CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A tragedy can bring out the best in a business, and that proved true for Kia Country of Charleston after South Carolina's recent historic floods.
The dealership put out a heartfelt message from General Manager Steve Appelbaum through e-mail, a blog and social media that offered its unique talents in helping with the flood damage.
First, it gave specifics on what sounds or sensations — losing power steering, for instance — are temporary troubles for a car exposed to water and which ones aren't, such as a knocking or rattling in the engine compartment.
Then, it offered free inspections and, if necessary, the promise to help affected consumers navigate insurance claims and work with adjusters to take away some of the headaches involved in making a claim.
"We are trying to be kind and help our neighbors in need," Digital Marketing Director Lisa LoVullo told Edmunds.
Their call to help led to a response from about 1,800 people, LoVullo said.
"Something resonated with people," she said.
This dealership's response to the flooding was unlike other many dealerships in the area, which only advertised selling flood victims a new car, rather than helping them to navigate the uncharted waters.
"Customers are family," LoVullo said.
Edmunds says: Creating goodwill in the wake of tragedy helps a dealership stand out.