Tuesday, 07 April 2020 17:19

ASA Colorado Shares Ideas to Help Shops Survive During the COVID-19 Crisis

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“We are an essential business because we’re servicing vehicles for truckers, medical workers, grocery store workers and others who need to be able to perform their jobs for everyone’s sake,” Gossel reminded everyone. “We are blessed to be considered essential. Automotive and collision repair used to be the gutter industry, but now everyone gets to see that we are a life-sustaining business that helps keep everybody going.”


Carpenter stressed the importance of maintaining contact with employees to check on their concerns.


“You have to support them if they are worried about bringing this disease home to their family, especially if they have vulnerable family members living with them," Carpenter said. "Yes, it’s a business, but it’s a balance of business and taking care of the people that are there for you every other day.


"Loyalty can be bred out of what you do for employees in a crisis, and it’s important to recognize that what you can do for somebody doesn’t always mean money---it can also mean communicating and simply being there for people.”


“Staying connected in your shop about everything that’s going on in our world allows you to find out who’s really on your team," Pellman added. "The employees who offer solutions are your good team players. These are the best people you have, and you want to hold onto them.”


Referencing employees that have been placed on furlough, Haglin said people feel isolated and unimportant when they are laid off.


"If you plan to bring them back, make sure you are communicating with them frequently and sharing positive information about the steps you’re taking to move forward and bring them back to work," Haglin said.


When Capriotto asked about community outreach, panelists encouraged shops to get in front of customers in a supportive way, by offering services such as pickup and dropoff or even just calling to check on them in a personal capacity.


“It’s not about money, it’s about bigger things than money,” Gossel said.


Although it may be tempting to reduce marketing during this trying period, the panelists discouraged business owners from taking that step.


Instead, they recommended shops share organic videos to demonstrate the steps taken to protect customers.

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