Wednesday, 27 May 2020 22:28

Creating Lifetime Customers in Post-COVID-19 Commerce

Written by Chana Perton, CBT Automotive Network


COVID-19 forced companies and consumers to adapt rapidly to stressful circumstances.

E-commerce became pivotal, and contactless service a necessity. The script for how we interact with each other has been fundamentally rewritten over the last months.


These learned behaviors aren’t going away any time soon. Even after restrictions lift, reports from early-opening states indicate that business isn’t returning to pre-coronavirus levels overnight. For dealerships that have made it through the shutdowns, deliberate action will ensure they survive the next stage. 


Brand loyalty will be critical during this time. COVID-19 made many people question their values and rethink their priorities. Gaps in supply and safety requirements have also led them to try new brands for the first time, eroding previously strong ties.


This presents a challenge and opportunity for dealerships. Old loyalties might be less solid than they were at New Year’s. At the same time, there are many customers who might not have looked your way before, now primed for a change.


Here are three suggestions that can help shore up existing brand loyalty and net new lifetime followers. 


Many dealerships instituted special COVID-19 services, such as contactless car delivery options, special hours for vulnerable clients, and expanded web services. Though the need for these services may seem less as regulations ease, it would be prudent to keep them in place for a while longer.


As mentioned, data shows foot traffic remains low in areas where businesses are opening up. Many people remain scared despite changes in government orders. Continuing to offer COVID-19 sensitive resources and services allows you to continue to access the population that remains sheltered in place past state and local openings.


Additionally, over the last few months, customers have become accustomed to a certain standard of interaction. Digital interactions bring a certain convenience that few will want to do away with entirely. Keeping COVID-19 services as an option could net you these customers’ loyalty as they too transition to the post-coronavirus reality.

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