Matick Chevy Management Team left to right: Sales Director Paul Zimmermann, General Manager Molly Williams, Fixed Operations Director John Peters and Dealer Karl Zimmermann
Article from the Automotive News, May 12, 2014
By Jesse Snyder
Matick Chevrolet says hello to customers, hello to sales
Dealership relies on staff, improvisation to gain the upper hand
Metro Detroit -- It's not the 100-car showroom, high-volume Corvettes or massive new collision shop that have propelled Matick Chevrolet into the brand's top 1 percent of sales volume.
Rather, it is employees' obsessive approach to customer service, owner Karl Zimmermann says of the single-point store just outside Detroit.
"We have five other Chevy stores within 7 miles, and in this town, everybody gets the employee discount, so we can't compete on price," he says. "We have to offer a superior customer experience." rel="lightbox351818"
For starters, Matick Chevy works on greetings. Walk in the front door and head to the counter in the back corner. You'll pass several employees who make eye contact and greet you, but they wait for you to initiate further conversation. That's the norm throughout the building.
"Our rule of thumb is to greet anybody within 10 feet of you," says General Manager Molly Williams. "We're big on training." rel="lightbox351818" Top to bottom, employees recognize that a good customer experience is the dealership's edge, she adds.
Zimmermann, 49, says hiring is crucial.
"We look for people who are committed, who have a servant's heart," he says. "We value folks with integrity and a diversity of opinion and background."
Matick Chevrolet has a high- traffic location in Redford Township near the intersection of Interstate 96 and U.S. 24, and across the street from Detroit's west side. Neighborhoods on both sides reflect 1950s and '60s suburbs: grid-style streets with small, single-family homes and detached one-car garages on uniform 50-foot lots.
In 1978, founder George Matick converted a department store and connected grocery into a rambling dealership with 107,500 square feet under the roof and a massive showroom as his centerpiece and competitive advantage.
The dealership still counts on the area for repeat customers and takes pains to support Redford Township activities such as Little League, says Williams, a past president of the local chamber of commerce.
"Good employees need good homes," she says. "We want the neighborhood to be strong, a place where people want to live. What I love about Redford is its small-town atmosphere."
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