By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Other | Issue: August 2008
Bill Knight’s team emphasizes community and customer satisfaction. (L to R) Charles Edwards, David McGuire, Chris Wannemacher, Bill Knight, Bill Duensing, Jesse Rollinson, Zach Thorp and Karen Franklin.
Emphasizing outstanding customer satisfaction in many ways, Bill Knight provides Tulsa with Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, and Jaguar vehicles. And Bill Knight understands the importance of giving back to the community.
“I’ve been in Tulsa for ten years,” says Knight. “I was the area vice president for Penske Automotive Group. That covered nine dealerships from Tulsa to Fayetteville, Arkansas. That was over 750 employees, and Ford, Honda, Toyota, Acura and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. Before that I worked at Ford Motor Company for 14 years. I’m kind of a Ford guy. I believe in the leadership of the Ford Company, and I believed that I could make a difference and help the Ford brand.
“I said that when my kids graduated from high school, I’d be more willing to move around, if necessary. But we really like Tulsa, and we wanted to stay here. It’s home for us now. I have ten years of relationships here, and ten years of investing myself in the community.” Knight is chairman of the board for the Better Business Bureau and serves on the advisory board for Domestic Violence Intervention Services, the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and the SouthCrest hospital board. “I’ve tried to invest my time in the community. That’s why, more than anything, I wanted to stay and continue to be a part of it.”
This attitude carries over into how Knight does business. “Our philosophy here is to treat each other as peers and team members, with honesty and dignity,” says Knight. “Turnover is very low here. We have lots of long-tenured employees. That means a lot to me. And people like to see familiar faces when they do business. And so we also treat our customers with honesty and dignity. We’ve worked hard to create a team that understands that. We’ve won President’s Awards – that’s the highest award you can win from the manufacturer for customer satisfaction. It’s not just talk – we do it.”
Bill Knight focuses on community and customer satisfaction at his dealerships.
Bill Knight Ford and Bill Knight Lincoln Mercury Volvo give back to the community as a company, too. “We’re involved with the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University athletic programs, from providing vehicles for coaches to drive to supporting events. We’ve been involved for a long time with their football and basketball teams. We’re also involved with high school sports. I’m part of the team that created the Ford Game of the Week on Cox to showcase schools all over northeast Oklahoma. And Cox has expanded that to boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball, and other sports. We also sponsor the Ford Award on KTUL to honor the top football player in northeast Oklahoma.”
The company is also dedicated to giving its customers value. “Something that sets us apart from the other dealers is the Knight Advantage,” Knight says. “That’s a Powertrain warranty for life on new vehicles, a ninety-day limited warranty on used vehicles, and a low-price guarantee on all the vehicles we sell.
“We understand time is a commodity. You don’t want to spend all evening or all day, five or eight hours, at a dealership when you’re shopping for a car. We’re working hard to reduce transaction time at sales and service. We realize most people have shopped around on the Internet. There aren’t any secrets. The information’s there. We embrace that. We’ve had some people who did their research, made appointments, came in, we gave them some options, and we had them in and out in an hour.”
You can visit Bill Knight Ford and Bill Knight Lincoln Mercury Volvo on the web at www.billknightauto.com. “All of our inventory, used and new is on there, and it’s updated daily,” Knight says. “Or come out and visit us. We have state-of-the-art dealership facilities and great locations.”