Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Mercedes-Benz’s Secret Weapon: Lior Arussy

By Jeremy Alicandri on Apr 24, 2013

Stephen Cannon, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, believes he needs to further differentiate the Mercedes-Benz brand. He plans to accomplish his lofty goal by elevating the customer experience of his retail customers to a new level. As he explained in Automotive News, "the need to deliver an exceptional, truly differentiating customer experience has never been greater.” But how is Cannon attempting to redefine the luxury experience in the already established luxury market? The answer is a consultant from New Jersey; who is described by many as the world’s #1 customer experience expert.

Lior Arussy, a former executive of HP, travels the world consulting for some of the world’s largest companies (FedEx, Citigroup, HSBC, Royal Caribbean, etc..). In 2011, Lior’s company, Strativity, was hired to lead Mercedes-Benz’s customer experience initiative. After analyzing thousands of employee engagement surveys submitted by employees of Mercedes-Benz dealers, Strativity devised a plan to redefine the Mercedes-Benz customer experience. Since 2011, Strativity consultants have trained thousands of Mercedes-Benz employees throughout the entire retail dealer network. And it seems, while Cannon never said the name of his “secret weapon,” he appears quite satisfied with the results:

Cannon & the “Customer Experience”:

How I met Lior:

In January of this year, Strativity hosted a 3-day workshop in New York to certify corporate executives in Customer Experience Management.  I attended the seminar, and I was instantly impressed to find myself in a room full of high-ranking International executives that travelled from as far as Australia for the opportunity to meet Lior. It was as if Lior had his own cult following; nearly all the attendees read at least one of Lior’s books, blogs, or even keynotes. I felt like an outsider. I never even heard of Lior, and only found the seminar through a Google search. However, just like everyone else in the class, I was quickly “enchanted.” Unlike other cultural or leadership consultants that throw abstract ideas at executives, Lior actually presented us with a framework and pragmatic action plan to implement immediate change within our companies. We left the workshop with a certificate, an action plan, and a memorable experience.

As more and more companies jump on the customer experience bandwagon, it’s important to understand that an elevated customer experience begins with components of an organization’s culture – specifically the level of engagement between employees and customers. These interactions are the fundamental determinants of how a customer will perceive a company.

The stakes are high but the rewards are big… Investing in a car dealership customer experience program improves loyalty, profitability, and branding. However, it takes tremendous buy-in from the dealer principal, as it can be a strenuous and eye-opening experience. Any dealer that’s willing to take the plunge, and is ready to transforms satisfied customers into extremely satisfied customers, should consider a customer experience initiative.

Disclaimers:

• Opinions AND VIEWS SET FORTH HEREIN  are my own AND DO NOT REPRESENTS FACTS.   SUCH OPINIONS AND VIEWS COULD BE WRONG. They do not represent the companies named or cited in this blog.
• I am not privy to ANY details of the backend operations/analytics of any site mentioned in this blog
• All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

Comments

I like this guy Lior already. Thanks for sharing Jeremy.

(Great to see you in NYC at #DSPC as well - glad you could make it!)

Apr 24, 2013

Great to see you and thanks for inviting me! It was a blast!!!

Apr 24, 2013

Anxious to hear more about what they implement!

Nov 11, 2014

Comments 1 - 3 of 3

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Jeremy Alicandri's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Netsertive Launches Innovative Fixed Operations Solution for Automotive Industry

    Netsertive, a digital marketing intelligence company that brings brands and local businesses together to win local customers, today announced the introduction of its Fixed Operations solution for automotive dealerships. Netsertive’s Fixed Ops solution harnesses the collective digital marketing insights of its national dealership network to help individual dealers maximize Service Department profits and reclaim local market share from independent service shops. Read post

  • Disaster recovery plan

    This past year we had a catastrophic flood in iur city. The devastation around the city was huge. Thankfullly not many people were physicaly hurt....lots of property damage though. At the dealership we lost over 300 vehichles and had a sales/accounting building that flooded. Our team was awesome! We Immediately put buyers on the road puchasing vehichles at auctions. We also had a team start stripping and cleaning the buildings. We had a new server shipped to us within in two days and were up and running at that point. (low on inventory) While we did a good job in this situation we could have been better prepared. We did not really have a backup plan in place. Contact lists were outdated etc. Speaking from experience I urge each of you to have a plan in place. Any of you that already do please provide feeedback on what your plans are. ...Read post

  • Make a Resolution to Save Marketing Dollars

    As we quickly finish up January and move into the second month of the year, you may already be able to see the predicated trend of rising vehicle sales for 2015. Vehicle sales is the number one indicator of success in the auto industry from year to year. However, I’m sure there are a number of other metrics you use to determine your yearly success, like customer retention, CSI scores, RO count, revenue, etc. All of these key performance indicators are important to you and the success of your dealership. Due to the nature of our business, we always ask dealers to look at their marketing spend and cost per sale and service as a metric of success. For many of the dealers, we see an average marketing spend of $50,000 - $150,000, depending on the size of the store and allocated funds. At the core of our business, we strive to reduce a dealer’s marketing spend and find ways to drive down the cost per sale and service. Today, I’ll share five ways you can leverage our best practices and...Read post

  • Women Car Shoppers

    Women-Drivers.com recently released their 2015 US Women’s Car Dealership Report which contains the findings of their survey of over 3,450 women regarding buying vehicles and their car dealership experiences. Some interesting insights regarding women car shoppers can be gleaned from the results. To start, women car shoppers have increased overall. The most popular vehicles shopped include Volkswagen, Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep, and Buick, while the most popular vehicles purchased include Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler. In fact, numbers are up across the board – including increased leasing and servicing completed by women car shoppers. Where it gets interesting for digital marketers is that almost one third of women car shoppers surveyed reported that the dealership website was not helpful! Women in the survey visited on average 2 dealerships before making a purchase. Over half went by themselves in person to shop, and most of those that leave without purchasing never ...Read post

  • Build a Marketing Plan Around Funneling Car Shoppers to Your Website

    Targeting is the name of the game. Most dealers (and even some vendors) are really starting to embrace this concept. Gone are the days of illogically spent marketing budgets and shotgun techniques... ...at least we wish those days were gone. Unfortunately, they're not. Many vendors still promote bulk marketing practices and many dealers are still buying into it. Producing favorable numbers is easy. Taking qualified buyers and getting them to engage in a meaningful way with your dealership is harder, but there's a silver lining: you have tools available to you to target the right people and get them to the right venues. The Right Venue First and foremost, the best venue for producing more sales is your website. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with AutoTrader, Cars.com, or any of the other places where your inventory can be seen. However, any opportunity you have to take them to your website will yield more favorable results. Between social media advertising, search e...Read post

  • Top Brands Rated by Women | 2015 US Womens Car Dealership Report

    Our company has published it’s second annual report which showcases women are having empowering experiences at progressive car dealerships in the United States. Women are responsible for buying over 13 million cars at new car dealerships; that’s an impressive 36,000 vehicles a day. Dealerships have to literally change gears, advertising, amenities and their sales strategies to attract this powerful buying force. “It’s a very competitive industry” shares Women-Drivers.com President, Anne Fleming. “Women know they can buy a car anywhere in their respective city. It’s in dealer’s best interest to strategize and market to women. However, it takes more than just having a family female spokesperson.” The research in the 2015 US Women’s Car Dealership Report comes from over 3,450 women’s surveys from the company’s website. From these surveys, the company generates a Women Satisfaction Index® or WSI score. The range is from a 5.0 (the highest) to 1.0 (the lowest)....Read post

  • New Dealership Websites from Naked Lime Marketing

    Naked Lime Marketing has launched an all-new, comprehensive website platform for automobile retailers: Aptus Websites™. Naked Lime developed Aptus to help automobile retailers build a more effective digital dealership that supports a smoother, more flexible end-to-end retail experience for consumers.Read post

  • Your Brand & The ONLINE Customer Life Cycle

    In today's crazy world of technology, consumers have an entirely new way about how they shop. Over the years I have been studying the online lifecycle regarding in-market shoppers, here are my thoughts and conclusions. Read post