The Technology Innovator
In the highly competitive world of automotive dealerships, Joseph Agresta Jr., president of Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp, understands that the customer experience is critical. He also knows that convenience and efficiency are important factors and so he spearheaded technological improvements that allow the dealership to come to the customer.
For instance, Agresta equipped his employees with tablets so that they can conduct the greeting and vehicle walk-around at service points and complete paperwork while the customer remains in the car. He also eliminated cashiers and equipped his staff to process payments anywhere in the dealership. Finally, he equipped every corner of the business with Wi-Fi to enable his team to be mobile and flexible and to optimize the experience for customers. For example, if a customer wishes to conduct business in the cafe or the lounge, it can be done.
Joseph has given his employees the tools and resources they need to better meet the demands of today's customers.
Champion In Action
Joseph gave the company's service agents and salespeople tablets so that they can quickly assist customers wherever they are, leading to a more convenient and efficient customer experience.
"Typically in a dealership you move the customer from place to place," Agresta explains. "At our dealership we have rebuilt the entire facility to bring the business to the customer." Additionally, Agresta believes that engaged employees deliver a higher level of service.
But with 350 employees, and soon approaching 400 after the company opens a third dealership next year, it can be difficult for employees to feel connected. Therefore, Agresta emphasizes the importance of team-building activities amongst managers and their employees. The company regularly hosts dinners and lunches, as well as quick meetings, to give employees an opportunity to connect with each other and provide feedback. "We started as a family business and even though the company has grown a lot, we try to keep things casual and make sure it still feels like a small, close-knit business," Agresta says.
In the automotive business it's not unusual to have a turnover rate between 30 to 40 percent. Benzel-Busch has a turnover rate that's below 8 percent. In fact, Benzel-Busch's dealer retention rate rose from 21.6 percent in September last year to 22.7 percent this year. Agresta attributes this to providing his team with the tools and continuing training and development they need. This drives both high levels of employee engagement and customer service. Additionally, customers frequently turn to the company for additional services. In September alone, 91.7 percent of Benzel-Busch's customers received additional services, compared to the benchmark average of 60.8 percent.