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Communicating With Customers During the Coronavirus Crisis

BSB Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce development, apprenticeships, marketing and Web presence management with SkillsUSA, the I-CAR Education Foundation, Mentors at Work, VeriFacts Automotive and the NABC. He is the CEO of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive.com), which provides website design, SEO services and social media management services.

BodyShop Business Contributor Mark Claypool has graciously offered this article to help collision repair facilities notify their customers via social media on how they’re conducting business during the coronavirus pandemic.

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We are all experiencing a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created panic across the country. Many people are in quarantine, either self-imposed or mandatory. People either are, or will be, driving less. Less driving, less accidents – and that means less work. So how can you try to offset that? Social media can be one solution. Here are some of my suggestions.

Repairing Vehicles

One big concern people have is coming in contact with others during this crisis. Social distancing is a new term, a set of nonpharmaceutical infection control measures we can take to slow or cease the transmission of infectious diseases. We can use our social media accounts to highlight how we handle repairing vehicles during this crisis. No handling of forms, no use of community writing instruments, giving out new pens to each customer if something needs to be signed, or making the signing of authorizations to repair or other documents electronic so they can do it from their phones, tablets or computers. Highlight all of these things, graphically, on your social media accounts. Make it easy for people to bring you their cars without fear.

Detailing

Upon completion of a repair, detailers have the final touches on the vehicles to be delivered. They can wear fresh gloves with each car, use disinfectant wipes on keys, door handles, shifters, turn signal levers and steering wheels. Highlight all this, with video and photos, on social media so vehicle owners know there is nothing to fear and that you have taken extraordinary steps to protect them.

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Alternative Revenue Streams

As we in the collision repair industry anticipate a downturn as a result of this crisis, now is the time to think of what else we can do to generate revenue. Maybe detailing specials, with free pickup and drop-off, each using the extraordinary care of wiping everything down. Promote this on social media. This might also help you keep your staff busy during these times. An example post might be:

“Not driving much these days? Take advantage of our 50% discount on vehicle detailing, complete with free pickup and drop-off. Get your car looking its very best without ever leaving your house. Contact us at…”

Here’s an actual post we did for a client today, Carrillo & Sons in San Diego:

Summary

These are just a few ideas of things you should be considering. Make sure to be proactive and promote the steps you’re taking. This is a time for leaders to lead, not panic. I would love to hear from you on the steps you’re taking. Contact me here.

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