The new post-Covid 19 client will be more cautious, more demanding and more online-prone. This, however, will not be incompatible with more empathy towards local businesses. These are some of the key aspects shown by studies and analyses carried out by experts in Commerce, Marketing and Communication regarding the return to normal life after the confinement.
Regarding this new stage, the key aspects for the garage to adapt to the new reality are a bigger online presence and a larger digital development regarding customer service, offering more technical information to the client to help them with their purchase, as well as having a more immediate service, since the customer will go to the garage when necessity becomes urgency.
It will also be important to be closer to the client, who will have more empathy towards local business after this crisis, where human, personal and trustworthy treatment will be key aspects when choosing a garage.
Paint and bodywork garages have to be prepared and be aware of the new scenario that they must face. Even once we get to a certain degree of ‘normalcy’, consumer habits will be different, at least for a significant period of time.
Also, if it was predicted that the proportion of offline-online purchases would be 70-30 in the next five years, this process will have sped up in the last few months and now this proportion would reach 50-50, as stated by experts. Customers will also look, more and more, for a digital service offer.
Because of this, in addition to the digitalization of purchases and services and the importance of local business, other factors will be added and become more important, such as loyalty, convenience and price. The concern (even fear) about new infections (that will be present until there is a vaccine) will have a lot to do with these factors, as well as the purchasing power resulting from this new situation. Another relevant aspect that will also be valued by the client and that will need to be put in place and utilized will be social distancing, hygiene and safety, both personal and around the facilities.
In this context, an aspect such as listening to the client will become an important part of a competitive advantage. By knowing our clients’ needs, their preferences and consuming habits, the aspects they would like to see improved, and the solutions they need from us, we will increase their trust in our services and that will positively affect their perception of our quality.
This pandemic will increase the importance of already known key factors, such as the big competition that garages will have to face. That is why listening to the client will provide us with useful information in order to design segmented, specific strategies, which will allow for better selling actions and, of course, gaining clients.
This listening will happen at different levels: on the front stage (social media, direct interaction, online campaigns…) and also on the back stage, that is, the one that provides the information stored in the CRM and whose content is operative and transactional. This way, the after-sales business will have to reinforce all these channels in order to make this listening as efficient as possible.
Third-party trademarks referenced in this article are property of their respective owners.