help engage them and convert into sales.
- Enable Home Test Drives
You might be thinking that this is a bad idea, it is if you don’t properly follow protocols. This will usually involve someone from your team who is properly tested for Covid-19deliver a car for a test drive to your customers home, and of course properly sanitize it afterward. Not only will the customer appreciate you going the extra mile, you will also have the perfect moment to give a sales pitch about the benefits of owning a car during the pandemic.
- Understanding The Financial Hit: Extend Your Return Policies
Lastly on our expert tips, is extending the breathing room for your consumers. What car dealerships need to understand is that the mass population was also hit financially by the pandemic. A Lot of people got a pay cut, reduced work hours, and sadly a lot of professionals also lost their job, So buying a new car is not really first on the priorities of the buyers. An extended return policy or warranty greatly helps on the buyers side, it will greatly help them feel more comfortable in investing in a car. Especially in a situation where most of us don’t know what our financial opportunities will be in the next year or so.
The automotive sales industry is one of the prime examples of a sector that can thrive well in this time given the right innovative opportunities and strategies. If done right, with the help of digitalization and proper customer service, you can shift the hesitancy of consumers to buy a new car. Social distant sales might be the next step that the industry needs to evolve further.