Since 1996, Moncton Honda has offered offering its customers superior customer service and great support in the automotive sales industry. Moncton Honda may make big sales, but they will never forget their small town roots. John Brushett Sr., Dealer Principal at Moncton Honda, started working in the car business in 1984, working with Chesley Penney in his hometown of St. John’s; Brushett and Penney remain business partners to this day.
Moncton Honda’s knowledgeable employees are dedicated to make the process of car buying simple and enjoyable for its clients; the company focuses on continued customer support after the purchase of the vehicle, pushing Moncton Honda to the top in customer service. “You’d have to move into the service department to see what the dealership’s success is really built on,” says Brushett. “We’ll sell the first car on the sales floor but every car after that is sold from the service department.” Brushett truly believes in customer loyalty, and much of his team’s effort is spent on taking care of existing clients.
One of the many things the dealership does to support its customers beyond the purchase of their car is maintaining customer knowledge. “Every three months we hold a New Owner Clinic. Anyone who has purchased a car – used or new – in those three months, we personally invite them to a night where they can visit the dealership when the store is closed. We provide refreshments, we have a digital presentation, and our managers speak just for a few minutes about our dealership. After this, technicians speak for over an hour with the customers about the different parts of their car, and educate them on how to deal with minor issues when out on the road. Our guys come in at 7:30 a.m., and they stay in until 9:00 p.m. on those evenings we hold the New Owner Clinics, even though it is all on voluntary basis.” The idea behind the New Owner Clinic is to help and remind the customer that the dealership’s job isn’t done once the car is sold. Moncton Honda wants to maintain a close connection with clients in order to ensure that all their needs are met. Another customer membership program, The Benefit Service Club, gets the customers cheaper oil changes, discounts on parts and tires, and deals on service.
Brushett does not hesitate at all to recognize the No. 1 reason his business is a success. “The success of this store has grown over the years because the strength of the staff has grown over the years. The people I have working for me right now are the best crew I’ve had in the car business.”
The staff at Moncton Honda has grown with the dealership and they all believe strongly in the customer-centric philosophy of the dealership. The vast majority of storefront employees that deal with customers are bilingual because the Greater Moncton area is highly bilingual. Every salesperson works hard, treats each customer with respect, and takes care of customers’ needs in addition to focusing on the sale. “We always say it’s the people business we are in, not the car business.”
Moncton Honda recognizes that technology is essential to the success of any business in today’s fast paced car market. That is why the company makes sure to have state-of-the-art facilities, with software and hardware companies’ contracted to develop store systems that help make customer support fast and easy.
One innovative use of technology is Moncton Honda’s Shuttle Tracker. Most dealerships have shuttles to pick up and drop off customers whose cars are in the shop for service. Often this process can be intrusive on the person’s day because they have to find out where the shuttle is, and call to check on the shuttle’s location. The Moncton Honda shuttle carries GPS tracker, letting the customers track shuttle location using the dealership website. “They can see the shuttle coming down the street, grab their coat, and leave the office without delays,” says Brushett.
Moncton Honda also partnered with VenueVision Media Systems, which developed a large, wall-mounted display screen located in the service area directly connected to Moncton Honda’s servicing software. Similar to an arrivals and departures board at the airport, the screen shows each customer who has an appointment, showing the customer’s name, vehicle type, license plate, and appointment time; the customers in the waiting area see when their car is being worked on, and when the car is ready. This feature is also available on the dealership’s website [license plate numbers and vehicle status only]. This has eliminated the need for customers to phone in constantly to check on their vehicle. Couple this with time saving initiatives like on-site automated car wash, and you have a list of features that make servicing at Moncton Honda a great experience and value story for their significant client base.
When it comes to web presence and social media, Moncton Honda has all its bases covered. Whether it’s the completely interactive features on its web page, the fully functional tire shopping resource, e-commerce vehicle accessory store, Facebook contests, or the e-newsletter emailed to some 4,000 subscribers with deals, driver tips, community calendars and more, the company continuously enhances its digital presence for the enjoyment and convenience of its customers.
Moncton Honda even has an innovative way to help reduce its corporate carbon footprint. Customers can submit their email address so their correspondences can take place digitally, helping to save trees. Every quarter there is a draw for a Honda lawnmower as an incentive for the participants of the program.
Brushett believes that it is small features like these that can make all the difference for a customer. “Those types of features demonstrate the sort of care and thought that we put into making sure the service for the customers is a bit more than other dealerships.”
Moncton Honda continues to grow, and on September 4 broke ground on its newest customer-focused initiative. While the dealership redeveloped and launched its new facility in 2006, the dealership embarks on an additional facility enhancement, involving a 3,600 square foot building, to serve customers as onsite tire storage, seeking to meet the ever-changing needs and desires of clientele, and looking to launch the new tire storage service this, just in time for the coming winter season.
“We feel it is very important to give back a little bit for what we get,” says Brushett. Moncton Honda makes sure to support local sports teams and local charity initiatives. They love their small town roots, and part of that is staying involved in the community.
Each year in May and June the dealership takes a portion of its car sales and donates the money to the Special Olympics. Every Christmas, instead of spending money sending out Christmas cards, the dealership donates that money to the local hospitals and then sends out a note telling the customers about the donation.
Moncton Honda is a successful, leading car dealership on the main street of Moncton. From the moment you enter the dealership and see the little kids’ nook with video games to keep them busy, to the time when you get your free coffee from the complimentary breakfast bar, you know that you are in a customer friendly environment. So what does Brushett think is the most important part of the business? “People are everything.”