2020 has been a difficult year for the collision repair industry as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in one way or another. Although most shops have been allowed to remain open during state shutdowns, claims are still down significantly. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on the most vital part of your business: your customers.
Look, we get it. No one likes having to worry about how far apart we’re standing from one another or if we’ve disinfected the counter after someone has touched it. And no one, I mean no one likes wearing a mask. We’re all “over it”.
But despite all of that, it’s still something that you need to keep in mind as a business that sells to the general public. As our research shows, not adhering to these rules might cost your shop repeat business and it can lead to negative reviews.
According to our data, customers like to do business with organizations that share their values. It’s how they decide who they give their money to. They want to feel respected, appreciated and safe. When they don’t, the chances of building a relationship that leads to additional sales drops significantly.
What the customers have to say
“The work was great but the lack of masks means I personally will not go back.”
“Not one employee wore a mask during interactions with me, despite local requirement that they do so, and despite their signs requiring customers to wear masks. So inconsiderate.”
“No one in the shop or the front desk was wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID. I would feel better if they valued their customers by wearing face masks.”
On the other hand, shops that followed the recommended guidelines and focused on creating a safe and secure environment received praise for their commitment and professionalism.
“Awesome!!! The experience was excellent. I cannot think of anything negative to say about **** Collision. They provide a safe lobby for customers, too, due to COVID!”
“I appreciated the care and wearing of masks and cleanliness.”
“Keep doing what you’ve been doing. I was very impressed on how the shop handled things during COVID-19. It was an easy fix to have my car repaired at ****** Collision during this time.”
“During the height of COVID-19, they arranged to pick up car so that I didn’t have to go out.”
What you can do for your customers
Surviving in this “new” world isn’t difficult, it just requires a new mindset of what “normal” is. Here are a few reminders of what customers are looking for:
- Maintain social distancing with colleagues and customers.
- Offer free pick-ups for customers who are at a greater risk of COVID due to age or chronic illness.
- Maintain personal hygiene in the shop and offer hand sanitizers to staff and customers.
- Sanitize the interior daily.
- Make sure that you and your staff are wearing masks at all times to keep your customers at ease.