Thursday, 25 August 2011 16:02

Acura of Westchester

Written by Larry Williams
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The last time I wrote about a dealership it was a California multi-line dealer near Sacramento. This time it is a single franchise dealer in the metro New York area. You would think that they had nothing in common, but you would be mistaken. Both dealers are successful, and both have the same winning philosophy; customer service.

Acura of Westchester is truly unique. They are an example of the word “commitment”. Since 1986, they have taken good care of their customers, and their customers know it. The dealership is not on Main Street - you have to know where it is in order to find it. Apparently, once found they are never forgotten. In 2010, they were number one in the nation for Acura new car sales.

This dealer is an example of the benefits of stability. Customers see the same people, year after year. They become friends; confident that they will always have the very best service. Their service manager has been there for 17 years, and there has only been one GM in the history of the store! As I said, this dealer is unique.

The parts department follows the same pattern. Jake Dildine is the parts manager, and he has been there for 18 years. His commitment to customer service is amazing. Over and over, he stressed loyalty, relationship, attitude, pride, and dedication, but never price. His crew is just as dedicated; they all pitch in to answer four direct telephone lines; keeping three delivery trucks going full time. In response to increasing business, this dealer is open seven days a week!

“Fast paced” is the description of this parts department, something I understand is normal in this area. Usually, this results in a belief that no growth is possible, all resources are already at maximum. Jake is proof that there is always room for improvement, always room for another customer. You can always find a way to improve your operation.

Acura supports Jake, delivering daily orders and implementing the “Collision Select” program, allowing Jake to compete on pricing with aftermarket and used parts suppliers. Yes, price is still an issue with some shops; forced by cut-rate insurance policies to use the cheapest parts available. These insurance companies willingly force some shops to accept parts that void their customer’s warranties. Other shops, some in their second generation, are strong enough to resist these pressures and insist on quality repairs. The strong partnership between Jake and these shops - always putting their customer first - contributes to their mutual success.

There are over 20 million people in the area, and the pressure on the body shops and dealers after a hail storm is unbelievable. Jake and his crew take inclement weather in stride, always answering the phone with a smile and a welcoming attitude. There are five other Acura dealers within 20 miles, offering some competition, but Acura of Westchester is obviously the best choice.

I am proud to include Acura of Westchester in my list of Distinctive Dealerships.

Larry Williams is a former parts manager and consultant with national awards and over 30 years of experience in creating profitable departments. He can be reached at ljoew2@gmail.com.

Last modified on Friday, 02 December 2016 21:53