I find myself this morning sitting in the waiting room at a car dealer. Just the thought of visiting a car dealer brings a high level of dread. Images of sales guys standing in the parking lot smoking the boredom away, dirty service areas, dirty bathrooms and worn out service guys who are under orders to get sales up in the service department. I would normally ask my wife to take it in, but this is going to be a Baker Motors experience.
Having run companies, large marketing divisions and now Prestige Real Estate Group, I am always amazed when I experience a consumer business that truly has a passionate culture of putting the customer first. It is not easy. It takes leadership from the top with a serious commitment to serving the public. I want to take my hat off to Tommy Baker and his team.
As you drive up the busy road to Baker Infiniti you pass Baker Chevrolet, Baker Mercedes, Baker Commercial Vehicles, Baker Maserati, Baker Porsche, Baker Jaguar and so on. You get the idea.
Monday, I called and made an appointment with a very nice lady who also offered me a Baker loaner car. Last night I received an email and text reminding me of my appointment. This morning I received another gentle reminder. Good thing I need reminders.
I arrive for my 50,000-mile checkup required to keep the warranty people happy. I figure this bill will be a whopper. I am ready to control expectations. I step out of my vehicle in a spotless receiving area. The service adviser walks up with a smile and says hello Mr. Campbell. Amazingly I remember his name, Craig. I remember Craig because he has been outstanding in previous visits - he even gave me his cell number. We sit in his office and I tell him “I need my 50,000 mile check up, but I plan to sell the car soon so let's not go crazy” (I figure I am negotiating smartly and keeping him under control). He tells me it shouldn't be too bad. I make a mistake and mention "please have them check the brakes." I ask how long do breaks last on this vehicle. Craig responds 45,000 - 60,000 miles. A bead of sweat breaks out on my forehead. Craig announces, “this should take no more than an hour, do you want to wait for the car?” I shockingly agreed to do that.
I stopped by the desk where I had the Baker Motors loaner car waiting and advised the staff that I have decided to wait for my car. She said “no problem at all. Have a great day.” As I helped myself to a coffee and pastry several Baker people smiled and said good morning (remember this is a car dealer).
The waiting room is so comfortable that there is no feeling of worrying about how soon they can get this done. Soon Craig popped in to give me an update. He reviewed a long check list of everything they looked at. (Oh, the pain that was surely coming) Shockingly he said my brakes have 75% still on them. All you need is a rear windshield wiper and an air filter. Within an hour Craig was back and my car was done. I was very happy to pay my very reasonable bill at the cashier and, of course, she was delightful. As I jumped in my car, I noticed it had been washed and was cleaner than my normal car wash does it. I left with a huge smile on my face...from a car dealer remember.
On a serious note, these guys do it right
- Great communication before, during and after the appointment.
- Beautiful, sparking clean facilities including the bathrooms
- Good coffee. Very rare indeed at any business.
- Very comfortable waiting rooms
- Well trained technicians who are no doubt doing a great job.
- An attitude that makes you want to come back over and over. (Hum, maybe I need a Porchse.)
This was a Disney World experience and has been every time I have visited the service department. As I said running a company with this culture isn’t easy. Tommy Baker has a passion for his customers and every employee embraces that culture. The bottom line is I wouldn't even consider a purchasing a brand of vehicle that didn't come from a Baker Motor Company Dealership. They have made me, and I am sure many others A RAVING FAN.
We strive to be a Tommy Baker experience at Prestige Real Estate Group. It isn’t easy with everyone’s needs and wants, but great companies get it and the payoff is RAVING FANS.