Take lessons from Disneyland and learn how customers are treated

Corvette Z06Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North American operations has a three-fold plan to increase Chevrolet sales in California. As is the progressive California mindset, Chevrolet production will have to develop smaller and more fuel-efficient models to compete with the imports, make Chevrolet dealerships more physically attractive, and amp up customer service.

General Motors has lagged behind Toyota, Honda, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen for years. Statistically California Chevrolet dealerships are only capturing three percent of the market share for passenger cars. Time for a change? It seems so since Disneyland in Anaheim will be the setting for some intense customer service training with the purpose aimed at making a car salesman into Prince Charming.

Salesmen won’t be riding pirate ships and teacups, but will be concentrating on Disney’s attention paid to detail. Not that there is anything especially wrong with tattoos and body piercings, I wasn’t surprised however to hear a woman tell me about her disappointing first impression with a car salesman who had facial and lip piercings. The customer couldn’t concentrate because she was so distracted by what looked so very painful and offensive. Would the Little Mermaid ever sport a lip piercing?

Sales people won’t be smoking in public view while on the job. Disneyland says that would be equivalent to Cinderella smoking a cigarette. Perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned from Disneyland is that customers are always to be appreciated, and it’s the small things that count which customers always remember. Can you ever remember seeing loose garbage on the sidewalk of any Disney kingdom? Can you ever remember any Disney character ever looking disheveled or having the slightest rip in her costume? The car dealerships can find small but effective ways to pay attention to details also. Service departments can show how their customers are appreciated with a free car wash with every service or a bottle of cold water in the beverage holder when a customer comes to pick up their car.

A big part of the total experience of purchasing a car is about the dealership – more than what the salesman has to say. Once GM brings forth a product that appeals to California car buyers – fuel and environmentally efficient, the physical appearance of the dealerships are next. GM promises to pour in $60 to $100 million into over 100 franchises – primarily in Los Angeles to make a uniform entrance, redesign others and even move dealerships to better areas – all with the intention of creating a brand known for quality and excellent customer service.

Time will tell if Disneyland comes to “Chevroletland”, but it definitely can’t hurt.

photo credit: Hertj94

3 Responses to “Take lessons from Disneyland and learn how customers are treated”

  1. Christopher Marshall said:

    Oct 21, 11 at 5:10 pm

    Cool read! Definitely agree with the relation between Disneyland and car dealers. I was at a dealership recently and I was treated ridiculously. Customer service is slacking at most dealerships. During these times, dealers can’t rely on cars to sell themselves anymore. Thanks for the read!

  2. Cheryl said:

    Oct 24, 11 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you!

  3. Richard Shapiro said:

    Oct 25, 11 at 8:27 am

    Cheryl, another great post! You captured it all by saying that businesses should demonstrate appreciation. Customers need to feel that businesses really care about them as people, not only as customers. And Disneyland does get it. Their attention to detail is amazing and they take and leave nothing for granted. Hopefully car dealers and every other organization can learn from Disney and your fabulous synopsis. Richard Shapiro The Center For Client Retention @richardrshapiro