By Bill Snow, Radair Complete Car Care, Cleveland, OH
With today’s concern about being exposed to COVID-19 shop owners need to take additional steps to protect their team members and their clients. In states that have issued a stay at home order, automotive repair businesses are deemed essential and many have decided to remain open to provide services to their customers, many of which are first responders and health care workers.
Here are some helpful tactics to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
- Offer pick-up and drop off service so that customers don’t have to come to your location. Set some boundaries about time of day and how far you are willing to travel to get cars. While you don’t have to advertise those boundaries, it’s good to know them so that you can best manage your workload and workflow.
- Promote and utilize your night drop box as an anytime drop box. Many shops are seeing success using the night drop box as another way to offer a touchless experience. After your customer pays, place the keys in their vehicle with the invoice.
- Close off or restrict your waiting room. Drop off only.
- Have your team disinfect all customer reception area surfaces, bathrooms, and door handles multiple times per day.
- After your service advisor has checked in the car, have them disinfect all touch points, steering wheel, door handles, levers and gear shift knob. Also, install disposable seat covers and floor mats. Customers should only leave you with the vehicle key and clean it before your technician touches it.
- Require that your staff and technicians wear disposable gloves while at the shop and require that they change their gloves in between the inspection and repair of each vehicle. Gloves should be disposed of once they are used (do NOT reuse disposable gloves).
- Upon arrival each day, employee’s body temperatures should be taken and recorded. Anyone with an elevated temperature or any signs of sickness should be sent home.
- If your shop provides loaner cars, make sure that they are disinfected before your customer takes them. Your loaner cars reflect your business!
- Develop a note that can left behind in the car that states every precaution you took to ensure safety. You can even ask for a referral!
- Prior to your customer picking up their vehicle, disinfect everything again.
Taking these steps will not only help your team and your customers reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus, but it will also help you stand out as a shop that cares. During these uncertain times it’s our time to shine and show our communities that we are here to help.