Customers shape experience at Abbotsford auto dealership – during COVID and beyond

Customers shape experience at Abbotsford auto dealership – during COVID and beyond

While it may seem like society is paused, the world – and its experience with COVID-19 – is changing daily.

“As we continue to maintain our physical and social distance and avoid many of those activities we’ve grown accustomed to, it can seem like the world is standing still, but in reality, things are changing quickly,” says Brian Choo, General Manager of Abbotsford’s OpenRoad Toyota.

As local businesses navigate that rapidly evolving reality, some benefits for customers have emerged.

Designated an essential service early on, the Toyota team moved quickly to take steps to help ensure the safety of both customers and staff. “We’re currently operating at about 75 per cent of capacity, so the need is there,” Choo says.

As service department technicians worked to ensure frontline employees could get to work and others had transportation for their essential needs, the OpenRoad team engaged with customers to determine which measures they wanted to see.

“We continue tracking people’s requests, and all the feedback we receive, to see where the need is and how we can best deliver that,” Choo says.

Some measures – like the contactless drop-off/pick-up and online payments – have been so well-received, they’ll likely continue post-COVID. And the dealership continues to adapt with new ideas to make life just a little easier for customers.

“People appreciate the steps we’re taking, not only to address health and safety concerns, but to make the service process easier.”

Choo is also eyeing changes for sales. Moving to an “all-in” pricing model, would allow customers to view the available inventory online, find a vehicle they like, then see exactly what their payments will be, taxes and fees included. “Consumers want that clarity. They’ll know the cost up-front, then they can come in for a test-drive. It streamlines the process.”

Here’s a look at other safety measures at the local dealership:

  1. For now, the sales department is open by appointment only, with in-person meetings following social distancing protocols, but the team is also happy to speak with clients by phone or video conferencing.
  2. In the service department, drop-off and pick-up procedures are touch-free and all technicians wear disposable gloves.
  3. Vehicles in for servicing receive seat protectors, keys are handled through plastic and all surfaces are disinfected.
  4. A Health and Safety Officer ensures the best standard of cleanliness and health and safety practices.
  5. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers are available; increased sanitization protects high-traffic touch points, along with professional daytime cleaning service during peak times and nightly cleaning.
  6. All hard and soft surfaces inside service car loaners and test-drive vehicles are vacuumed and wiped down each time anyone uses them.

These and other measures continue OpenRoad Toyota’s commitment to delivering what customers want.

“We always try to learn how the customer wants to interact with us, and what services they need. We were doing before COVID, and we’ll continue doing afterward,” Choo explains. “If you need us, we’re here.”