I didn’t expect to want to leave my old life behind just because I’d walked into the Grappone Toyota Auto Dealership in Concord, NH. I was perfectly happy with my life, my job, and the guy who fixed my car. (In fact, I’ve blogged about him before.)
But, the moment I stepped in the door, I felt calmer. And then I noticed the quiet and the pleasant smells. And then I saw the Internet Cafe outfitted with Apple computers, the free coffee, the free popcorn and the VERY helpful receptionists.
I wasn’t there to buy a car or have one serviced. I was attending a meeting at the far end of the building. This required me to walk by the office workers and some of the service technicians. Though they were in an open concept office smack in the middle of customer traffic, their work stations were quiet, welcoming and well-designed. I wondered if they would hire me.
I walked past another area with a kid’s play station, well-equipped and set apart from customers who were reading their newspapers. Upstairs was a grand piano that I assumed sometimes featured a pianist serenading the customers downstairs. The place felt like those mall areas of airports, or the waiting area of a modern hospital. Or both. In a good way. Like I said, I wanted to hang around a while.
Clearly someone at Grappone had figured out that standing out from the crowd was the way to not only attract and keep customers, but also to attract and keep quality employees–I assume. At no other type of business, in no other building, had I ever felt so welcomed and comfortable. A car dealership?! Are you kidding me?
Clearly this company had made customer service and the customer experience a top priority.
I don’t need a new car, but maybe I can convince my husband we just need to go back there and shop for one anyway.