Mr Richardson - 9th February 2015
Lexus has never been on my radar as a customer prior to visit to the Lincoln dealer last week. I had previously been a customer of VW and BMW and its subsidiaries, but been recently disappointed with the customer service at BMW in particular as I began my search for my a replacement for my current car.
The service at BMW LINCOLN could best be described as peculiar. At worst; absent and dismissive.
I am a young person admittedly in his early twenties, but have been fortunate enough through my ventures to have the privilege to be able to consider buying from brands that I previously mentioned. This as you can imagine can at times present itself with a problem when comes to entering a show room to look at a car which is usually bought by people older than I.
Some ignore me outright, some condescend - and most present me with a brochure and a thinly veiled hint to not waste his/her time with my presence so they can move on quickly to a ‘proper’ customer.
I had heard good things about Lexus service for, reading car magazines and Internet forums, so took a chance by visiting even though I had no real knowledge of the products.
The dealer was exemplary. Receptionist was very helpful and cheery, and the coffee very nice indeed, but the service from Robert Drake the sales executive there, was just what I had been looking for, for ages.
He was extremely knowledgable about the products, which is a such a crucial element for a buyer. The sales chap at BMW was making so many mistakes regarding his own products that any confidence in his finance figures and monetary guarantees fell very flat on my ears. VW on the other hand had so little knowledge that he had to leave me for a few minutes so he could go and get his iPad to check the company’s website VW.co.uk.
Something I could have done myself from the comfort of home without having to travel into a dealer.
Lexus seems to know and understand this. Obviously when selling things like hybrid cars, there is a considerable amount of information to convey, which he did with ease. Then onto the test drive.
Again to compare to competition, some dealers seem to steer away from offering the test drive, others let you out for a ‘round the block’ spin at most. One guy even told me that I had a 10 mile limit and no more.
Robert however was very keen to offer the test drive however, even offering the availability to source different trims and engine combinations should I need them. The test drive lasted well over half an hour - possibly even an hour I didn’t recall the time, but it was certainly more than enough time to engage with the car and understand it.
Once back, we chatted about possible finance options, and I explained my dilemma between choosing a PCP or a cash method of payment.
He seemed to take an interest, and offered the services of the dealer for when the time is right to make a decision.
What I want to convey most however was how he didn’t pressure sell or fall into those vile traps that others do when they sell cars.
The “manager” who you never see but ‘reduces’ the price by £100 at a time or offers free floor mats or something useless.
The ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ offer.
The ‘slate the competition’ conversation.
Lexus never treaded into any of these areas. The conversation was calm and at a steady pace, and once at an end - he didn’t ask if I was “ready to put a deposit down today” but simply if I needed any more help, and if did then drop him a line.
And I will.
By respecting my own ability to make up my own mind about whether or not I want to spend £26,000 on a car, he’s more than likely than not secured himself a sale. And I hope that this continues into the future.
To cap off with another example, I went to a fiat dealer 2 weeks ago to see about buying my girlfriend a fiat 500. I said I was interested in new 0.9 twinair colour therapy. Turns out, it was their ‘sale’ weekend.
He went away and returned with his sales manager who had a piece of paper, with a 6 month old 1.2 pop on it, and placed out his hand firmly and said “you avin’ it then?” I kid you not I think I was there about 10 minutes before I made my excuses and left.
Obviously different products meant to different people. But service is service, and it’s the service that has lost him his sale, and probably guaranteed yours.
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