- Lee Hyundai discounts its vehicles right up front, so salespeople can spend more time focusing on car features and less on negotiations.
- The dealership staff knows that customers spend time online doing shopping homework, but believes personal interactions are what make shopping enjoyable.
- Two of the longest-serving Hyundai dealership employees in the U.S. work at Lee.
FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina, — Lee Hyundai discounts its vehicles for all to see, right up front. On a weekly basis, the dealership mystery shops local competition, and uses that information to price its cars. With that out of the way, there's more time to find the right car for the shopper.
"We're trying to close the window of negotiations from thousands of dollars down to maybe a few hundred," says Mike Hammer, general manager of Lee Hyundai. "It's no secret that customers don't want to negotiate for hours and neither do we. This saves customers time and stress."
With so many people researching cars, prices and deals online, Hammer thinks that sometimes a personal touch from a deal is missing. And this is one of the reasons why Lee Hyundai puts the emphasis on product presentations instead of just hammering out deals.
"Customers still need to look at cars in real life, out of doors," he says. "They need to get trade-ins appraised and test-drive cars. We want to spend more of our energy showing the car, not fighting over price."
Hammer insists that the dealership staff constantly study new-car options and technical features. By doing that, the staff can effectively show them to car shoppers and demonstrate how to get the most out of what the vehicle has to offer.
These personal touches extend beyond the sales department. The service department has a diesel flatbed tow truck and keeps a driver on staff. If a customer has a problem and can't get the car to the dealership, the tow truck picks it up.
"A family was driving a car that developed a problem," Hammer says. "We sent the flatbed out to them, picked up their car and dropped of a loaner to them. They were at the beach when this happened. Because we had the flatbed, they were able to go about their weekend without too much inconvenience."
Hammer says Lee Hyundai takes these steps to differentiate itself from other dealerships. "People make mistakes. Cars break, things happen," he says. "But how you handle mistakes when they happen is what sets you apart."
These personal touches have helped in sales: The dealership is in the top 5 percent of Hyundai sales nationally. And it also helps in employee retention. Two of the country's longest-tenured Hyundai dealership employees both work at Lee: salesperson Dexter Dove and service technician Bruce Brock. Both have been with the store since 1987.
Edmunds says: The Internet is making car shopping easier than ever before. But transparent pricing and personal touches at a dealership go a long way in making shopping more enjoyable.