The Golden Rule
At Jaguar Land Rover Columbia, it’s all about the customer service
By DEENA BOUKNIGHT
Photos PATRICK RIPPMAN
Perhaps the clear focus is based on the fact that the dealership is a division of Peacock Automotive, headquartered in the Hilton Head area, which rose from humble beginnings 14 years ago because of hard work and a commitment to customer service. In such a short time, in fact, Peacock grew from a single dealership to a multi-dealership operation with 20 car brands in three states: South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. More than 1,100 cars are sold annually, and Peacock employs 600-plus team members.
Perhaps it is because Peacock Automotive’s goal has always been to have “zero dissatisfied customers,” according to John Guth, general manager at Jaguar Land Rover Columbia. “Customer service is the key to everything we do, and always has been.”
He adds: “One of the ways Jaguar Land Rover Columbia insures our customers’ complete satisfaction is what we term an “Encore Delivery”. Simply put, our Encore Delivery specialist contacts each client following their purchase of a new or pre-owned vehicle. He visits the clients home (or office at their request), and spends as much time as requested to make certain that the new owner feels comfortable with their new purchase. With all the technology in today’s vehicles – and more on the way every year – we feel this is one way to ensure our client’s complete satisfaction with their new purchase.”
However, stellar customer service cannot be accomplished without stellar product. At Jaguar Land Rover Columbia, it starts with the cars and subsequent services offered. Jaguar and Land Rover are iconic British brands; each has origins that date back more than three-quarters of a century. In addition, there are new and pre-owned cars, trucks, vans, and crossovers.
Says Guth: “Our clients are extremely loyal to our brands, many of whom have purchased Jaguars and Land Rovers for decades. The highest volume Land Rover is our ‘flagship’ model, the ‘Range Rover’. As with all Land Rovers, the Range Rover features unmatched levels of luxury and technology. Jaguar’s lineup of luxury vehicles is headlined by our newest model – and the first-ever sport utility from the brand – the ‘F-Pace’. The F-Pace offers all the luxury and panache one expects from the Jaguar brand, in an all-wheel drive package that insures that the owner has all the space necessary for the trips to the Lake or the Ocean!”
With luxury products comes luxury services. Guth says it is about relationship building. “We believe that the Golden Rule trumps all others…treat our guests exactly how we would like our family members to be treated.”
As a result, Jaguar Land Rover Columbia has been able to grow. Sales doubled in 2016 and the same is expected this year.
Guth points to Peacock Automotive’s Chairman and CEO, Warner Peacock, as the “driving force behind our success.” He says his leadership has made it possible for the dealership to achieve success, but also to be involved in communities by supporting numerous non-profit charities in the regions where Peacock Automotive dealerships are located. Peacock’s Chairman also paved a way for the ownership group to expand and include Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. - resulting in the creation of Griffey-Peacock Automotive as a subsidiary. The famed baseball player met Warner Peacock in 2004 and a business relationship formed.
Plus, an exceptional service center is operated by a team of professionals that assists clients every step of the way. Roth says, “Our technical staff represent decades of experience and training to diagnose and maintain our clients Jaguars and Land Rovers quickly, efficiently and economically.”
Both the sales and servicing experience, in fact, is also one of luxury. Maintains Roth, “We provide a ‘luxury experience’, regardless of whether a customer is shopping for a new Jaguar or Land Rover… or for a pre-owned Ford or Chevrolet or Toyota. Additionally, when Carmax stocks used Jaguars and Land Rovers, we end up servicing these vehicles before – and after – the sale of this vehicle. This gives us the opportunity to engage the customer and let them experience the difference in the way that we feel will differentiate us from all other dealerships.”
The staff, overall, he points out, is as diverse as the vehicles sold and serviced. Some have made their careers in the automotive industry, while others are former and current military personnel. Others have gravitated toward Jaguar Land Rover Columbia from other professional areas. He says, “All of our staff, including our support individuals, are committed to making every visit to our facility a pleasant and enjoyable one.”
In order to provide great customer service, great training is necessary. Training sessions, conferences, and driving experiences are participated in regularly. Plus, there is daily, on-site training implemented.
Overall, Roth says it is about putting the needs of clients above their own. Every day and in every way, Jaguar Land Rover Columbia seeks to offer “an excellent car shopping and ownership experience.”