The Grappone Automotive Group has completely changed the way we do business. Without the help of the Advisory Council these changes wouldn’t have been possible. We owe all the council members a great big thanks for their help in moving us toward the new process. It was their honest and uninhibited feedback that has helped us understand what our guests truly want when purchasing or servicing a vehicle.
On Wednesday the 6th we introduced the new changes that we have spent the last few months working on. For the automotive industry, upfront pricing and a negotiation free sales process is a radical change. The new process includes a 3 day money back guarantee that gives our guests peace of mind when purchasing their new car. Product Specialists (formally known as sales people) are no longer paid on commission. They make the same if you buy a $60,000 new car or a $9,000 car. This gives them the ability to focus on the guest and what vehicle fits them best.
The council acted surprised. Members even asked if this really means there is no longer back and forth haggling over prices. We assured them there is no longer negotiations. There’s no longer haggling. Best of all, there is no sales manager to make you feel pressured. The time we used to spend negotiating is now focused on finding the vehicle that fits our guests needs best. All our vehicles have a low upfront price prominently displayed on our lot and on our website. We know based on feedback from the council that our guests never liked the hassle of buying a car. We worked hard to put the fun back into buying. The council was seemingly ecstatic to hear about the big changes that happened over the summer.
Overwhelmingly the council members that were present loved the new process. There was a sigh of relief in response to the changes. Our guests that have experienced upfront pricing have had a similar relief. A recent review from a guest on Edmunds.com said,
“Austin helped us from start to finish. There was not one person at the dealership that did not make everything pleasant and easy. After test driving a new pilot, we sat down for what we thought would be the uncomfortable negotiations. Instead, with Grappone’s upfront pricing, we got the best deal they could offer and we walked out with a new pilot, no tense negotiations, no nonsense pricing. It is the first time I have purchased a car and didn’t wonder if we got a fair deal. Thanks Grappone, we’ll be back for our next car too!!!!”
The three exclamation points say it all. This guest loved the new experience that Grappone delivers. Best of all the council agrees. For the next meeting the council has decided to tackle service. We can’t wait to hear what they have to say!
Thank you to all our dedicated members and the feedback you provide us!
It’s been quite some time since our last exciting council meeting back in December. Grappone is still sifting through the comments and figuring out how to implement the changes our members wholeheartedly suggested. We heard about many of the things Grappone does right in respect to our competitors, but we also witnessed the incredible frustration felt with negotiations in finance and across the board. When we asked the question, “what is the first thing that comes to mind when we say finance & insurance?” there was a flurry of great responses. The F’in part may have been the most notable comment. However many members didn’t stop there and went on to describe experiences that were, time consuming, frustrating, painful, and confusing to only name a few. All of which are great feedback that Grappone has used to make real changes. As of today our Ford store is piloting new procedures that streamline the F&I processes. Results thus far have been extraordinarily positive, and the proof is in the reviews that come in each day. We can thank the Advisory Council for that. Speaking of, you may have noticed a name change. The council has unanimously voted to drop the word customer in favor of advisory to more accurately reflect Grappone’s values. You are a guest at Grappone and never a customer. We feel guests are to be treated with integrity, kindness and respect.
These are only highlights from our last meeting. The best way to truly experience the Advisory Council is to attend a meeting yourself. If you or someone you know would like to join the council, contact James at Jedge@grappone.com. Our next meeting will be held at Grappone Toyota on June 12th at 6pm. We would love to see you there!
Fall is upon us here at Grappone! The leaves are changing and the temperatures are cooling. Our Customer Council has been a huge success and we would like to thank all our members who showed up to our last meeting. We would also like to thank Uno’s Concord who provided the great selection of pasta, salads and desert.
In our September Session, we tackled our digital presence and marketing efforts. We kicked the night off with the question, “What are your first steps when searching for a new car?” This sparked an intriguing debate that can be split into two categories. The first and largest group was the members who research their next vehicle exclusively online. The second was the smaller segment of members who come directly to the dealership before they do anything. These members reported that they prefer being able to see, feel, and drive their vehicles as well as being able to browse without pressure to find the car of their choice.
Diving deeper into our digital presence we found that overwhelmingly, members preferred real photos of both new and used cars online. Videos weren’t necessarily considered important, but if we could send out a video of a potential vehicle while working online members agreed this attention to detail would set us apart. The meeting went on to address multiple advertising and marketing opportunities. The final question was, “Where do you see/hear Grappone the most?” The most immediate answer was Facebook and the Grappone Cares contests with the thousands we give to charities.
Where do you see and hear Grappone the most: –”Facebook, my God, you’re everywhere.” –Radio—”Go Grappone” jingle. –NHPR underwriting –Cars in front of Shaws –Hopkinton fair –Newspaper is no longer visible –One person saw on WMUR –Parts trucks, shuttle courtesy van –Grappone conference center –Building at NHTI. –Grappone Live Free and Drive plates on cars. –Market days –Pat’s Peak. –Shaker Village
It was great to hear all the different places in our communities that the Grappone name was seen. We are glad some of our marketing efforts have been very effective. This also highlights where we need to focus our work. Thanks to the Grappone Customer Council, we will now have the ability to work on these opportunities to constantly improve.
We look forward to our next meeting and welcome our new members!
We wanted to thank the Customer Council for a great meeting on Monday. We wish we could go in to detail on what we voted on, but we have a few internal processes to tweak before we can make the announcement. We can say that it will have a big impact on our business, and we couldn’t have come to such a good plan without them.