Coronavirus and COVID-19. These two terms meant nothing to us a few weeks ago. Now, they're having an extraordinary effect on our country. Unprecedented is also becoming a more common word, due to restaurant and bar closings, working and schooling at home and rising unemployment rates. The current "shelter in place" that many of us are in poses a number of challenges for every business.

Despite these challenges, there's a reason to be optimistic. Today's technology allows many of us to work from home and shop from home. It even gives us plenty of streaming options so we aren't running out of shows to watch during this time. The same is true for auto dealers. Technology can still provide a great way to help you stay open and continue serving your customers during this time.

Here are a few ways that ridesharing technology can infuse some life into your dealership during a pandemic such as COVID-19.

Service Pickup and Delivery

What happens when a customer's warranty service time is due or they need their regularly scheduled maintenance during a "shelter in place" scenario? A dealership employee can take a Lyft ride, facilited by Hailer, to the service customer's home to pick up the vehicle. The employee then drives the customer's vehicle back to the dealership where the service is performed. Once service is completed, the employee drives the customer's vehcile back, drops it off at the customer's home and takes a Lyft ride back to the dealership. This is a great way to keep your service shop open, meet your customers' needs and increase your CSI. In fact, some dealers have already implemented a similar process in their Service department. Here's how Paragon Honda-Acura uses a similar program to service almost 2,000 vehicles a month.

Test Drive and Sales Delivery

Of course your online presence is critical during this time. More than ever before, consumers are inclined to shop for new and pre-owned vehicles online. First of all, you need to be sure that your website is up to date with inventory, pricing, incentives, images and more. A robust online retailing tool is also crucial to helping those customers complete their shopping journey. But what happens if they want to test drive the vehicle? What if they don't want to — or can't — leave their house to take delivery of the car they just purchased? A dealership employee can drive the vehicle out to the customer's home for the test drive. They can either wait outside the home or ride along — whatever makes the customer feel most comfortable. If the customer purchased the vehicle, the employee can drop it off at the customer's home and again use a rideshare service like Lyft to get back to the dealership. Chevy is even communicating this in their latest commercial.

Service Shuttle or Loaner Replacement

What if the customer decides to bring their vehicle into your dealership for Service during this time? Having them wait in a waiting room with others is not an option. Maybe you have a shuttle or loaner program available. These Service customers will need a ride home during the repair and then back again when the vehicle is ready. Available on the Fortellis platform, Hailer is a service transportation solution that integrates seamlessly with your tech systems. You can quickly and easily dispatch a rideshare vehicle for service customers.

Hailer can be an excellent tool to help keep your entire dealership open, profitable and safe for your customers and employees.

Authored on Tue, 04/07/2020 - 16:42