Borrowing a tool from high-end hotels, Street Toyota employees wear radios with discreet lapel microphones to speed communication and charm customers at the 12-acre dealership in Amarillo, Texas.
Almost all of Street Toyota's 150 workers sport four-channel radios, a belt-mounted battery pack, loose-fitting earpiece and lapel mic with a simple push-button control.
Rapid communication is a natural extension of Street's reliance on friendly service to distinguish the store, says General Manager Mike Good.
"Anybody greeting customers can ask who they're looking for, then touch their lapel and say, 'Shannon McElroy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith are here to pick up their new car,'" Good said. "Customers love it. It makes them feel special."
Street Toyota introduced radios to the service department in January, followed by the parts department in May and sales in June, linking everybody who interacts with customers.
"Everybody loves it," he said. "I've never introduced new tech without somebody complaining, but not one person objected to this."
The radios are so new at Street Toyota that it's hard to measure their value yet, but Good sees satisfied customers.
"Our [Toyota-measured] service customer satisfaction has gone from 88.1 in 2014 to 91.5 so far this year, mostly from better communication," he said.
Good cites improved staff efficiency and the potential to upsell service and keep pros-pects engaged.