To Go caught up with 5 Star Ford in North Richland Hills to learn how the car business has been treated during the past few months. In talking with General Manager Joshua Fichter, we learned that they are indeed an essential business and are working hard daily to ensure that the public is safe from COVID-19.
During the early days of the pandemic, 5 Star Ford complied with the Tarrant County order to limit person-to-person contact. In adhering to the county order, they closed their showroom. Though they had been doing online sales in one form or another since 1998, the high-performance sales team had to change the way they took care of customers both in-person and online. Sales were completed over the phone and then the sales agent would go outside to meet the buyer at their car for final signatures.
The showroom is open to the public now, but they still have signs up making sure you use the right doors for entry and exit. There is blue tape on the floors to help people gauge how far you need to keep from the sales associates’ desk while seated or talking with the receptionist. While the business has bounced back, they really had to work hard, learn and adapt in order to meet the changes in customer service needs and expectations.
The marketing arm at 5 Star Ford has kept busy as you can imagine. They had started a program at the beginning of the year to give away cash each Friday and then a car once a month all while supporting local charities and causes. Each Friday, you can tune into Facebook and turn your channel to the 5 Star Ford feed at 5 p.m. where you will see four people win $100 for themselves and $250 for an individual of their choosing. Each month that person changes, so in May you had to give the money to a first responder and in June to a teacher. Then on the last Friday of the month, they give away a car. In May it was a 2011 Ford Escape and in June a 2012 Ford Edge.
Joshua and he sidekicks on the live giveaways are fun as they give their sales pitch, signing up more folks to win a potential car and giving away money. Patrick runs the computer, the Facebook feed and the drawing itself, Kat helps warm up the audience in previews during the week and as everyone clicks in to watch the show and Joshua talks your ear off explaining the rules and giving Patrick some grief. In fact, if you don’t win the $100 or the car its #PatricksFault. They even got shirts made saying so.