Automotive businesses can continue to remain open for trade, including sales, service, repair and parts supply. Customers are still permitted to have their vehicles serviced or repaired – and they can buy vehicles and parts – taking into account adhesion to all current social distancing recommendations. Workshops must also practice the 1.5-metre distance between all staff and customers, and a four-square metre average across workspaces is required. Some businesses have installed screens in waiting and/or reception areas, a measure that has made both staff and customers more comfortable.
VACC encourages the adoption a contactless service model during these times. This can be promoted to customers via SMS, email, website and social media – a written notice at the service counter is also a good idea.
Contactless servicing in businesses could include:
- Pickup and delivery (parts and vehicles)
- Key drop-off box facilities
- Contactless payment ('tap and go', online banking or over the phone payments)
- Emailing of invoices
- Offering a taxi or Uber instead of courtesy cars
- Repair order authorisation via SMS or email.
The automotive industry can recognise the importance of essential workers on the front line during this difficult time, too. Emergency workers, medical professionals, and those who are keeping supermarkets open deserve assistance. Why not offer them priority service and more flexible hours in which to have their vehicles repaired or serviced?