Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer’s Lima, Ohio facility has been Elite Support Certified by Daimler Trucks North America.
Elite Support is a comprehensive support network of dealers trained and certified to provide the highest level of knowledge, professionalism and service in the trucking industry. Of the 500 Freightliner dealerships in North America, only 103 have been awarded with the superior service designation through Elite Support.
Out of those 103, Stoops Freightliner has five dealerships with the Elite Support Service designation.
To become Elite Support Certified, Freightliner and Western Star dealers are required to demonstrate proficiency in different areas such as service and parts processes, technical and operational training and customer amenities.
“Once you have the commitment, you get a training schedule for the management of the dealership. At that time you receive 129 line items that describe what and how the dealer has to operate,” Jeff Gast, General Manager of Stoops’ Lima facility says. “This truly is a culture change of the employees.”
Gast says training involves all facility personell, not just the service department, with an intense focus on customer service.
“Dealerships across all brands have forgotten who the customer is and this initiative changes that,” he says.
That refocus on putting the customer first, Gast says, has already paid dividends for Stoops.
“We had called on a particular account for over five years and, while he was courteous, he really did not give us a shot at his business. Then one day he shows up at the dealership unannounced and asked if he could look around because he was going to build a new service department because of his growth,” he recalls. “He had already been to the Volvo, Mack and IH dealerships in the neighborhood so we showed him around. A week later he came back with his architect, general contractor and his shop foreman.”
Gast and his crew spent some time with the man and his team and even gave them a set of their building blueprints.
“He later called and said he was so impressed that he wanted us to bid on his business. We now have a truck order, his service work and body work,” he says. “I later asked him why he chose us and he simply said, ‘I wish I was treated that way everywhere I went, I feel comfortable having you handle my business.'”
Gast says this new customer, based on his experience with their customer service, has also referred another large customer to Stoop’s Freightliner of Lima.
On average, dealer certification achievement takes seven months.
Stoops’ Lima dealership has 75 employees, 24 service bays, 18 body shop bays and a $2 million-plus parts inventory.