The Client Problem

A luxury auto dealer was expanding and looking to ensure ​it hired employees ​who had core competencies that fell in line with ​its corporate values. Serving this high-end market, high turnover was not a real issue, as many people within this industry wanted to work for such a high-end dealership. However, as you might imagine, customer service was a key corporate value within the organization. They wanted to create, and maintain, a reputation for creating client-friendly environments within the dealerships and offering exceptional client service. The leadership team knew that having the right people would be the key to creating and maintaining a reputation for excellence in customer service and wanted to implement a process that ensured they hired customer service-oriented employees.

The ZERORISK HR Solution

In 2002, the client contracted with ZERORISK HR to implement the ZERORISK Hiring System into their interviewing and selection process to ensure they hired customer service-oriented employees. The first step in this process was to evaluate and measure the emotional intelligence competencies of the employees ​who consistently exhibited excellent customer service. This process was completed by administering the ZR Profile to this group of employees to objectively identify the core emotional intelligence competencies they possessed that allowed for their excellence in customer service. One of the most critical scored areas on the ZR Profile that had a direct correlation to excellent customer service was a positive bias to ​empathy. This attentive bias allowed their employees to develop lasting and genuine relationships with their clientele. Additionally, ZERORISK HR trained all of the hiring managers in the dealerships on behavioral interviewing, with an emphasis on confirming that the candidate exhibited empathy. All future candidates were then asked to complete the profile in the interview process so they could be compared to the benchmark for excellence in customer service. This process was implemented for every position in the dealership from the general manager to car wash and valet drivers.

The Bottom Line Result

In 2003, the dealership was named the exclusive recipient of the 2003 Award for Performance Excellence, recognition of organizations that excel in performance excellence, quality, and customer satisfaction. ​Its new car client satisfaction index (CSI) at one of ​its Lexus stores is among the top 10 percent of 226 Lexus dealers in the United States. ​Its other Lexus store has a CSI of 98.9 percent​, is among the top 10 percent of Lexus dealers in the overall sales experience, and is also rated the top Certified Pre-Owned Lexus dealer in the United States.

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