Simple Service – what a rarity!

This past week I had a very scary and potentially life-threatening situation in my car. It happened on a busy one-way, three-lane downtown street right in the middle of rush hour. Luckily, no one was hurt yet my car was left unable to be driven, and I was stranded. Good Samaritans come in many shapes and sizes; so first let me extend my heartfelt thanks to the two nameless men who came to my rescue and helped to push my car out of busy lanes of traffic despite the sneers and impatience of other drivers. Then, I experienced an exemplary example of one of the best service organizations I have ever known. For those of us who live in Dallas, the service team of Sewell-Lexus is legendary. Yet, this particular scenario is one deserving of recognition and from which we can all learn. Sewell-Lexus’s mission and associated values could potentially be applied to many organizations; yet the distinction is that they live and breath them. Take a look:

Their Mission:

We will provide the best vehicle sales and service experience for our customers. We will do this in a way that will foster the continuous improvement of our people and our company. We will be a top-performing, thoroughly professional and genuinely caring organization in all that we do.

Their Values:

We will be at the top when measured against appropriate business standards or performance in every function, in every department, in every dealership.

We will pursue quality and profitability with the aim to stay in business and provide jobs for our people.

The development of our people is essential to our growth and future success. We will provide training and education to encourage the long-term employment and professional advancement of all our Associates.

We will strive for constant improvement and innovation in all that we do.

We will earn and re-earn the goodwill, trust and confidence of our customers and colleagues every day.

The highest ethical standards will guide everything we do.

Our suppliers are important to our success. We will establish long-term relationships with suppliers whose values and quality are consistent with ours.

They sound familiar, don’t they? I build mission statements and value systems with corporations daily with my company Alignment, Inc., so what makes the difference? How did these values reveal themselves this past week? When a client (me) called their service department at 5:15pm on a busy week day – frustrated, a bit shaken, and late for a meeting – the service person who took the call was calm and cool. She was concerned first for my health and well-being and, only after she had heard that I was okay, did she inquire about my car. She told me to stay near the car and they would send a tow truck, with a loaner car, as soon as possible. She assured me she had all they needed on file, and not to worry. They arrived within 45 minutes – literally under and hour – and David, the driver, greeted me with a smile and a warm countenance. He knew my name, what had happened, and proceeded to help me unload my car into the loaner, and navigate the new loaner car through the maze of traffic. No muss, no fuss. I was called the following day with an update and was told to keep the loaner car until they could repair my car.

Nothing compares to an organization who consistently outperforms, exceeds expectations, and earns a raving fan through every single interaction a customer has with any and every member of their team.

What can we learn? The list is endless: Tremendous attention to detail. Every person owned the client’s satisfaction. Uncommon follow-through and each person truly put themselves in my moccasins – from start to finish. And most importantly, simple kindness and patience in every conversation and interaction. Simple – yet what a rarity!

What’s the reward? That, too, is simple: Sewell-Lexus is the #1 pre-owned Lexus dealership in the United States. They were a charter dealership opening in 1989, and have been awarded Elite of Lexus which is the highest award a Lexus dealer can earn. The award recognizes Lexus dealerships that exceed all Lexus standards of excellence in the areas of new vehicle sales, used vehicle sales, customer satisfaction for sales and service, as well as training and business management. These distinctions are not by accident; they are hard earned and well-deserved from this raving fan’s perspective.

12 responses to “Simple Service – what a rarity!

  1. Kristen,

    My husband works for Sewell and they are amazing! They are the reason we moved here 6 years ago. The Sewell family continues to amaze me with their attention to overall service and detail that cascades down into everything they do.

    They are a rare company in which every person holds the mission to the highest and have respect and admiration for their leadership because of their follow through on their mission and values.

    Hope all is well! Have a wonderful summer.

  2. Kudos to Sewell! Every compmany should strive to recruit and train service leaders with such dedication to customer satisfaction! I contend that the customer experience is truly one of the few distinct ways companies have to differentiate their offerings… Which begins with good leadership and genuine concern and care for employees. I miss the days when companies valued both more than a short sighted dollar!

  3. Kristin,
    What an amazing story. Values-based companies are unique and powerfully successful in their impact on people and their bottom line results and sustainability. I deeply appreciate the Sewell-Lexus values you shared that focus equally on their internal people and on their customers and the vendors they rely on. From the sounds of it, they are an organization that is, as you say, “aligned”–consistently values-oriented from the inside out. What that meant for you was that they were the salve that enabled you to begin healing from your frightening episode almost immediately. If only I lived in Texas, I’d buy my next car from them!

  4. The message and results are clear and simple: when we make our clients’ priorities OUR priorities, we make the world a better place. Thanks for sharing a good news story about how business SHOULD be conducted!

  5. So glad you are OK!

    Sewell-Lexus is a model example of sales/service all the way around! I’ve bought 3 cars from their pre-owned area and will never go anywhere else!

  6. Kristin,
    So glad that you are ok. It is so great to hear stories like this. Of people helping each other…just b/c it is the right thing to do. Moral of story…treat people right in your business and you will do well. Word of mouth is the best advertisement out there.

    Thanks,

  7. Kristin,
    Joe and I are so glad you are all right! And I know where we will buy my next Lexus!
    This article is also a great one to send to a grandchild just graduating from high school!
    Penelope

  8. Kristin — What a great story, and so absolutely right on target! Being the proud owner of a 1999 Lexus SUV that has 279,000+ miles on it, I know the company’s product is great, and it’s nice to hear that their service is too. I have always had excellent service at my Lexus of Rockville dealership, and am glad to know that my dealership may have the same service-oriented approach that went the “extra mile” they went for you.

    I worked for a company that had that service-first attitude — Marriott International was/is a truly customer-friendly company, with stories similar to yours. I wish more businesses understood the value in this kind of customer service. Word-of-mouth is the best and most effective marketing there is — for better or worse!

  9. Thanks, all, for your kind comments. Sewell Lexus is a gem – and we can all learn from them! Simple service….what a concept.

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