With the UK government giving the green light for showrooms to reopen, many dealer groups have been putting plans in place that redefine how their business runs in order to operate during COVID-19.
Boris Johnson's announcement that dealers could re-open from June 1st has lead to many dealer groups setting out how they would be looking to open their doors again.
Amongst all the uncertainty, the one certainty is that we won’t be returning to life as it was pre-COVID-19 in a hurry.
Which means we are all desperately trying to understand what the new normal will look like.
With consumers continuing to research cars online and potential pent-up demand for MOTs and overdue routine servicing as restrictions lift, dealers could well be in for a busy time. But many consumers and staff will be wary of returning to environments which could pose a contamination risk, so managers will be grappling with ways to make the sales and aftersales process safe.
Social distancing in the showroom and in the workshop are likely to be implemented which could see different working patterns adopted, a strict staggered appointment system, screens in the showroom and more reliance on digital tools.
According to Business Live, Vertu had returned 1,000 of its 6,000 to staff in response to consumer demand by late-April with social distancing in place and other measures with protective equipment.
Property agents Knight Frank has advised its sector on measures to facilitate returning to work including implementing a clear desk policy and installing equipment to increase air flow.
The media continues to explore what working life could look like once restrictions are relaxed with social distancing between colleagues and customers inevitably top of the list and even the possibility of wearing masks and gloves in the office.
Customers can be kept away from showrooms and service receptions by utilising more technology such as video conferencing, providing paperwork digitally and making it easy for test drives and service slots to be booked online. The DVLA has even confirmed that dealers can offer unaccompanied test drives to maintain social distancing as long as the dealer uses registered trade plates and has the correct insurance.
Meanwhile, it is almost inevitable the more customers can undertake remotely, the happier they are likely to be whether they’re buying or servicing their car.
If you would like to know more about how CustomerLounge can improve your customer’s aftersales experience whilst minimising the time spent in the dealership, talk to us today about our free three-month trial designed to help your business become restart ready.