How Dealerships Have Adapted To The Pandemic

How Dealerships Have Adapted To The Pandemic

The global COVID-19 pandemic forced massive and sudden change to the way we live and do business and, despite the inconveniences of the various levels of lockdown, people have adapted quickly to those changes – in many cases becoming quite comfortable with this new way of life.

In the process of reopening the economy, every sector of business had to make changes and adapt their function to fit in with the regulations – and be ready to change again as those rules tightened or eased.

Penta dealers were quick to revise policies to suit the changing circumstances and, as a reminder, sanitisation procedures at all Penta dealerships are applied to meet South African government regulations as well as Penta’s own health and safety regulations as it values the safety and health of the public and wishes to ensure any visit to the dealership is safe for the public and for our staff.

This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Maintaining social distancing protocols at all times.
  • Ensuring all staff and customers wear a cloth face mask or a home-made item that covers the nose and mouth and not allowing any customer access to a dealership, used car outlet or auction without a face mask.
  • Not allowing an employee who is sick or who has COVID-19 symptoms to work.
  • Mandatory screening of all employees when they arrive for work on a daily basis.
  • Mandatory signing of a register by all visitors and customers to all sites.

Penta dealers were quick to revise policies to suit the changing circumstances and, as a reminder, sanitisation procedures at all Penta dealerships are applied to meet South African government regulations as well as Penta’s own health and safety regulations as it values the safety and health of the public and wishes to ensure any visit to the dealership is safe for the public and for our staff.

But, how have the dealers processed the changes?

Phillip Kempen, sales manager at Penta Suzuki Mokopane, said, “We had to try and create more value for customers.”

Morne Van Pletzen, Senior Sales Executive, Suzuki Montana was very upbeat, saying: “There was no adjusting of the sales part, the vehicles are selling themselves. We are only here to give excellent customer service.”

In every sector the sales process was disrupted by the pandemic and this prompted a significant global growth in online sales of goods, including cars.

“Fact is people buy cars from people and not computers, so we endeavour to give every customer that walks through our doors or phones or emails the best possible customer service.

“We do this to make it almost impossible for them to say no or buy from a different dealer. We do try and make sure our product knowledge is the best one can have, to enable us to answer all questions that come our way. If we are not sure of answers to questions, we brush up on our product knowledge to gain trust from our customers.

“If a customer ends up feeling like a family member, you are sure to retain his future business and get business from their friends and family. Customer excellence starts from building a strong bond with our customers.”

“We have also noticed customers are being more cautious with their money, which adds additional responsibility to make sure you are offering them the very best value for their money.”