Atmosphere & Advocacy in the EchoPark Experience


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Sonic Automotive, who owns the EchoPark brand, spent a ton on research to better understand the customer experience.  The result was the first store in Thornton, CO.

As Marti Eulberg says, the facility was not designed from an automotive perspective but was designed from a retail and CX perspective.  They looked at Amazon, Starbucks, and Apple to better understand how customers interacted with these brands.   They structured their processes to do business the way the customer wants, not the other way round.

The salespeople, or Experience Guides, are not on commission and they go through 60 days of training, an amazing number compared to the rest of the industry.  They encourage transparency through the process from determining the value of a trade to how the vehicle is serviced.

I really like their community room idea.  They make it available to people in the community to have meetings which is a great way to generate showroom traffic and get customers into the store who may normally never come in.  The plan is not to put the stores on dealer row.  They want them to have a smaller footprint in the community, one that’s part of the neighbourhood.   They don’t say it but it acts to differentiate the store from other dealers.

Some interesting ideas.  As always, would appreciate your thoughts.

Until next time.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Chris Travell
Chris Travell is VP, Strategic Consulting for the Automotive Group of Maritz Research. He is responsible for working with Maritz' Insight Teams to further the understanding and application of the firm's automotive research. He has appeared on numerous television programs and is often quoted in Automotive News, Time, USA Today, Edmunds, Detroit Free Press, The Globe and Mail and various other publications in regard to issues related to the North American automotive industry. He is the principal contributor to The Ride Blog, Maritz Research's automotive blog.


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