Showcase: Asheville Ford Lincoln
STATS: SHOP: QUICK LANE AT ASHEVILLE FORD LINCOLN LOCATION: ASHEVILLE, N.C. QUICK LANE MANAGER: JON LEXOW STAFF SIZE: 13 ANNUAL REVENUE: $2 MILLION
1. ACCOMMODATING SCHEDULING
When Asheville Ford Lincoln moved to a brand-new facility in 2010, customers raved about the facility’s glossy, modern look, featuring chrome-like facing on the outside and no shortage of space within.
General manager Bob Slebonick—one of the dealership’s three partners, along with majority owner Vernon Krause and Dan Parks—sung the facility’s praises ever since. He’s particularly proud of the success of the dealership’s Quick Lane, which works on as many as 1,300 vehicles per month.
One key to the quick lane setup’s success is the fact it’s open seven days per week, including 8 a.m.–5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon–5 p.m. on Sunday. Slebonick says customers appreciate the flexibility of the quick lane’s schedule, which allows them to get oil changes, tire rotations, or brake work done regardless of the day.
2. BUILDING A CUSTOMER BASE
Six years ago, Asheville Ford Lincoln’s leaders began making a push for fleet customers. That decision has paid dividends recently, and the dealership now services countless Asheville police vehicles, as well as city maintenance vehicles. Often, that fleet work is addressed in the quick lane on weekends.
Slebonick says he and fellow dealership leaders have worked hard to forge longtime relationships with entities like the city of Asheville, to provide a steady flow of fleet work. He and several dealership employees have made countless face-to-face visits with area business leaders that appear to be potential fleet customers. And, during those visits, the dealership officials have made it known that they can provide the top wish-list items for a fleet customer: namely, quick, consistent turnaround times.
3. GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND
Asheville Ford Lincoln typically has up to 15 courtesy vehicles at its disposal. And, when a customer simply needs a quick ride to work, home, or the nearby outlet mall, the dealership has three shuttle drivers that can chauffer customers around between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
For customers currently driving Lincoln models from 2017–18, Asheville Ford Lincoln also offers a pickup and delivery service.
4. PROVIDING TRANSPARENCY
Not only does Asheville Ford Lincoln offer several services and an immaculate shop floor that’s machine cleaned nightly, it also provides customers with peace of mind. That might be symbolized best by the customer viewing window that’s located right off the dealership’s lounge area, which lets visitors watch technicians work on their vehicle. Slebonick says that’s one amenity customers especially seem to enjoy.
“People sit there and watch,” he says. “It’s a big trust factor; customers feel very comfortable that they can see their vehicle being worked on through the glass.”