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The New Normal

That’s what many are calling this time when the entire world is battling the coronavirus and the economic conflagration that is equally as frightening. 

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Between the barrage of newscasts reporting the number of coronavirus cases and fatalities, we can still find glimmers of hope. There are countless stories of courage and selflessness from doctors and nurses on the front lines, and everyday heroes who provide support from afar to loved ones and strangers alike. 

Many have said that tragedies of this magnitude also bring out the best in people — those who help the less fortunate and practice random acts of compassion and kindness. And, there are those who work to find solutions by collaborating and innovating. 

I’ve said before how proud I am to be a part of the automotive industry. Dealers and vendors never cease to amaze me in their abilities to adapt and improve — and take care of those in their communities.  

I’ve found two examples of the thousands of dealers who have stepped up to these challenges.  

Bob Serpentini, owner of Serpentini Auto Group in Ohio, created a Facebook video to let people know his dealership is open and that he and his team are taking the proper measures to take care of their customers — with their safety being a top priority. And they are offering all healthcare workers and first responders their employee discount on all new and pre-owned vehicles. 

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The Allen Samuels dealership in Waco, TX, has taken numerous actions to alleviate customers’ concerns about visiting the dealership, such as fogging all of the front areas and employee offices with a micro-biostatic surface protection, providing free pickup and delivery of all vehicles that need service or routine maintenance within the Waco area at no extra charge, as well as implementing a “zero physical contact” policy.   

Now, more than ever, your customers need to have trust in your business. If customer service is not high on your list of priorities, move it to the top. If you think your ideas are all tapped out, think again. Let customers know, with positivity and creativity, that you are ready, willing and able to serve their vehicle needs during this tough time. 

Tell them how you are taking all the necessary measures to protect them with sanitation and social distancing measures. Reach out to them regularly, via text messages, social media and e-blasts, so that your business is top of mind. 

Work together as a team to ensure customers return to your dealership with confidence and commitment. Do what you have always done to be successful, but more of it. Together, we will persevere and win this battle.

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