New Twist for New Owners

Wellesley Toyota’s latest new owner clinic came with a twist that turned out to be a hit
by Dan Nied
July/August 2018
New owner clinics are a good way to introduce customers to your service department and dealership amenities, but that wasn’t enough for Wellesley Toyota.
They wanted to do something their customers would remember. They wanted, if you will, something with a twist.
So how about some family yoga?
Larry Keller, marketing director for Ko Automotive Group, Wellesley Toyota’s parent company, saw an opportunity to create a new owner clinic that went beyond cookies and punch, meet and greets and presentations. So, when new customers showed up to the suburban Boston dealership in May for a party, they were greeted with an ice cream truck, complimentary pizza and family yoga guru Mary Kaye Chryssicas.
“There’s nothing wrong with the standard new owner clinic, but adding something special to the event makes it unique and gives customers an added incentive to attend,” Keller says. “It shows our customers our commitment to being there for them throughout their entire ownership experience and allows us to differentiate ourselves.”
They did just that, as 40 new owners registered for the event, and more dropped in throughout the day.

Getting in Alignment
Yoga guru Mary Kaye Chryssicas was the main attraction, guiding attendees through a light session to get their blood pumping.

Welcome to the Family
An enthusiastic group of customers saw firsthand the lengths the dealership would go to in order to improve the customer experience.  
“It had a resoundingly positive impact on our customers,” Keller says. “Sales and service customers were deeply appreciative and delighted to learn that the dealership holds these sorts of events and that they were welcome to participate.”
The event began with a mini yoga session -- mats, music and instruction provided by Chryssicas -- in the customer lounge. Then Dealer Principal Nai Nan Ko, Sr. spoke about the history and philosophies of the dealership. Then, customers got the grand tour of the service bay and a chance to ask questions.
Customers told Keller how much they enjoyed the clinic, with one going so far as to leave a Yelp review.
“We appreciated meeting the Service department staff and hobnobbing with other new Toyota owners at a Saturday afternoon party,” the review reads. “What will really stay with me was meeting Mr. Ko himself…because it became clear that the fact that the culture of this dealership is so sound is that it comes from leadership from the top.” 


If You Feed Them…
Part of the fun of Wellesley Toyota’s New Owner Clinic was the food. A Juniper Farms ice cream truck offered complimentary treats, and free pizza was available to all.

Focus on the Customer
The town of Wellesley is affluent, educated and family oriented. So that gave the dealership a chance to take risks with their clinic.
In January, they featured a talk by well-known Boston Globe auto columnist John “The Car Doctor” Paul, who took questions from 30 customers. Then, they deployed an airbag in the parking lot because, well, that’s pretty cool to see.
Still, Keller wanted to take it up a notch for car lovers and casual customers alike.

The Man in Charge
Dealer Principal Nai Nan Ko, Sr. spoke to new customers about Wellesley’s history and philosophies.

While Chryssicas led downward-dogging adults, the free treats outside kept the younger attendees more than occupied. All the while, customers were gaining a thorough understanding of what Wellesley Toyota can do for them.
And, you know what? Wellesely Toyota employees got a little more out the experience, too.
“We learned that our customers are passionate about their Toyotas and that they have tons of great questions about their vehicles,” Keller says. “We also learned they like pizza. A lot.”  
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