“It’s exactly the ideal time for car showrooms to reinvent themselves”

I half expected car-showroom confusion and chaos on 1 June – the day sales executives dusted down the desks they’ve been unable to work from for months. But, after phoning dozens of franchised dealerships on the historic Monday in question, this prospective customer (I didn’t tell ’em I’m also a working journalist) was pleasantly shocked by the normally positive actions received. I’ve never known sales professionals to be a lot more fired-up, friendly and accommodating.
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That said, a handful couldn’t, wouldn’t, or were ‘too busy’ to pick up the phone. almost as bad were out-of-date recorded messages. For example: “we’re closed” due to “government guidelines” that, in truth, no longer apply. Meanwhile, I was borderline angered when, at 4pm on a working Monday, I received a recorded rollicking from a leading merchant who insisted I was calling outside normal opening hours. This is how customers are lost – forever.

Can I buy a car during the Covid-19 lockdown? dealers reopen today

But my dipstick dealer of the day award went to the ‘salesman’ who answered the phone (so far, so good), before ordering me to E-mail my basic question/sales enquiries to a bloke called Ben, who may or may not get back to me. This, in the aftermath of April 2020 when new-car registrations were down 99.7 per cent year on year, followed by may when they were 89 per cent adrift! Unbelievable.

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