A Positive Experience with Toyota?

Toyota_logo_2 I have talked about how I hate car dealers before. My hate of car dealers was the subject of several of my posts around April 2007. The time also included an interview with the somewhat anti-car dealer CarMax.

On Friday, I went to a car dealer for the first time since my series of negative experiences. My car (the one purchased in April) was due for routine servicing and I had to do it. 

Here is how the experience played out:

Simple appointment.
I called the dealership (the local Toyota dealership – not the one where I bought my car) on a Saturday. I expected to get voicemail, but instead spoke to a friendly woman named Mary. She explained that it was really busy and offered to take my phone number and call me back in a little bit. She called back about 10 minutes later. I made my appointment and she answered my questions.

Check in was simple.
When I got to the dealership, I pulled my car into the “have appointment” line. A guy walking by quickly acknowledged me and said that someone would be right with me. Within a minute or two, a guy named Shawn came out and helped me. He took down my information, looked me up in the computer, and got everything noted. I asked a few questions, which he answered right away. Check in was simple and painless.

They followed up with me frequently and promptly.
One thing that I really liked was that my point of contact (Shawn) followed up with me a couple of times during the day. He called me on my cellphone to let me know they had checked over the car and everything was fine. He asked if I wanted the A/C filter replaced (sure). As soon as the car was done (ahead of schedule!), he called me and said that the car was done and that there were no problems. The follow ups were nice, especially because they happened before I started wondering about what happened to my car.

The guy recognized me by name.
This is obviously a very little thing, but when I walked up to Shawn’s booth on the service floor, he opened the door and said hello to me. However, he used my name. Definitely not a big deal, but something that makes a positive difference.

Check out was prompt.
Shawn said I was all done and pointed me to the cashier inside. I waited in line for about a minute and the fairly friendly cashier got me all checked out. Total check out time was about five minutes.

My car was ready.
And this is what many customer service experiences boil down to: the work and how quickly it was done. How quickly and how well your computer was fixed, how long it took to get your billing error corrected, etc. My car was ready before I was expecting it to and the customer service experience that went along with it was top notch.

To be continued.
Less than 24 hours after writing the first draft of this post, there was a turn in events. Apparently, the fix wasn’t as good as I thought it was.

4 Responses to “A Positive Experience with Toyota?”

  1. darren said:

    Oct 01, 07 at 7:54 pm

    I hear what you’re saying…experiences at car dealers can be a classic case of ‘hit and miss’…in my experience, more misses than hits.

    I recently reviewed a company in Vancouver (Canada) by the name of autoONE that I used to purchase my recent car…now THIS is a company who takes customer service to the next level. See what I mean if you’re interested:


  2. Service Untitled » Sample Customer Survey - Toyota - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Nov 20, 07 at 5:39 pm

    […] I have already told you about my experience with Toyota (the good part and the bad part). A few days ago I got a survey from Toyota in the mail. I could either fill out the paper version or go to a web site called Toyota Voice and answer the questions there. […]

  3. newbeenew said:

    Feb 26, 09 at 11:01 am

    The most interesting fact that today, i see same article:).
    Although I do not remember there may be a link to the source,
    but probably not – but your site look solid.

  4. Margaret Pomeroy said:

    Dec 08, 09 at 9:36 pm

    My experience with purchasing a Toyota was remarkable. The salesman was polite, informative and total customer service was his priority. He went out of his way to accommodate our needs ie. booking return appointment etc., at the same time making us aware he was available at any time to answer any questions/concerns we may have. It was the best decision we made to buy a Toyota. As soon as you enter the dealership you experienced customer satisfaction.