By Kristen Judd


The COVID-19 threat is like nothing we’ve experienced before.  Its impact is being felt in our families, our communities and our businesses and it is having a profound effect on how we live our lives. 

You’ve likely been receiving messages from every company you’ve ever done business with describing the measures they’re taking in light of the situation.  We’re doing many of the same things – operating remotely, curtailing travel and so forth – out of concern for the safety and well-being of our staff and their families, our clients and our community.  3 Birds already had a distributed workforce with many staff members located in different parts of the country, so we have been able to smoothly make this temporary adjustment while continuing to provide the high level of service and support our customers appreciate without disruption.

At times like this, continuing to provide uninterrupted support for our clients is just table stakes.  Right now, we all need to do more for each other.  As the world responds to the coronavirus, it’s clear that banding together for the greater good right now is what is required.  While we cannot predict what will happen in the coming weeks, what we can do is look out for one another, be good partners, good citizens and good communicators during this time.

For us, this means providing additional support to our partners.  We’re studying the data and online vehicle shopping and dealer website traffic has not diminished and manufacturers are responding with aggressive incentives.  We expect that consumers will spend even more time than they already do conducting online research and deal with a single dealership (as opposed to the 1.6 dealerships they have been visiting) before purchasing and it will likely be the one that is providing the safest, most convenient car buying process during this time.  Providing an outstanding digital consumer experience and reducing the amount of time consumers have to spend in the dealership has never been more important. 

We have not only ensured that our current clients are able to continue to deliver timely, journey and lifecycle communications, we’ve also partnered together to develop ongoing messaging about how their dealerships are responding to COVID-19 now and developed marketing and communication strategies to continue to move their businesses forward during this time.  We’ve been working with our current customers in this manner.  The extremely high rates of engagement that we’re seeing with these messages confirms that consumers are thirsty for this information and that our dealerships have their customers’ attention and interest. 

We’re also quickly establishing communication channels between our new dealer clients and their customers and ensuring that appropriate messaging about their response is getting out.  We can help your dealership with this too.

Dealerships have always been part of the fabric of the communities they serve, providing support to schools, charitable organizations, and families as well as employing many people.  Our experience tells us that dealers will undoubtedly rise to the occasion and be a source of support to their communities during this period of uncertainty.  Now is the time for dealerships to use their position in their communities and their platform to be a reassuring voice and do good while still doing business.  We admire our dealer clients who have already stepped up to support other local businesses, organizations and citizens in their communities and we look forward to sharing some of those stories with you in the coming weeks.

The saying, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do,” feels like it was created for dealers.  We’ve been through tough times together before and we will weather these challenges together too.  And when we come back, we’ll be better, stronger, more connected to our communities than ever before … and ready to capture the pent-up demand. 

Kristen Judd