How visiting a car dealership can be like staying at a five-star hotel

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Genesis Saskatoon has been honoured for outstanding service by the Forbes Travel Guide

Dale JohnsonPeople used to the high quality of service and luxury touches found at five-star hotels and restaurants can now get a similar customer experience at car dealerships.

A Saskatchewan car dealership – Genesis Saskatoon – has been honoured for outstanding service by the Forbes Travel Guide, best known for ranking hotels, restaurants and spas. Genesis, the luxury brand for Hyundai, is the first automaker to be recognized by the Forbes Travel Guide, considered to be the global authority on luxury hospitality for more than 60 years.

Genesis Saskatoon is the first dealership in Western Canada, and second in the world, to be recognized in a program called “In Partnership with Forbes Travel Guide.” The first was Genesis London in Ontario, which was honoured earlier this year.

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Forbes Travel Guide, best known for rating hotels and restaurants, has partnered with Genesis.
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Genesis Saskatoon has been honoured for outstanding service by the Forbes Travel Guide.

Eric-Marshall-director-of-Genesis-Canada
Eric Marshall, director of Genesis Canada, says the brand is focusing on delivering an exceptional experience.

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Alexandra Miziolek, (left) manager of training and operational excellence with Genesis Motors Canada, presents the “In Partnership with Forbes Travel Guide” plaque to the Saskatoon Genesis leadership team.

Eric Marshall, director of Genesis Motors Canada, said at the recognition event in Saskatoon, “We want to focus on delivering an exceptional experience for each one of our guests. When guests arrive at five-star hotels, they know they’re working with the best of the best.”

Genesis wants customers to have a similar experience when shopping for a car or when their car is in for servicing.

Marshall says there’s an excellent business case for other Genesis outlets to achieve this recognition by Forbes. “The partnership with Forbes Travel Guide is going to open the door to having conversations with so many potential guests that live that lifestyle.”

Alexandra Miziolek, manager of training and operational excellence with Genesis Motors Canada, explains that Forbes Travel Guide sets 189 guidelines for the car dealership experience, including, for example, “When your vehicle is returned after servicing, are all your settings exactly how you had them? Or has your seat been moved, or is your radio on a different station?”

There are also what Miziolek calls “amenity applications” that help to make a visit to a car dealership more positive. These include such elements as a quiet building (no paging over the PA system), a welcoming scent, extra amenities in the washrooms, and china cups instead of paper cups for complimentary coffee provided for guests. It’s a detailed program, which also includes keeping track of how customers prefer their coffee; on their next visit it’s delivered just how they like it.

In six of the 189 guidelines, the score must be 100 per cent. On the other 183 points, a dealership needs to score a mark of 75 per cent; Genesis Saskatoon’s mark was 86 per cent.

“This Forbes Travel Guide partnership is a very difficult, arduous and extensive process,” says Miziolek.

The staff took training on luxury hospitality practices.

“Forbes Travel Guide is dedicated to working with a broad range of best-in-class companies like Genesis Motors Canada that have made a commitment to service excellence an important part of the business strategy,” said Hermann Elger, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide.

As rigorous as the evaluation process is, the recognition is for only one year – meaning staff have to work to keep up the high standards and re-qualify annually to be able to say they are “In Partnership With Forbes Travel Guide.”

Dale Johnson is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online. 

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By Dale Johnson

Dale Edward Johnson has extensive experience in both journalism and corporate communications. He is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online, and has more than 1,300 articles and columns in Canada and the United States to his name. Dale has experience in news, sports, current affairs and feature writing. He has worked at the local and network level. He has been an anchor, disk jockey, editor, producer, reporter, researcher and writer. In his career in corporate communications, he has worked in the business, educational, financial and government sectors. As a university instructor and corporate trainer, Dale has guided and mentored board members, CEOs, politicians, university professors, senior executives and communications professionals. Dale earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Saskatchewan, and has taken classes in business, economics and education at the University of Regina. As well as his work as a journalist, communications consultant and instructor, Dale loves to restore classic cars, lead public walking tours of historical buildings and run half marathons.

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