Northtown Automotive Companies in Buffalo, New York believes designing comfortable, attractive showrooms keeps its employees happy, which in turn keeps the customer coming back for more.
Harold Erbacher, chief operating officer at Northtown, recently told Mega Dealer News that being at the top of the heap requires extra resources.
“We spend more than we need to,” Erbacher said, explaining the approach that the firm has taken in both acquiring dealerships and building them from the ground up. “We do things that a lot of other places don’t.”
It all starts with supporting the employee, which in turn leads to better experiences for the customers.
Erbacher said investing in comfort and support for in-house workers pays off, which is why at Northtown's facilities you’ll see fresh-baked cookies, bottled water, flat screen TVs and comfortable couches.
Also, he said, the same philosophy plays into the facility build. For example, in creating new buildings, top brass looks at opportunities for natural lighting, putting money into adding windows to shop areas as well as showrooms.
Radiant heating is another thing that the company shells out for. Erbacher says it helps employees who have had a long day to feel more comfortable.
All of this also enhances customer relationships, too.
“We go the extra mile,” Erbacher said. “If we give (customers) a great experience, that’s one less reason for them to go anywhere else.”
Northtown’s assertive spending and people-centered approach have led to the kinds of long-term business relationships that auto companies crave. Erbacher said some customers have been coming to the dealerships since the 1970s.
One of the best new things in Northtown's dealerships is an excellent illustration of the concept of superior customer service.
Erbacher describes it as a “genius bar” for car buyers and says the inspiration came from looking at what Apple was doing 10 years ago.
Essentially, Northtown provides staff to help customers figure out all of the neat new functions and features of their new cars, which can be hard to read about in an owner’s manual.
With the raft of infotainment offerings built into today’s vehicles, not to mention all of the other new stuff that confounds old-school gearheads, having built-in services like this is a major advantage for a dealership -- and another reason that when it comes to serving both employees and visitors, Northtown's showroom floors are a great place to be.