Sierra Toyota in Sierra Vista, AZ is a small market Toyota dealership, and the leadership team understands the value of providing an exceptional customer experience. They have invested in technology, training, and staff to support initiatives like digital retailing and vehicle pick-ups for service. One program they recently implemented is called Quickride, an app that organizes home deliveries, vehicle pick-ups, and shuttles.
As a start-up consultant, I serve on the advisory board for Quickride. During our normal check-in call, I asked to hear about some of their recent success stories from clients. I expected to hear about happy customers or the benefits of adding home delivery options to their services per usual, but they shared with me a story about Sierra Toyota that caught me by surprise.
Gabe Rendon is the Service Manager, and he manages the team responsible for managing customer pick-ups. He shared that feedback was overwhelmingly positive since implementing the home delivery service. Customers waiting for shuttles appreciated being informed about their shuttle and wait times over the previous system, and those who scheduled vehicle pick-ups appreciated the convenience and being informed about pick-up times without constant phone calls. This feedback fit in with what Sierra Toyota hoped to do with the new program, but no one on the Quickride or the Sierra Toyota teams anticipated this next comment.
The dealership received an unexpected visit from Brenda Charles, who said, “I can’t tell you how much I love this new service you’ve introduced. I have a stutter, so the app made it incredibly easy for me to schedule a service and vehicle pick-up. I’ve recommended you for a commendation for local businesses that take steps for disabled people.” In Gabe’s words, they added this because they wanted to increase customer satisfaction, but they never imagined it would have this kind of impact.
Gabe and his team were originally concerned that people wouldn’t embrace the technology or might abuse the service. However, the opposite has been true. Customers have embraced pick-ups when they have trouble leaving the house or need assistance. Most regular customers appreciate having the option available to them but use the service sparingly as they recognize it comes with additional overhead from the store.
The pick-up service also provided unexpected benefits for the service department. Service advisors can now write up vehicles during downtime because the customer isn’t waiting for service. The vehicle pick-up service also offers them a valuable closing tool for customers who might otherwise find a lengthy and expensive service too inconvenient to finish that day.
On October 8th, 2020, Gabe and Sierra Toyota owner K.C Han went to the City Council meeting, where Mayor Rick Mueller presented them with Sierra Vista’s “Vist-Ability” award for their actions in the community. As their customer mentioned during the ceremony, “This [app] to me has been priceless.”
Disclosure: I am also an advisor for and an investor in Quickride.