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NADA offers tips for dealers to navigate pandemic

Friday, May 01, 2020 7:03 PM | Anonymous
An NADA webinar which debuted in April, "Managing Service Operations: Making it Through the COVID-19 Pandemic," examined some of the changes that have occurred in service departments under the current conditions
Pick-up and delivery services are important to protect the health of dealership staff as well as customers, NADA Academy instructors Bob Atwood and Larry Hourcle said. "We all want to get out of the house, but the dealership is nowhere to be for your entertainment," Hourcle said.
"Use this opportunity to step up and wow your customers by expanding operation hours with multiple shifts," Atwood added. Multiple shifts also helps provide spacing among technicians. Also, state law permits service to be performed seven days a week.
Use email to send repair orders to customers. If a signature cannot be applied to the RO, ask them to indicate permission to proceed with repairs in another way.
The speakers advised spending time in the current situation devoting marketing messages to a dealership’s service department, emphasizing that they are open to help customers.
"For years," Atwood said, "we have been preaching to the manufacturers to do a one-minute commercial about dealership service. And every time you turned on the TV, what do you see? A one-minute commercial about a brand-new car that they wanted the customer to buy.
"Well now, all of a sudden, what do you see? There’re no new-car ads. Everything is about ‘Oh, our service departments are open, they’re essential businesses, we’ll come and pick up and deliver your car.’
"Why did it take getting to this point for the manufacturers to realize that this is what they need to be doing? And I hope when this is over that they occasionally run these ads, to keep the service department in front of the dealerships.
" ’Cause remember, sales sells the first vehicle; service sells the second and third vehicles."

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