How workshops can connect with customers during social distancing

In the UK and across the globe, increasingly strict social distancing measures have left many questioning what it means for the automotive industry. And if you’re a technician, service advisor, workshop manager or owner you may be wondering what this will mean for you.

The good news is the government has recognised the critical job of workshops in keeping the countries’ frontline people moving – nurses, doctors, delivery drivers and care workers just to name a few. So, despite the six-month extension of MOTs on all cars, motorcycles and vans, some workshops will remain open to carry out essential repair work for key worker vehicles.

Naturally though, a few things are likely to have changed – including limited face-to-face contact, contactless drop-offs and check-ins and extra cleaning regimes onsite.  The way you communicate with customers will need to change too, and as a CitNOW Workshop customer you have a tool available that will help you. In this blog we’re going to look at how you can use CitNOW Workshop during the pandemic, and some of the considerations you should be making as you do.

Contactless communication

As a workshop professional (and a CitNOW user) you’ll know the importance of clearly communicating with your customers. Especially if it’s to do with critical maintenance or repair.

But how do you do that without face-to-face contact? Well, the next best thing is video.

Using the CitNOW Workshop app can help aid your communication while social distancing measures remain in place – and afterwards of course. It allows you to thoroughly (and visually) explain any work carried out and takes the customer to the heart of the workshop – all whilst keeping your distance from the customer.

Extra communication during this time will help too. Many people are naturally distracted by the current situation, so using video to clearly communicate the time and date of their booking, as well as anything they’ll need for the appointment (wheel nut, paperwork etc.), will give customers one less thing to worry about. Demonstrating the measures you’ve put in place is also a valuable addition to your confirmation video – more on that later.

But the way you communicate with customers has never been more important too. They want clear, empathetic and honest advice.

It’s important to recognise the current situation, while also being empathetic with the customer’s situation. Now probably isn’t the right time to push that up-sell on new tyres – especially as only essential work should be carried out.


Sterilisation and cleaning

Keeping your distance from the customer is one thing. But you’re going to find it pretty difficult to keep your distance from the car.

You’ll no doubt have already put cleaning and contact-free measures in place to mitigate any risk that arises as a result. But it’s not just important to carry out these extra measures, it’s also important to let your customer know that it’s been done.

If you can record your cleaning regime, this will help reassure the customer that you’re taking all of the appropriate steps – but at the very least you can verbally explain the extra cleaning steps you’re taking. You could include this as part of your customer’s video message, or alternatively, send us a request to add something to your dealership’s post-roll, so it appears across all your workshop videos automatically.

Try creating a standardised list of measures each technician should be communicating in their videos. Communicating with your customers is very important during this time – but efforts should be made to be as clear and concise as possible.

We’re all in this together

We hope some of this advice will help you as you try to adapt to the changing situation. However, as a CitNOW customer, you also have access to lots of other help and support.

Our Customer Support team is available on 01189 977740 or via email at from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday (UK time). We’ve also recently released our How2CitNOW playlist on YouTube –  where you’ll find further tips and advice for making exceptional CitNOW videos.

Over the coming weeks we’ll also be releasing lots of helpful blogs and articles to help you adapt to the ever-changing situation, so keep an eye on our website for updates.