- The Mike Shaw Toyota-Scion dealership in Corpus Christi, Texas offers free appraisals when customers bring their cars in for repairs or routine maintenance, offering to buy the car on the spot.
- The dealership buys up to 50 cars a month from service customers.
- In addition to the appraisal service, the salesperson acts as a concierge for the service customer, checking on their needs, arranging for rides and offering beverages.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A trip to the service bay at the Mike Shaw Toyota-Scion dealership here often ends up in a real-life game of "Let's Make a Deal."
The dealership has a full-time salesperson who sits in the service department and offers free, no-strings appraisals when customers bring their cars in for routine maintenance or repairs. The employee offers to buy the car on the spot, cutting a check right then and there.
"We've found that it's an effective tool to improve both customer retention and build our used-car inventory," Rick Jones, general manager of the Corpus Christi dealership, told Edmunds.
The reaction has been quite positive, with the dealership buying up to 50 cars a month. It's so successful that Jones plans to add a second salesperson in the service area shortly.
"Everyone is naturally curious about what their car is worth, so rather than it be interpreted as a pressure-filled, vulture-like experience, it's informative and helpful to the customer," Jones said. "We've gotten tremendous feedback because we're providing them with a needed service."
It helps that the salesperson has morphed into a concierge of sorts for the customer, checking on their needs, arranging for rides and offering beverages, in addition to the appraisal service.
"We look at it as an opportunity to build a relationship and help them with their immediate needs," Jones said.
Edmunds says: Making customers an offer they can't refuse is a unique way to build customer relationships.