Well, the Coronavirus pandemic and the business disruption that followed was certainly more severe and lasted longer than expected. I hope everybody safely self isolated, looked after their families and remained healthy in these strange times.
Like others, at Thompson and Smith our showroom had to close for visitors at the start of 2021. But thanks to modern technology and social media we have been still been able to help our customers choose their perfect vehicle, whether that be via telephone, our website, video calls or through our social media channels. Thankfully, as an essential service, our Aftersales department has remained open to keep people on the road when they need to be.
We have now re-opened our showroom, there will be necessary changes to the way we conduct our business on a day-to-day basis to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. This will be constantly reviewed and amended as necessary. Both staff and customers are to wear masks in indoor customer facing areas.
The site facilities will be regularly deep cleansed with sanitiser made available for all customers as they enter and exit the premises. Social distancing signs will be clearly marked for all customers and Perspex screens have been fitted to face to face reception areas. Our staff will sanitise all of the touch areas of customers cars both before and after any work, disposable seat and steering wheel covers will be used. Free of charge service courtesy cars will continue to be available and receive the same cleansing before and after use. Our customer seating area for short term waiting jobs has been re arranged with recommended safe distances respected - this now has a reduced capacity of up to 3 couples at any one time.
We are fortunate enough to boast a large showroom and outdoor sales areas to enable safe distancing at any time. For showroom visits, appointments are encouraged to ensure a more comfortable and safe experience for both customers and staff. All sales vehicles will be sanitised and locked prior to any demonstration to avoid the risk of contamination.
Sales persons desks now have clear Perspex dividers fitted. Internet sales are and will continue to be a very important part of our business. We will continue to offer honest, accurate descriptions of the vehicles offered with numerous high resolution photos and a video of the vehicle posted on our website. This will reassure customers of the quality and care we take into the preparation of our sales vehicles and install confidence during the buying process, eliminating the risk involved with buying online. We also offer full facilities usually only available on site - these include part exchange valuations, remote finance applications and our own in house transporter delivery service. On delivery, social distancing measures will be adhered to with the vehicle touch surfaces and keys being sanitised.
Thank you for taking the time to read this personal message, I hope that the measures that we have taken reassure you of our commitment to look after your motoring needs for years to come.