Published in Automotive News Sept. 1, 2014
Land Rover San Diego is rewarding big spenders with a perks program that offers Padres baseball tickets, dry cleaning runs, preferential service times and other goodies.
The program has helped boost customer satisfaction scores, sales of accessories and clothing and service revenues.
The VIP Platinum program was launched in December 2011 by Jason Puga, general manager, when he joined the then-teetering store.
The dealership was purchased in 2011 by Kuni Automotive, which operates 15 dealerships in California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. The group hired Puga to turn it around.
Customers are invited to join based on their total spending on vehicles and service.
It's costly, but the program has boosted the bottom line, said Puga.
"We have seen tremendous upsale from this in sales and service. It works, especially when you have a relationship at this level, and you remind them they get discounts for parts, accessories and service."
The store's customer service ratings, as measured internally by Land Rover, have improved about 20 percent in the past two and a half years, Puga said.
The rise in revenues has more than offset the cost of having three employees dedicated to making concierge and other trips and handling the phones six days per week, he said.
Land Rover San Diego expects to sell about 700 new and 360 used vehicles in 2014.