Hard work and being upfront are key to the dealership group's success.
"We set tough goals, but we are very transparent with our teams," Bergstrom said. "Our people know how we're doing, what we're doing. There are no secrets."
Of course, there are also a series of concrete perks for employees, such as 401(k) contributions, employee recognition programs, flexible vacation days and birthday celebrations for everyone with cake and balloons. Bergstrom Automotive has also moved to shorter, winter hours that give employees more time to spend with their families.
Bergstrom Acura adheres to the dealership group's larger philosophy of giving back to the community as a critical part of the company's mission. It means workers feel like their contributions go beyond providing a pleasant sales and service experience, Bergstrom said.
"I believe that we as a company — even though we've reached $1 billion in sales — are still small, and we care about each other," Bergstrom said. "We care about our community, we care about our guests, and we care about our fellow employees."
As a group, Bergstrom gives 25 percent of its earnings back to the communities in which it operates and has done so for 38 years.
"When we were small, it didn't make a whole lot of difference, but now we can make a significant difference," Bergstrom said.
The community outreach, such as funding an art center or a park, boosts employee morale in a relatively small town such as Appleton.
"Not only does my team understand that, yes, we're here to retail vehicles, but there's a huge community piece to it that has impact right here," Amo said. "That's something they take a lot of pride in, and they get excited about those campaigns."
Bergstrom Acura sold 226 new vehicles and 115 used vehicles in 2019. Buyers often are return customers, and that's because dealership managers and staff put a lot of effort into creating a positive guest experience that builds long-term relationships and fosters repeat business, word-of-mouth sales and lasting success.
"We look at our customers as guests into our homes," Bergstrom said. "And you might think that's hokey or something, but it's not. It's real. We realize if we build a relationship with those guests, they'll keep coming back time after time."