Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Big remodel at Thompson’s Toyota

DSC_8850e

JEFF THOMPSON explains the changes planned for the remodeled and expanded Thompson's Toyota on Forni Road. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

By
From page B1 | October 16, 2013 | Leave Comment

Thompson’s Toyota may be No. 1 in Northern California in customer satisfaction, but that’s not good enough for Jeff Thompson, executive general manager of the company.

Wanting to further enhance customer service, Thompson’s is in the process of gutting, expanding and refurbishing its sales and service building on Forni Road so people coming in can easily find the services they need in an environment so inviting they may just start inventing excuses to visit the dealership.

Using the existing frame and roof of the old building, interior walls and obstructions are being removed and another 1,400 square feet are being added to create a spacious open feeling.

Thompson said redoing and expanding the building’s interior accomplishes several company goals: It satisfies the expectation of customers for a better sales and service experience; it helps dealers meet current and future needs for growth; and it’s part of a move by Toyota to generate a consistent brand identification across the country as the company goes green with its hybrid vehicles.

Ticking off all the “green” elements to be included in the new building, Thompson said it will have all low VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials, including the floor tiles, fixtures and paint as well as the materials used in the couches and desks. Bamboo will be used throughout as well as LED lights that are 40 percent more efficient. “Most dealership have lots of lights, and this will save on our energy costs,” said Thompson, adding that eventually they will go completely solar.

“The idea is to create an amazing experience for customers and associates who work here. The materials are more comfortable, warmer and offer a welcoming experience for customers, kind of like when you walk into your house. Some dealerships are big places and feel cold. We want it to feel open, but be a happy, cozy place.”

Since many people like to wait while their cars are being serviced, one of the improvements to the building will be a much nicer lounge area. It used to have nice cafe with a pot of coffee and a fridge full of sodas, said Thompson. But in the new building, customers will be able to make a mocha or latte plus there will be a variety of sodas and water, bagels, a toaster, candies, chips, breakfast bars and fresh fruit every day.

The customer lounge will also be twice the size it was before. Adding a homey touch will be a fireplace with a TV above it. ”It will be like being in your living room, but in an open format,” he said.

As with the old building, there will be free wi-fi for those who want to use their computers while waiting and a quiet area for those who prefer to read. And something new will be a play area for kids, complete with toys.

Thompson said they actually started the project back in 2005 but it underwent several revisions along the way and then the economy stalled. “But it’s picking up and more Toyota dealers are getting on board now.”

“It all boils down to the customer and employee experience. Mostly it’s about customer service and being consistent with the brand.”

That branding includes having the latest equipment and keeping its mechanics up to date on changes in technology. “What it takes to train a technician is equal to going to six years of college and getting a master’s degree,” he said.

“It’s also about the experience for the customer. We treat them like we want to be treated. For us, the customer is right 100 percent of the time. We will bend over backwards and do backflips if that’s what it takes to make people happy and that’s really our goal. Currently we are No. 1 in Northern California in customer satisfaction out of 57 Toyota dealerships and that’s where we want to stay. That’s the whole idea.”

Thompson said they hope to be done with the renovations by the second week of January and to have a grand opening the last week in January or the first week in February.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 73 Comments | Gallery

 
Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 24 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

 
National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 20 Comments

 
Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8