Dealership earns recognition

Published 3:46 pm Thursday, August 11, 2011

A celebration lunch at Carl Smith Chevrolet Thursday wasn’t just a chance for a meal, but an opportunity for staff to acknowledge their receipt of a prestigious award.

Racq Jordan, general sales manager at the Atmore dealership, said the award was presented by General Motors for excellence shown at the local auto dealer.

“We are in competition with more than 30 dealers in our division across the region,” Jordan said. “This award is the GM Mark of Excellence and only bout 10 percent of the dealers in our division ever attain this honor. We won that award in 2010 and are on track to take the honor again for 2011. This award is in recognition of our efforts during the second quarter in the southeast region.”

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Jordan said the area of recognition bringing the most pride to the dealership is their care and commitment to customer service.

“There are many areas of a dealership that are taken into consideration in this award,” Jordan said. “It includes the number of sales, customer service, service on our vehicles and GM accessories. We are most proud of our ranking in customer service. Our goal is to have 100 percent customer satisfaction, period.”

Jordan said car sales are important, but it isn’t the main focus of the dealership and what they provide for customers.

“We can sell a lot of cars and accessorize them all day long, but if you don’t satisfy the customer, nothing else matters,” Jordan said. “This is a team effort here and it shows with the dealership meeting and exceeding the goal of 100 percent customer satisfaction,”

Dealership Owner Carl Smith said the recognition by the GM organization is he is pleased to receive.

“We’re a new dealership and we’re really just getting started,” Smith said. “This is a great honor for us.”

Smith said the dealership, under his guidance for nearly two years, is headed toward a two-time honor from the company.

“Last year was the first year this dealership has ever won this honor,” Smith said. “We owe this to the community. They have gotten behind us and we’re behind them.”

Among the changes at the dealership that may have had an impact on being recognized by GM is as much about attitude as it is appearances, Smith said.

“I think people have seen the change in our attitude toward service and it’s paying off,” Smith said. “Not only have we changed the way we do service, we have completely redone our service department. We’ve really done a lot of fix things up to make it a better experience for our customer.”

The attitude for putting a focus on customer service is carried throughout the organization at Carl Smith Chevrolet. Matt Dorriety, general manager at the dealership, said the way customers are treated is the backbone of the entire business.

“Treating people right is really what it’s all about,” Dorriety said. “When people come in a purchase a new car, we introduce them to our service department and teach them how to care for their car. We even give them their first oil change free of charge.”

Jordan summed up the idea of service at the dealership by saying knowing customers is winning the battle.

“Customer service is doing what’s right for the customer,” Jordan said. “We understand what a small town is and how people want to be treated. We keep that in mind every time we greet a customer. We understand that and that’s how we work.”

Members of the General Motors family visited the local dealership Thursday and provided lunch for the staff from David’s Catfish House.

Members of the staff at Carl Smith Chevrolet include owner Carl Smith, Racq Jordan as sales manger; Matt Dorriety as general manager and finance director and Brent Williams as service manager.