Luxury Coach & Transportation

November 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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SALES & MARKETING It's Always Your Job: Helping Customers In Tough Spots What operators can learn about building a steady client base from a leading fleet vehicle seller. By Martin Romjue, LCT editor A CTON, Mass. — Bob Moody has a customer who buys a lot of Lincoln MKT Town Cars for his black vehicle fleet. Except on this day, it was the customer's Ford E350 15-passenger van he did not buy from Moody that blew out its engine. Even worse, the van's mileage was about 1,000 miles beyond the warranty limit. e dealership the customer bought it from couldn't help. Most service reps would look at this scenario as an out-of- luck dead end and suggest buying a new van. But not Moody, who called up a contact at Ford Motor Co. and — long story short — got the customer a new engine, all paid for. "at's how you get customers for life. You go the extra mile," says Moody, the East Coast sales manager for Acton/ SoCal Penske Professional Vehicles, a nationwide dealer and sales and support network for all types of luxury transportation fleet vehicles. Moody started in retail vehicle sales with Acton Lincoln Mercury in 1996, and four years later moved to the fleet division run by Bill Cunningham, now Acton/SoCal Penske's VP and general manager. Acton Lincoln Mercury became Acton Chrysler in 2012, and the fleet department merged with SoCal Penske in 2013 to become Acton/SoCal Penske Professional Vehicles. Moody's 22 years of sales and customer service experience provide valuable lessons across the business board, especially for luxury transportation operators juggling the roles of being customers while serving their own. Moody, a longtime fixture on LCT trade show floors, recently shared his street-smart advice on customer care with LCT. LCT: How do you keep clients happy for the long-term? Moody: It comes down to when there is a problem, you solve it and don't ignore it. We try to establish those relationships, so when problems do come up for customers, we have some- place to turn. Even if I don't know the answer to a problem when they call, I'll get the information for them. At least if I can't fix a problem, I know who can. ey want somebody who will answer the phone and attempt to help them. LCT: What is a memorable example of helpful customer service from your 22 years in vehicle sales? Moody: A client approached us at an LCT show four years ago who wanted to buy a Lincoln MKS, and he asked why he should buy from us instead of from a competitor. We said we would be there long after the sale if he had a problem. We didn't want to sell him one car one time, but cars for life. A few years later, he was driving the MKS and a chip from a truck hit his windshield. He went to a service department at a Lincoln dealership and they said the glass was on national back order for two months. It wasn't about the money or the windshield; it was about the fact the car would be out of service and not making money for two months. So he called us on a Saturday and was surprised when someone actually answered the phone. We called our service rep at the time, who is someone we go out to dinner and spend time with. We asked him if he could help us, and he got a windshield for the customer right away. After it arrived at the dealership, they tried to charge my customer the retail price on the windshield. We told our service rep, and he paid the customer the difference between wholesale and retail price. 22 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION NOVEMBER 2018 FAST FACTS ACTON/SOCAL PENSKE PROFESSIONAL VEHICLES TYPE: Fleet vehicles sales organization and dealer network FOUNDED: 2012 LOCATIONS: Acton, MA, and Cerritos & Torrance, CA PRINCIPALS: Coleman Hoyt & Phil Hartz, co-CEOs; Chris Lemley, owner, Sentry Auto Group; Bill Cunningham, VP/general manager and East Coast sales director; Greg Maddock, West Coast sales director; and Bob Moody, East Coast sales manager. VEHICLE BRANDS: Ford, Lincoln, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler VEHICLE TYPES: Sedans, SUVs, vans MARKET SHARE: 25% WEBSITE: www.actonsocalpenske.com Sales manager Bob Moody may have a clean office, but he's not just working there. Troubleshooting for customers happens everywhere, all the time.

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