by Cathy Droz, Founder – HER Certified
HONESTY- EXCELLENCE- RESPECT – LEXUS
In today’s environment and across the various generations, a key to any successful enterprise is delivering on their philosophy and values, regarding their customers’ experience. The following information compares two diverse organizations, but with similar approaches to that experience.
There is nothing like test driving a Lexus; I haven’t driven one I wouldn’t want to own. While I am certainly appreciative of the craftsmanship and functionality of these cars, what I am most impressed with are the values the Lexus brand has for its employees, dealers and community. If you are not familiar with the Lexus philosophy, below is an example of their beliefs, which is very consistent with my views on customer service.
“The host anticipates the needs of the guest in advance and offers a service that guests don’t expect. They should not wait for instructions.”
Recently, I drove the Lexus ES300h to a meeting that took place at a Changing Hands book store in Phoenix. Changing Hands is a well-known, non-franchised book store that houses thousands of new books, and hosts book signings for authors on the New York Times bestseller’s list, as well as local writers. Within the walls of this vintage brick building existed an environment that promoted rapport among and between customers, as well as the attentive staff. There is a hip coffee shop, with real coffee cups, clean bathrooms, and great lighting.
Additionally, outside the Changing Hands building is a refreshment stand for dogs. It’s a cute A-framed roof constructed with a shade allowing for the hot Phoenix sun, and three water bowls set at differing heights to accommodate all sizes of dogs. Now they could have had one big bowl and no shade, or no water at all for pets, like other establishments.
Since customer service is number one with Lexus, I was happy to see that Changing Hands has a similar approach. To reiterate, the goal of successful businesses is to provide a customer experience, that addresses a wide spectrum of customers while simultaneously dealing with the specific requirements of groups within your customer base (such as women), resulting in increased sales and return customers.
Lexus makes many models of gas fueled and hybrid vehicles for all needs and wants or customers. One size doesn’t fit all, in water bowels and cars… Lexus knows that.
As does Lexus and Changing Hands, I want to provide women a great customer experience when walking in to a car dealership. So I developed the HER Certified program and Studio. The premise of the studio is based on my book and my certification program through HER Academy. Besides a spot on your showroom floor, there should be a proportionate percentage of females employed in key positions that will uphold the HER Certified Philosophy… much like that of Lexus and Changing Hands.
“HER Certified Dealerships are dedicated to meeting and exceeding the expectations of women when buying or servicing a car.”
It seems only natural that the first HER Certified Studio has been designed and established inside the Superstition Springs Lexus in Mesa, Arizona. The General Manager, Brent Adkisson reflects my values and approach to customer service, as well as having at imperative to have women represented in sales, finance, technology and service. He is the perfect dealership model in many ways, including programs to giving back to the community. This is what women want from a dealership customer experience.
And speaking of a great customer experience… the Lexus ES300h is truly worth an outing to your local dealer for a test drive. Until you take it for a spin, it’s difficult to imagine how well it drives, the luxurious appointments, and the potential savings to be realized. Just like Superstition Springs Lexus, Changing Hands, and HER Certified… the host anticipates the needs of the guest in advance and offers a service that guests don’t expect.
The 2017 Lexus ES 300h Sedan has all the bells and whistles and then gets 40 MPG city and 39 highway with an estimated annual fuel cost of $900.00. Here are a few of the standard features and some options.
• There are 12 Performance features – My favorite – Rear Spoiler
• There are 22 Safety Features – My most important – PCS with Pedestrian detection
• There are 19 Luxury and Convenience Features – My favorite – Lexus Premium Audio System
• There are 9 Luxury Options – My favorite – Intuitive Parking Assist
FUN FACT: The ES300h is built on the Toyota Avalon platform
*HOW HYBRIDS WORK
Hybrid cars feature advanced technologies that traditional cars don’t have. Regenerative braking reduces brake friction by using the electric motor to assist in stopping the car. This process generates electricity that’s stored in the chemical battery for later use during high-speed travel. The power assist ability gives extra power to the engine to aid in accelerating, passing or traversing hills. Power assist also makes it possible for the car to house a smaller and more effective gas engine. The automatic start and shutoff system turns the engine off when the car stops and reengages it when the driver pushes the accelerator. This prevents wasted energy and provides better fuel economy.
DID YOU KNOW: The idea of the hybrid car has existed since the early 1900’s. Ferdinand Porsche presented a car at the Paris Exposition of 1900 that was able to run solely on electricity for 38 miles. He later included an internal combustion engine to power a generator to charge batteries. The car could only go 35 miles per hour, but it was the first protohybrid.