MURRAY — Last year, David Taylor Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat of Murray realized a long-sought dream of earning the top award a Chrysler company dealership can receive.
That award is the Customer First Award for Excellence and it requires superior efforts from every person at the dealership, from sales people to the service mechanics. It is similar to what organizations experience in pursuing accreditation of some sort, and it is a long and rigorous process.
Now, David Taylor Chrysler has proven it can earn this a second time. On Wednesday, a representative from Chrysler came to Murray to present it to the staff.
“There’s a long list of criteria you have to go through. In fact, J.D. Power, one of the most recognized names in the automotive industry, comes to the dealership and does an audit, so, yes, this is a very prestigious award and very few stores have earned it,” said James Decrispino, the area sales manager for Chrysler.
“My district consists of 16 stores (from Highland, Illinois near St, Louis to Murray), but we have other districts that are scattered within our business center, which is near Chicago. Right at 25 percent of those stores earn this, which amounts to 600 stores in all, and David Taylor is the only store in my district that got it this year.”
Criteria for this honor is far-reaching. It not only involves achieving customer service but also items like the overall condition and appearance of the dealership, how well trained the employees are in their respective departments and how much attention is given to surveys, not only of customers but also employees.
“When people interact with Chrysler, they don’t think about the corporate people in Detroit. No, it’s the sales people and service advisers and the owners of the dealership,” Decrispino said. “Yes, when J.D. Power does an audit, they look at the employee surveys too, because you have to be taking care of your employees as well as your customers. All of that goes hand-in-hand because we’re wanting to make sure that every customer here has a first-class experience. That’s what it’s all about and David Taylor does a great job with that.”
Taylor said the award is just a byproduct of what his team does every day.
“Taking care of our customers is our No. 1 priority. We’re not perfect, but we’re always striving to be that, if it’s possible,” he said. “I’m very proud of our team, very proud. They all work hard and do a great job.
“You have to earn (the award). That means we’re having to keep on task with everything (Chrysler) requires you to do.”
General Manager Brian Cain said this award validates what he and others in management try to express to the employees.
“There is a lot of time involved from each employee. It’s not easy,” Cain said. “Now, we’re the only dealership in our district that’s won this back to back. I mean this is Chrysler’s highest honor!
“Our business has really grown the last 6 1/2 years, and it’s all part of sales service, customer satisfaction, each department being completely certified, and it’s a 12-month process. It never ends.”
With that in mind, Taylor said work on earning a third honor has already begun.
“We’re just starting over. We go back to zero and get going again,” he said.