When Lexus was established 23 years ago, it was dedicated to providing the best customer service experience in the industry. Lexus’ commitment to that goal is reflected in its top position in the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction Index for 15 years, including the past four in a row. Now, Lexus is raising the bar again by partnering with its dealers to create two new certified dealership positions. The Vehicle Delivery Specialist (VDS) will introduce customers to their new cars and review the features of each vehicle. The Vehicle Technology Specialist (VTS) will serve as a resource for customers who have any questions about how to use the advanced functions of their vehicle, including the new Lexus Enform telematics system.
“With the advent of more technology in luxury cars, customers often have questions about their navigation system, establishing a Bluetooth connection for their phone or managing other telematics systems,” explains Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president. “While we’re happy to answer their calls, we think it will be much more beneficial to have experts at our dealerships who can establish and maintain relationships with customers to answer any questions about their cars.”
Dealership associates are trained to treat customer service as a craft and are given advanced tools to help them go the extra mile with customers.
“Lexus customers are becoming more and more technologically savvy and we want our dealership associates to be able to communicate effectively with them throughout the sales, delivery and ownership process,” says Vince Salisbury, Lexus College dealer training manager. “Customers can access the information on their own, come in to the dealership or contact their dealership via phone, e-mail or iPad to get the answers they need. The idea is to give them what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.”
In addition to providing technical training, Lexus is training dealership associates to recognize verbal and nonverbal feedback to customize each customer’s experience. Some industries have more experience in this arena, so in addition to identifying the best people currently at their dealerships, some Lexus dealerships are looking outside the automotive realm to recruit and train for these new positions.
To ensure best practices are shared throughout the dealer network, Lexus is establishing an on-line forum of customer issues and solutions where associates can ask questions, offer suggestions and provide support to one another.
“At the beginning of each training session, we welcome dealership associates who are already the best in the industry. We introduce technology and tools to help make them even better,” said Salisbury.