We’re all in this together! Your dealership is a pillar of the community, with resources that can be invaluable for helping the less fortunate in this time of crisis. These five tips are a wonderful place to start, showing your friends and neighbors that they can count on you and your dealership.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has caused a lot of uncertainty for small businesses across the country, and most of you are probably feeling that pain as well. In times like these, it’s more important than ever to provide one another with whatever support we can. Today we’re going to go over five ways your dealership can help your community during COVID-19.
- Volunteer your resources
There are many ways you can use what you’ve got to help your neighbors. You have access to a full showroom of cars, and right now, they’re probably not going anywhere. Consider lending one to a grocery pick up service, or any other organization that provides food. Many people, including the elderly and immunocompromised, are relying on services like this to live.
In addition, you can offer your service department to essential workers. Delivery drivers are still putting lots of miles on their car—sometimes more now than before the pandemic! Medical professionals need to drive to and from the hospital. Free oil changes, or even merely discounted services can be a huge help and a great way to say thank you.
If you have staff or employees who are not high-risk, help them find ways to donate their time and talents. If you qualify as this, make sure to lead the way with the volunteering.
You could even use your social media channels and blog as a place to amplify how you can help each other. Reach out to other businesses and community leaders to amplify your message and spread your reach.
- Shout out other local businesses
Sometimes a little word of mouth is all it takes to get a business going. If there are local businesses you trust, show your support by sharing their current specials and promotions on your own social media pages. Your endorsement adds a ton of credibility and encourages your followers to buy local. This small gesture could make a pretty big impact.
The relationships built during this time of crisis will carry over, resulting in a stronger community overall.
- Offer specials to customers
Many businesses are doing their best just to keep the lights on right now and your customers may be in the same boat. If your traffic is down, consider offering gift cards or discounts for future purchases. Like bonds, offering someone to buy a $100 gift card now that is worth $150 tomorrow is a huge incentive and the cost is delayed until you can pay. It’s also a great way to create a little buzz and business for your service and parts departments.
Additionally, tailor your specials to the present needs of your community. While a select group is driving more, a larger proportion is driving far, far less. A special tailored specifically to preparing cars not to be driven for a period of time could be of immense help to them and a good opportunity for you.
- Share your expertise with your community
Your business knowledge is invaluable right now. Consider sharing how-to content on simple automotive work that people can do from home. This could be something like a tutorial on how to change a cabin air filter, or which products you prefer for an at-home car wash. Again, the idea that cars need service in order to not be driven will be news to the vast majority of your community. Relaying this information, then walking your followers through the process would be a huge help. Content ideas like these will get great viewership and social sharing.
Plus, it makes for awesome, original, evergreen content that you can refresh and reference back to for years to come. And it’s something fun for you to do.
- Think outside the box
If your state is allowing it, look into doing home drop off for car sales, and contactless service for oil changes and other automotive maintenance. Emphasize the care and concern you are taking to prevent the spread of the virus.
It’s all about creating safe ways for your customers to continue doing business with you during this time.
Here’s the biggest takeaway: what you do right now to show your community you care is just as important, if not more so, than any future sale or marketing strategy you could roll-out in terms of long-term payoff.
Not only will it be good for your business’s reputation, but it’ll also help you feel better about your contribution during this crazy time.