HIGH POINT, N.C. — There can be real benefits to being part of a business that is more than a century old like Ford.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread, “We got very fortunate because Ford had dealt with this, overseas,” said Tony Bertschi, the third generation of his family to run Crescent Ford in High Point. “They understand that there’s an endpoint to this so instead of panicking, they’re making sure they get us through to the other side and make sure the consumer is protected as much as they can be through that process.”
Ford – and Bertschi’s particular dealership – had been working with the transition from people having to come to the showroom to see the vehicles to more a more online version of the business.
“I think this remote operation we’re having to deal with is here to stay,” said Bertschi, who estimates that customers now spend only about a quarter as much time at the dealership as they used to, when his grandfather began it, 50 years ago last month.
You don’t stay in business that long – and be named North Carolina’s #1 Ford dealership – without doing a lot of things right, but Bertschi says constantly innovating is the key to staying on top, even through harsh times like these.
“My focus is to make sure we don’t forget the lessons we learned during this – because it’s made us more efficient, I think it’s made us more customer-friendly,” he said. “The consumer’s perception of what service is has changed over the last two months.”
See the new protocols Crescent Ford put in place in this edition of the Small Business Spotlight.