Best practices for Auto Dealerships During Covid-19

By: Lauren Spears

Event marketing genius, Lauren loves volleyball and creating meaningful engagement with our clients and prospects.

While your auto dealership may be closed or having to adjust the way consumers are allowed to interact, it is important to capitalize on the opportunity to provide your shoppers a great customer experience that begins on your website so that they choose to buy from you … whether that’s now or in the future. It is a crucial time for you to adapt to a digital sales approach. Follow these best practices to keep your dealership running smoothly to continue to gain revenue.


Personalize the Car Buying Experience 


Personalize the buying experience to connect with prospective shoppers. Using tools such as text messaging, video chats, and 1:1 appointments will enable your sales team to make connections with shoppers without seeing them in-person.


Just because your dealership may be closed to the public, doesn’t mean test drives have to stop. It is time to bring the vehicle straight to the consumer by offering virtual and at-home test drives. Virtual test drives allow the shopper to experience the car from the comfort of their own home. Utilizing tools like FaceTime and Skype allows you to show off the features of the vehicle for your shoppers. 


In addition to virtual test drives, you can also offer 1:1 at-home test drives. By offering at-home test drives, you can bring the car to the consumer who may be skeptical about leaving the house. Be sure to sanitize the steering wheel and handles of the car before and after the drive. 


Adjust your communication with vehicle shoppers


The buying experience has changed and so should your communication with shoppers. Use this crisis as an opportunity to update your language and tailor your message to a more personalized approach. 


Updating your banner ads and Call to Actions (CTAs) on your website is an easy and effective way to continue to drive traffic and sales. Changing the language on the banners allows your shoppers to see how you are catering to them during this time. Let them know that you are offering new virtual test drives, or to promote OEM deals or dealership trade offers.


Use emails to notify shoppers of special offers or financing that is currently going on. Email blasts are an effective way to reach your shoppers while still keeping the message personal to each shopper. 


Lastly, updating your website to include chat bots and text messaging features allows your sales team to connect instantly with shoppers, rather than waiting for them to fill out a lead form and then calling the shopper back. 


Communicate how you plan to keep your shoppers safe


The No. 1 priority should be putting your shoppers at ease. Follow these tips and tricks to make shoppers feel safe while in your showroom. 


  • Make “special appointment” service hours available. 
  • Communicate with shoppers the steps you’re taking to keep them safe online and by email. 
  • Keep the pipeline for sales open by having one-on-one conversations through video consultations.
  • Post your cleaning practices around your showroom.
  • Avoid shaking hands with customers. Place markers on the floor if you have waiting spaces signaling 6 feet.
  • Clearly communicate changes with shoppers, like home deliveries, store hours and when your team is available.
  • Add extra hand sanitizing stations around the showroom. 


Check out this Crisis Mitigation Guide from our partner Kain Automotive.

Additional Auto Resources