Paragon Honda, in New York City's Queens borough, operates its service department around the clock on most weekdays. Yet as many as 96 percent of the dealership's service customers crowded its lounge while they waited for their vehicles to be fixed.
That discrepancy struck Brian Benstock, the dealership's general manager, as inefficient. "The dealership had unused capacity at night," he told Fixed Ops Journal.
So last May, Paragon launched a valet program for the Honda store and an Acura dealership it owns a block over. On most days, it picks up service vehicles at customers' homes or workplaces, returns them within 24 hours, and provides loaner vehicles in the meantime — all at no charge.
"It was an opportunity for us to keep the techs busy," Benstock says of the concierge service. It's part of the dealership's Paragon Direct program, which also allows customers to schedule test drives and buy vehicles online.
"The more we can make business easier for consumers by bringing the product and services to them, the broader our reach," Benstock adds.
Benstock says the concierge service "is costing us a fortune" but would not be more specific. He declined to say how many service customers are using the program.
Paragon limits the valet program to customers within New York City. Benstock concedes that some service advisers initially resisted the additional work the program generated, but adds: "I reminded the service writers of my right to manage my business."