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  #397  
Old 10-23-2013, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter_K View Post

Poor dealer experiences certainly aren't limited to the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep side of things. They're often universal among "non-luxury" brands...and even some luxury brands.

From a service perspective, part of the issue is simply how the warranty system works. The flat time allotted for the labor is...well...ridiculous in some cases and much lower than for the same issue under customer-pay. The techs simply don't want to do the warranty work--customer pay is much more lucrative. Have a complex issue?...whew. Have a driveline vibration of some sort or a non-obvious electrical issue? What tech wants to approach those things? He or she will spend multiple hours on it...tedious hours...and in the end get paid 1 hour for a driveshaft R&R or 0.5 for a module pull (even if the actual labor took 3 times as long, nevermind the diag time...he MIGHT get an hour or less for that). Module reprogram (flash) for a TSB?...0.2 hours. Twelve (12) minutes paid. Often times it takes longer than that to set up to DO the flash. For the "setup", the tech isn't paid. In any case, said tech is watching the guys next to him pulling down many more customer pay hours easily for quick alternator replacements, plug changes, etc. Basically, there's a disincentive for the warranty side, and no incentive to do it. In fact, in many shops being stuck with all warranty work is considered punishment for screwing something up or irritating someone like the lead tech or shop foreman.

Your service advisor also hates warranty work because his cut is much smaller as well. Every second spent with your warranty claim is money lost to him or her.

The surveys used are also ridiculous--customers angry at the vehicle make note of that in the survey. As a result, even if the dealership did EVERYTHING right, they still get slammed by Chrysler in this respect because they survey numbers are awful. So...there's no real incentive to do well there either. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It doesn't help when you add to this that dealership parts departments (often run SEPARATELY from service) tend to be extremely greedy -- many using matrix pricing to charge varying percentages ABOVE MSRP on parts. I've watched service advisors and service managers almost get into knock-downs with parts managers and parts counter people who wouldn't budge on parts prices, even for stellar repeat customers. Sadly, the business model works to some degree as they're still making money.

LOTS needs to change in the dealership world to really fix that side of things for the customer experience.
The dealership that I bought my Jeep from here in San Diego harkened back to something from the sixties. The place was a mess, if a customer wants a drink of water, he/ she is directed to the water fountain. The salesmen still play the game of being a runner between the customer and the manager. I half expected to see a big ashtray on the salesman's coffee stained desk. My last three auto purchases were BMW, a Hyundai and a Chevy....any one of them was a far better buying experience than the Jeep.The whole process felt...cheesy!
And believe me...it has a lot to do with where a person spends their 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars. We like to feel like this purchase means something...it's really not too difficult to make folks feel like their business is really appreciated...just show a little class!
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  #398  
Old 10-23-2013, 02:21 AM
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Re: And so it continues...

I could care less what the dealership looks like as long as I get the vehicle I want...for the price I want and I am treated well. Same with the service. If you guys could see the dealer Ive bought my last two SRT's from...you'd probably take your silver cups and cry all the way home. Is that huge overhead really necessary if all thats really needed is the right prices and customer service? This same dealer is also the number one RAM sales dealer in the Great lakes region. So not everyone cares about fancy show rooms and gourmet coffee.
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  #399  
Old 10-23-2013, 02:46 AM
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Hey Scott. I didn't go home crying in a silver cup ....I BOUGHT THE JEEP. So take it easy with the cheap shots.My point is that if the dealership system was set up with more of a focus towards the customer, they might increase business and get better public recognition. Just because you were willing to buy your SRT in a less than stellar dealership doesn't mean that everybody else is. Your buying experience doesn't speak for the entire market. There are all types of car buyers out here.
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  #400  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:14 AM
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Re: And so it continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_K View Post

From a service perspective, part of the issue is simply how the warranty system works. The flat time allotted for the labor is...well...ridiculous in some cases and much lower than for the same issue under customer-pay. The techs simply don't want to do the warranty work--customer pay is much more lucrative. Have a complex issue?...whew. Have a driveline vibration of some sort or a non-obvious electrical issue? What tech wants to approach those things? He or she will spend multiple hours on it...tedious hours...and in the end get paid 1 hour for a driveshaft R&R or 0.5 for a module pull (even if the actual labor took 3 times as long, nevermind the diag time...he MIGHT get an hour or less for that). Module reprogram (flash) for a TSB?...0.2 hours. Twelve (12) minutes paid. Often times it takes longer than that to set up to DO the flash. For the "setup", the tech isn't paid. In any case, said tech is watching the guys next to him pulling down many more customer pay hours easily for quick alternator replacements, plug changes, etc. Basically, there's a disincentive for the warranty side, and no incentive to do it. In fact, in many shops being stuck with all warranty work is considered punishment for screwing something up or irritating someone like the lead tech or shop foreman.

Your service advisor also hates warranty work because his cut is much smaller as well. Every second spent with your warranty claim is money lost to him or her.

The surveys used are also ridiculous--customers angry at the vehicle make note of that in the survey. As a result, even if the dealership did EVERYTHING right, they still get slammed by Chrysler in this respect because they survey numbers are awful. So...there's no real incentive to do well there either. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It doesn't help when you add to this that dealership parts departments (often run SEPARATELY from service) tend to be extremely greedy -- many using matrix pricing to charge varying percentages ABOVE MSRP on parts. I've watched service advisors and service managers almost get into knock-downs with parts managers and parts counter people who wouldn't budge on parts prices, even for stellar repeat customers. Sadly, the business model works to some degree as they're still making money.

LOTS needs to change in the dealership world to really fix that side of things for the customer experience.
One of the BEST posts I've read here on this site...so true!

Too bad Detroit doesn't think like you.

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  #401  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:27 AM
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Re: And so it continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by YjagetaJeep View Post

The dealership that I bought my Jeep from here in San Diego harkened back to something from the sixties. The place was a mess, if a customer wants a drink of water, he/ she is directed to the water fountain. The salesmen still play the game of being a runner between the customer and the manager. I half expected to see a big ashtray on the salesman's coffee stained desk. My last three auto purchases were BMW, a Hyundai and a Chevy....any one of them was a far better buying experience than the Jeep.The whole process felt...cheesy!
And believe me...it has a lot to do with where a person spends their 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars. We like to feel like this purchase means something...it's really not too difficult to make folks feel like their business is really appreciated...just show a little class!
Another great post...and so true again!

The dealership I bought my Jeep from paled in comparison to other dealerships I've been to. Just like you said, my salesman made the trip to the back office to talk to the Manager at least 5 times when negotiating the final price. Heck, I wasn't even offered coffee or water the whole two hours I was there, and I knew more about the vehicle than he did!

As for feeling appreciated at a dealership, how's this...the BMW dealership my wife bought her 328iX from had her car sitting on the showroom floor the day we picked it up with a display sign next to it stating "Congratulations" with her first name on it! Now how much money do you think that cost the dealership...one sheet of paper & a trip to the printer?
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  #402  
Old 10-23-2013, 09:12 AM
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Re: And so it continues...

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Originally Posted by GCLimited View Post
As for feeling appreciated at a dealership, how's this...the BMW dealership my wife bought her 328iX from had her car sitting on the showroom floor the day we picked it up with a display sign next to it stating "Congratulations" with her first name on it! Now how much money do you think that cost the dealership...one sheet of paper & a trip to the printer?
BMW did the same thing for my wife's new Mini Cooper S when it was delivered to the dealer. She loved it!
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  #403  
Old 10-23-2013, 03:44 PM
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Re: And so it continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottina06 View Post
I could care less what the dealership looks like as long as I get the vehicle I want...for the price I want and I am treated well. Same with the service. If you guys could see the dealer Ive bought my last two SRT's from...you'd probably take your silver cups and cry all the way home. Is that huge overhead really necessary if all thats really needed is the right prices and customer service? This same dealer is also the number one RAM sales dealer in the Great lakes region. So not everyone cares about fancy show rooms and gourmet coffee.
What you have to realize is a lot of people don't feel that way. When spending $40k+ on a vehicle, the dealership experience is important. If I'm looking at $50k Jeep, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes...the Jeep dealer really sticks out. If they want to really convert those luxury buyers, the dealers have to be better than they are on a whole. The purchase and ownership experience matters a lot nowadays.

You have to remember, MOST people are NOT enthusiasts...Jeep needs to sell the vehicle to the mass market.

Anyways...for a lot of us the issues aren't just the look of the dealerships, its the way we've been treated, the disrespect for our time as the customer with issues like not offering loaners for multi-day warranty work, etc.
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  #404  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SW03ES View Post
What you have to realize is a lot of people don't feel that way. When spending $40k+ on a vehicle, the dealership experience is important. If I'm looking at $50k Jeep, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes...the Jeep dealer really sticks out. If they want to really convert those luxury buyers, the dealers have to be better than they are on a whole. The purchase and ownership experience matters a lot nowadays. You have to remember, MOST people are NOT enthusiasts...Jeep needs to sell the vehicle to the mass market. Anyways...for a lot of us the issues aren't just the look of the dealerships, its the way we've been treated, the disrespect for our time as the customer with issues like not offering loaners for multi-day warranty work, etc.
Well...here's a bit more of this and why it's not so easy to correct for the Jeep brand.

Sure...lots of people love that "experience" above and beyond the basics. They love to feel special. It appeals to us at our narcissistic little cores. But...and here's a HUGE but...what most people don't realize is that they are paying dearly for that. The luxury brands aren't just more expensive because of the added doo-dads in the vehicles or because of some perceived "quality" difference (BMWs for example do not rate consistently higher in quality/reliability and luxury brands as a whole tend to trend towards to lower side quality wise (reliability))--you are paying for that experience. A lot.

The thing is...because of their marketing and where they now stand in the market (as "luxury" brands), people pay more for these cars. For the name. The profit margins are much larger and people tend to be less successful (and often don't try as hard unconsciously) at getting that margin down. They are paying for that experience and the dealerships have more profit wiggle room to be able to offer that added marketing "experience" touch...and more incentive to do it.

Jeep is not considered to be a luxury brand. But, let's say another $1000 per vehicle was tacked on...incentivizing dealers to create this experience. What would happen?

Simple...people would find out this was built into the price and mercilessly negotiate it out of the price. Instantly de-incentivizing the dealership once again. Why? Because "standard" brands are not "luxury" brands...even though the whole thing is generally just perception.

It's a marketing success, but people do not--as a whole--negotiate as aggressively with luxury brands. It's an offshoot of the "if it's more expensive it must be better" belief system that marketers have been pushing on us for years.

Interestingly, people still expect the red-carpet treatment out of "standard" brands...or complain and state that the lack of this treatment is why they buy "luxury" brands. Most never realize that they don't generally get that red carpet treatment from "standard" brands because...they've refused to pay for it. Where, they HAVE with "luxury" brands. Perhaps that difference isn't consciously thought about, but it IS there. You ARE paying for it.
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  #405  
Old 10-23-2013, 08:03 PM
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Re: And so it continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_K View Post
Well...here's a bit more of this and why it's not so easy to correct for the Jeep brand.

Sure...lots of people love that "experience" above and beyond the basics. They love to feel special. It appeals to us at our narcissistic little cores. But...and here's a HUGE but...what most people don't realize is that they are paying dearly for that. The luxury brands aren't just more expensive because of the added doo-dads in the vehicles or because of some perceived "quality" difference (BMWs for example do not rate consistently higher in quality/reliability and luxury brands as a whole tend to trend towards to lower side quality wise (reliability))--you are paying for that experience. A lot.

The thing is...because of their marketing and where they now stand in the market (as "luxury" brands), people pay more for these cars. For the name. The profit margins are much larger and people tend to be less successful (and often don't try as hard unconsciously) at getting that margin down. They are paying for that experience and the dealerships have more profit wiggle room to be able to offer that added marketing "experience" touch...and more incentive to do it.

Jeep is not considered to be a luxury brand. But, let's say another $1000 per vehicle was tacked on...incentivizing dealers to create this experience. What would happen?

Simple...people would find out this was built into the price and mercilessly negotiate it out of the price. Instantly de-incentivizing the dealership once again. Why? Because "standard" brands are not "luxury" brands...even though the whole thing is generally just perception.

It's a marketing success, but people do not--as a whole--negotiate as aggressively with luxury brands. It's an offshoot of the "if it's more expensive it must be better" belief system that marketers have been pushing on us for years.

Interestingly, people still expect the red-carpet treatment out of "standard" brands...or complain and state that the lack of this treatment is why they buy "luxury" brands. Most never realize that they don't generally get that red carpet treatment from "standard" brands because...they've refused to pay for it. Where, they HAVE with "luxury" brands. Perhaps that difference isn't consciously thought about, but it IS there. You ARE paying for it.
What makes you think "most people" don't know what they are paying for? I would gladly pay more for a Jeep to get the kind of service I got from my Acura dealer. Many of my neighbors paid more for their Hondas at the same dealership because of the way they are treated.


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  #406  
Old 10-23-2013, 08:14 PM
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Re: And so it continues...

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Originally Posted by bill_de View Post
What makes you think "most people" don't know what they are paying for? I would gladly pay more for a Jeep to get the kind of service I got from my Acura dealer. Many of my neighbors paid more for their Hondas at the same dealership because of the way they are treated.
---
Absolutely...but "most" people won't. Unless the brand has an "image" or prestige or "status" attached to it, they won't pay more. For every one of your neighbors that paid more for their Hondas, I can bring forth 100 that won't pay more for a "simple Honda." Or "for a Jeep" for that matter. Its a game of numbers.

And then...well, then we get into the fact that many dealerships now are part of multi-chain conglomerates. Your dealership is probably owned by a company (generally with a family name behind it) that owns multiple dealerships along several franchise lines. That's marketing too...the "experience" is better at the luxury brand dealerships they own...steering those who want better experiences (and will pay for it) towards their higher profit margin franchise. They're selling BRANDS and NAMES, not product specification in many cases.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:40 PM
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Re: And so it continues...

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Originally Posted by Peter_K View Post
Absolutely...but "most" people won't.
I agree.

What I disagree with is;

"and here's a HUGE but...what most people don't realize is that they are paying dearly for that."

I believe that many people don't want to spend a nickel more than they absolutely have to, to the point of spending hours and hours to save a couple of bucks. But I think that people who are willing to pay for that "extra care" know they are paying for it.

Of course both our opinions are based on our own circle of friends and acquaintances.


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  #408  
Old 10-23-2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_K View Post

Absolutely...but "most" people won't. Unless the brand has an "image" or prestige or "status" attached to it, they won't pay more. For every one of your neighbors that paid more for their Hondas, I can bring forth 100 that won't pay more for a "simple Honda." Or "for a Jeep" for that matter. Its a game of numbers.

And then...well, then we get into the fact that many dealerships now are part of multi-chain conglomerates. Your dealership is probably owned by a company (generally with a family name behind it) that owns multiple dealerships along several franchise lines. That's marketing too...the "experience" is better at the luxury brand dealerships they own...steering those who want better experiences (and will pay for it) towards their higher profit margin franchise. They're selling BRANDS and NAMES, not product specification in many cases.
I agree with what you are saying, but I don't see why Jeeps should be considered the red headed stepchild of the American Automobile business. I don't think it would affect most Jeep owners decision...most of us pretty much had our minds made up before we set foot in a dealership....Like Scott said.We knew what we wanted and from that point on it was all about negotiating price. However, there's a whole market segment that Jeep/Chrysler may be missing because that group is being "lured in" to the shinier, glitzier dealerships. These are a different market and shouldn't be ignored. They might like a Jeep if they actually got behind the wheel and drove one. I bought my first Jeep because they had a promotion giving away ski lift tickets with a test drive. That lift ticket cost me $15K. But I drove a Jeep for the first time and was SOLD!
Personaly, I don't really like the Jeep brand being sold about the corporate world like a cheap....uhhh...escort. First Jeep, AMC, Chrysler, Mercedes, Fiat. Somethings wrong. I dunno...maybe their system of dealerships needs to be looked at... but really, WTF do I know?
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