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Now Is The Time For Garages and Workshops To Promote Customer Loyalty and Trust

15th April 2020

Dealer management system and website provider Dragon2000 are advising garages and workshops to engage with their service customers during the lockdown, to help promote customer loyalty and trust, and encourage them to return for their servicing and maintenance needs when it ends.

At a time when we should only be using our cars for essential journeys, such as food shopping, obtaining prescriptions and attending medical appointments (unless you are a keyworker or it is not possible to do your job from home), many vehicles are getting far less use than normal, with people spending more time at home.

But with garages and workshops currently only allowed to remain open for essential repairs for supply chain and key worker’s vehicles, and the MOT period being extended for 6 months, your customers need to ensure that their vehicles can maintain the best operating conditions, and more importantly, are safe to drive – but they may not know where to start.

There are a number of ways that you can provide advice to help your customer base through these extraordinary times, until they are able to have maintenance and service work carried out by professionals once again. Sending email mailshots to your existing customers during lockdown, to keep in touch with them and to give them general tips and safety advice, is a worthwhile exercise.

You can share basic advice such as maintaining the batteries on vehicles so they don’t go flat whilst they are not getting much use, checking and topping up engine oil, and how to avoid tyre flat spots and adjust tyre pressures. Brake discs can also suffer surface corrosion after extended periods of being unused, so advising customers how to remove it by gently applying the brakes at low speed when they drive the vehicle again might be useful to include – along with anything else you feel might be helpful or safety related.

You could also split your e-mailshots into vehicle groups to give more specific advice where appropriate, so your customers feel they are getting more personalised assistance. For example, having separate mailers for different fuel types, where you can advise on topping up Diesel Exhaust Fluid for relevant diesel vehicles that you have serviced in the past, or charging advice for electric vehicles, which are now becoming more common.

During the lockdown period, you can put your vehicle maintenance expertise to good use and invite your social media audience to ask your business vehicle related questions, so that you can offer free advice and try to help with problems or maintenance questions. Once you’ve posted this on your business pages and profiles, you could also share this to local community pages on Facebook, or through your personal LinkedIn and Twitter profiles etc, to maximise its reach.

Many will appreciate this, and those you have helped are likely to spread the word within their social network or community pages. This extended reach gives you an opportunity to reach people who aren’t existing customers that wouldn’t necessarily have heard about your business, but this online “word of mouth” recommendation will undoubtedly build trust that could well lead to them becoming a customer of yours in the future.

Finally, visibility is key. If you stop updating your website and posting on social media, your customers might start looking elsewhere for their future needs. Consider adding a blog page to your website and writing short articles about basic maintenance that your visitors would find useful – you can then share links to these on your social media pages too.

If you don’t have a modern or engaging website, now is a good time to put that right. Consider features such as online service bookings and live chat facilities, where booking requests and live chat enquiries can be fed into your dealer management system, for the increasing number of people who will now be more used to doing things online when the lockdown ends.

Garages and workshops who are preparing for the lifting of restrictions will be ahead of the curve when it happens, as many of your existing customers will likely have overdue maintenance, servicing and MOT needs, so keeping in touch with them and raising your profile now will undoubtedly help attract new custom as well.

 

If you are looking for a dealer management system or are interested in our car dealer websites and mobile apps, please contact our sales team on 01327 222 333 or email sales@dragon2000.co.uk for more information.

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