Since the dealership's opening, Nelson Mazda has been offering free car washes to vehicle buyers for as long as the customer owns the car. So even if customers don't require service, they still feel compelled to return to the dealership.
Dixon didn't share specific measurements on how the car wash perk translates to increased service appointments or vehicle sales.
However, he said the free service has generally resulted in more customers returning to the dealership.
"We know that it's so important for customers to keep coming back to the dealership for service," said Dixon. "There is an expense to it, but the payoff is astronomical. Getting the customers to come in; the car business is all about having the customer return."
Offering such customer service tactics has been more effective than traditional advertising at bringing customers back to the dealership, Dixon said.
"I'd rather spend the money on the customer and create a fantastic environment rather than throwing money in the wind and hoping it sticks, with a commercial," Dixon said.
One thing Dixon tells his customers is, "You can't buy the wrong car."
That's because Nelson Mazda customers have three days, or 300 miles, to return vehicles to the dealership after purchase.
By eliminating the pressure people often feel at a dealership to purchase a vehicle quickly, the policy results in customers feeling more comfortable making a buying decision, Dixon said. It's a difference he sometimes physically observes.
"The weight of the world gets lifted off when they feel like they're not being pushed in a direction," Dixon said. "You can just kind of see the pressure coming off their shoulders."
There is a $299 restocking fee for returned vehicles, Dixon said. The store typically handles a few returns each year. It hasn't been a significant expense to the dealership, he said.
"It's the second-largest purchase in one's life," Dixon said. "Sometimes people get in the middle of it and get excited, and once they get home, they say, 'Oh, my gosh, what did I do?' "