J.D. Power’s Dealer of Excellence Program has arrived in Canada and has already named its first five winning dealerships, all of them part of the Dilawri Group.
Markham Honda, Dixie Mazda, Acura North Toronto, Volkswagen de Sources and Audi Queensway were recognized for their customer-friendly sales experience.
"We are proud to share that our dealership has been recognized by the J.D. Power 2022 Dealer of Excellence Program for Customer Sales Experience! Our team deserves credit for their hard work and dedication," Acura of North Toronto said in a Facebook post celebrating its win.
Automotive News Canada reached out to other dealerships, but has not heard back.
J.D. Power says the program, which has been operational in the United States since 2016, “reflects the commitment and dedication select retailers provide to their customers with a purchase experience that meets today’s customer expectations.”
“The program is designed to recognize the best of the best with only about 2-3 per cent of all Canadian franchised dealerships being eligible to become a J.D. Power Dealer of Excellence,” the analytics firm said in a statement.
In order for a dealership to qualify, it must have earned their respective manufacturer’s award for customer satisfaction and/or sales satisfaction. For example, it must have won the Mercedes-Benz Best of the Best award, been named GM’s Dealer of the Year or captured Lexus’s Elite of Lexus honours, and so on.
Interested dealerships must also rank among their brand’s top performers in key customer satisfaction areas as determined by J.D. Power.
Qualifying dealers must pass an in-dealership sales process verification and show they meet or exceed J.D. Power sales best practices. Those include professional customer communication, an efficient online-to-showroom transition, standard processes for addressing customer issues through feedback and presence of digital retail tools.
J.D. Power will also send a Dealer of Excellence inspector to the dealership to interview the general manager or owner, sales manager, F&I manager and the newest sales team member who has undergone the dealership’s training regimen. The process takes up to two hours.
J.D. Ney, automotive practice lead at J.D. Power Canada, says recognized dealers “will benefit by leveraging the J.D. Power brand and promoting their dealership’s commitment to an outstanding customer experience.”
He also says dealing with a Dealer of Excellence winner gives customers “peace of mind that the dealer they’ve chosen will take care of them.”