How to… manage expectations and reassure customers

Suzuki cars

In this article: As businesses reopen, it’s important to build customer confidence and reassure them you’re doing everything possible to maintain safety during these unusual times

Now that showrooms are reopening, (in England at least), there are reports of a strong restart to enquiries, so it’s worth looking at how you manage customer flow and expectations. Critical to business success at this moment is maintaining safety and confidence so customers are confident in returning, that’s why we’ve compiled six tips to help you:

1. Keep communicating

Good communication is the key throughout any customer interaction. Many dealerships have found that a combination of a standard ‘what to expect when you visit’ email and YouTube video works well letting customers know what to expect.

Videos can be a good call, Robin Luscombe, founder of Luscombe Motors in Leeds, has done this and offers the additional tip that you can track opens of the video via an embedded link in the service confirmation email. That way you know which customers have seen the advice. Don’t worry, you don’t need a Hollywood budget…

2. Video’s for the win

You can also record short videos of how car handovers will work under social distancing regulations, plus other useful videos such as what to expect when you arrive at the showroom and how test drives will work. Former racing driver and now successful Volvo retailer, John Cleland shared car handover video on social media gaining more than 7,500 views. These films don’t need to be professionally shot, simply use a steady hand and your phone and upload to your social media platforms.

3. Keep it clean

Don’t scrimp on valeting for cars coming through your workshop. Everyone will be sterilising the interior of customer cars after a service, but make sure you also clean the exterior. “The reassurance of a car that looks clean on the outside is immediately well worth it. It shows that you’ve made every effort to make the car safe for the customer,” says Robin Luscombe.

4. Make sure you’ve got time

Factor in extra time for cleaning. You won’t just need more time to clean cars after they’ve been serviced, but also between test drives or even for showroom display cars that have been sat in by customers. Explain any potential delays to customers so they can understand you’ve got their safety at the forefront of your mind.

5. Break the seal

Once demonstrators and showroom display cars have been cleaned you can reassure and show customers that sterilisation has been done in a number of ways. For showroom cars, one of the best ways is to use a special sticker across all of the doors (including the boot). These stickers are designed to tear when the door is opened – breaking the seal – and don’t damage the paintwork either.
For demonstrators leaving seat, steering wheel and gear lever covers in place will reassure customer the car has been sterilised before any test drive.

6. Get them booked in

In the sales department encourage customers to book appointments if they’re interested in buying a car, rather than just walking in. Make sure you’ve got the right balance of sales staff to handle the appointments.

It will be impossible to stop all walk-ins entirely, however, retailers MotorPro spoke to explained those customers were very understanding about having to wait longer than normal to see a sales person.

Also make sure you’ve got enough staff back to handle email and phone enquiries. It will be difficult to judge the correct staffing level, but not having enough staff to return calls and messages will cause customer disappointment.