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Auto Shop Tips / Management / Marketing Your Shop During COVID-19

May 4, 2020

Marketing Your Shop During COVID-19

The world has changed in the wake of COVID-19. Your customers’ lives have been powerfully impacted by the changes needed to get through the crisis this virus has created. The ways that you market your shop in the weeks and months ahead can have a tremendous effect on how quickly it can return to some semblance of normalcy. Here are some steps that can help you get there:

Highlight your upgraded cleanliness and hygiene practices

People are very scared of this virus. You must assure customers that your shop is being kept as clean as possible and that their cars will come back cleaner than they were when they entered your shop. Include all of your cleaning and hygiene processes in your marketing messages, social media, and on your website, such as:

  • Frequent deep-cleaning and disinfection of the entire shop
  • Sanitizing of customers’ cars and keys, before and after servicing
  • Cleaning of tools before and after use on customers’ vehicles
  • Protective gear worn by staff 
  • Regular temperature checks of staff
  • Touchless services for vehicle drop-off, return and payment
  • Waiting area closed if social distancing is impractical

Provide incentives for customers to have their cars serviced and repaired

Aside from the essential workers who must drive, many people are staying home which makes it the perfect time for them to have vehicle servicing and repairs done. Encourage them by providing a discount or special offer when they bring their cars to your shop. 

And don’t forget about our most vulnerable groups – the elderly and those with underlying conditions. Offering them free pickup and delivery services, along with vehicle cleaning, will ease their concerns about exposure to the virus.

Add intensive interior deep cleaning services to generate additional revenue

With the heightened interest in surface cleanliness, your shop could consider adding a reasonably-priced vehicle deep-cleaning service. This would be much more intensive than the routine cleaning given to customers' cars. This process could include a thorough cleaning of all interior surfaces as well as cargo areas and exterior touchpoints. Interior air filter replacement could also be an option. Providing this service could convince customers to bring their cars in for other needed work. AutoNation is currently offering such cleaning services.

Show you care about the community

Our hard-working community health workers are the heroes of this crisis. Show your shop’s support for them – it will improve your image in the eyes of your current and potential customers. You might offer free oil changes and interior cleaning for medical workers, and special offers for other essential workers.

Another great way to be a part of the solution is to help out community charities such as food banks, with donations of in-kind services to help keep their vehicles running.

Spread the word about all of your community support efforts through your social media channels – your customers will really appreciate what you’re doing!