We live in a digital world. For many new-car shoppers megabytes and gigahertz are just as important as horsepower and fuel economy. To members of the younger demographic chips are made of silicon, not potatoes, and ram has nothing to do with trucks. But what about the rest of us? To help customers understand the high-tech features of their cars, every Lexus dealer is staffed with dedicated experts that are at the ready to answer any questions a buyer may have about their vehicle.
To date about 2,400 of these Technical Specialists are on staff. The program started last summer and has spread to every Lexus dealer in the country.
“It wasn’t so much a reaction… it was proactive,” said Owen Peacock, National Product Marketing Manager for Lexus. The company was trying to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to high-tech features, and perhaps avoid a MyFord Touch-style debacle in the process.
Modern luxury cars are loaded with so many electronics customers can feel overwhelmed, especially if they’re not of the, “digital generation.” Salespeople simply don’t have enough time to explain all of the features a vehicle may have. “You need that dedicated person,” Peacock said, which is where the Technical Specialists come in.
They can help drivers pair a phone with their car’s Bluetooth system, demonstrate how to use Lexus’ Enform infotainment technology or even help drivers with in-vehicle apps. If you have a question about how your Lexus functions, chances are they’ll have an answer.
Peacock said, “Some dealers are putting these people in the service drive.” It’s a way of helping expedite repairs. A lot of times problems aren’t; a customer may think their navigation system is broken but in reality they may not be using it properly. The Lexus experts (Lexperts?) can teach them how to do things and avoid a potentially lengthy wait for a technician to diagnose the vehicle.
Unlike other dealership employees Technical Specialists are actually salaried, meaning they don’t work off commission like a salesperson. Staff turnover is notoriously high at dealers and a steady paycheck goes a long way to helping keep workers from leaving. But ultimately this move is all about serving consumers and exceeding their expectations, because happy customers become repeat customers.
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