By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: October 2010
Bill Knight Ford General Manager Kelly Summers, Bill Knight, and Service Manager Bill Duensing are always working hard to earn – and keep – the respect of their customers.
It hasn’t taken long for the Bill Knight dealerships to become the number one Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers in the state. It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s easy to understand how they do it. According to Bill Knight, “We truly care about our customers, not just up to the point where they buy a product from us, but we want the whole experience with us to be a positive one. That includes the way customers are treated when they’re shopping, the day they make their purchase, and especially after they have bought a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle.”
Bill Knight Ford and Bill Knight Lincoln Mercury won the 2009 President’s Award for outstanding performance in every department of the dealership. The President’s Award acknowledges those Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships that have led the nation in exceptional customer satisfaction with both sales and service. Only an elite group earns the award each year. Winning it is, indeed, a reflection of the total dealership.
Service Manager Bill Duensing says, “We go beyond the expected in doing things for our customers – from the buying experience through outstanding service, and what we call customer engagement.” This reaching-out process by Bill Knight employees builds mutual trust, respect and loyalty between the dealership and the customer. Employee tenure and experience has translated to making purchasing and owning a Bill Knight Ford, Lincoln or Mercury product a pleasure.
Part of the “customer engagement process” includes Bill Knight’s quarterly New Owner Clinics. Customers are excited during the purchasing process and delivery of their new car. Chances are they won’t remember everything about their new vehicle. New Owner Clinics give each new owner the opportunity to come to the dealership to learn how to get the most out of their vehicle and its equipment, plus how to properly maintain the vehicle. Owners are encouraged to ask questions in an informal gathering with other new car owners. Quarterly New Owner Clinics assure customer comfort, good feelings about the dealership and the vehicle purchased, and a much-improved understanding of how to utilize the vehicle’s amenities to the fullest.
Bill Knight dealerships also connect with buyers through monthly Sync My Ride Clinics. Sync My Ride is an easy-to-use, in car connectivity system available in Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Sync allows the driver to operate most popular MP3 players, Bluetooth® enabled phones, and USB drives by the sound of the driver’s voice. “Our monthly Sync My Ride Clinics have been met with open arms by our customers,” says Bill Knight.
Customers have found that by attending one or more of the quarterly New Owner Clinics and the monthly Sync My Ride Clinics that they get the most out of the vehicle and the dealerships. They learn about recommended periodic maintenance procedures, when to schedule checkups, and why they need to follow manufacturer recommendations.
The Bill Knight Owner Advantage Program is a rewards program that includes features such as buying four oil and filter changes and getting the fifth one free. The program also credits five percent of the total bill for parts, labor or service back into the customer’s account and may be applied towards future purchases. You also get $10 credited to your personal Owner Advantage Program account just by signing up.
More information is available online at www.fordowner.com or www.billknightauto.com. Bill Knight Ford and Bill Knight Lincoln Mercury continue to earn customer respect through their “one-stop-shop” approach and continuing customer engagement.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.