Employees receive monthly $100 bonuses if their store's overall customer satisfaction scores reach a certain benchmark. The group uses secret shoppers to examine and glean lessons from dealerships around the Midwest. It has even sent such shoppers farther away, such as to Phoenix.
And then there are the Bergstrom bathrooms, which the company's leader has called "the most important part of our dealerships."
Every day, the bathrooms receive fresh flowers, and they are expected to be as clean as those at a five-star hotel.
"We've worked very hard to build a brand and a culture that says we care about people, and it all starts with our bathrooms," Bergstrom, a former hotelier, told Automotive News in 2019.
Bergstrom Automotive holds an annual Race Shop Clean Day during which John Bergstrom and his general managers inspect every store in the group on a single day, looking for facility issues such as inadequate bathrooms.
"It's part of the culture of who we are," said Bergstrom, who has been known to leave a weed found on-site atop a manager's desk to send a message.
"In the long term, your culture is what makes your business successful," Bergstrom said in 2019. "It's why people want to do business with you — why they come back time and time again."
Bergstrom Automotive's culture also values and is valued by employees. Bergstrom said he has had the same secretary for 45 years, and he noted a salesperson who had spent 40 years with the company.