One of the first things we look at when we analyze car dealerships is their business practices. Are they a “one-and-done” dealership that likes to sell a car and hope they don’t hear from the customer again or are they a dealership that tries to build a sustained relationship with their customers even after they drive off the lot. It’s an important component that helps us determine who to recommend and who to avoid.
In Wallingford, CT, there’s a dealership that has impressed us based upon their business practices. Toyota of Wallingford has found their success based upon one important word: “lifetime.” What they’ve called the Wallingford Difference is a series of perks and benefits for their customers that all point to their commitment to an ongoing relationship. Those who are not in the car business may think that this is a common trait, but the reality is this: many dealerships operate on a day-to-day cycle. In other words, they aren’t as concerned about past customers as they are about future business.
The top dealerships around the country when it comes to customer service scores always tend to believe in maintaining a relationship with everyone they’ve done business with and Toyota of Wallingford is a model for this mentality. By offering things such as lifetime battery replacement, lifetime oil changes, and lifetime car washes, they’ve been able to put sustaining their customer relationships at the top of their priority lists.
It’s not just about what they do after the sale. They have something that we found to be pretty unique: true $0 down leases. It’s a shame that many companies advertise no money down for their leasing programs, then reveal hidden fees and up front costs once a customer is into the buying process. Toyota of Wallingford has done a tremendous job of making their $0 down lease the real deal.
Leasing was given an unfair stigma in the 80s when many manufacturers and dealers promoted bad lease deals, but today a proper lease such as the products offered by Toyota of Wallingford are truly beneficial to the customer. Anyone who drives less than 12,000 miles per year will save money and keep a newer vehicle in their driveway by going with leasing rather than a purchase.
Their $0 down lease goes towards their commitment to a lifetime relationship with customers as well. With a lease, the ability to upgrade vehicles to a newer model every few years means that the customers get the latest and greatest from Toyota. This is very appealing to modern day drivers and makes Toyota of Wallingford a standout dealership in the area.
It’s easy to sell cars. It’s harder to make lifelong customers based upon an excellent experience and ongoing contact, but Toyota of Wallingford has made it more than their business model to do so. They’ve made it their company’s identity.