Why more companies should model customer service after Newport Lexus

There are companies who seemingly couldn't care less about their customers, and then there are companies like Newport Lexus. I've serviced my car at Newport Lexus for four years now, but the service has never been better than it is today.

Yesterday it was time to take my car in for service. I called and let my service rep know I'd be arriving in about 20 minutes. When I showed up, the paperwork was already filled out and my preference in loaner vehicles was sitting there waiting for me. All I had to do was sign the paperwork. I literally walked inside, sat down, signed on the dotted line, and walked out to my loaner. I was in and out in less time than it takes to make a latte.

It's refreshing to know that some companies still care about treating their customers right. This is the kind of level I try to give people who use the things I build, and I appreciate receiving the same kind of treatment. It's why we built Less Neglect - an amazing support tool to help us support our users of FolioHD and The Mux.

When businesses go the extra mile to make their customers feel special, the loyalty they'll have is far greater than if you simply provide adequate service. And that's what makes customers for life.

Oh, and if you own a Lexus in Socal, go visit Joey Wilchek at Newport Lexus.

Buick tries to 1-up Lexus on a problem Lexus doesn't have

This Buick commercial shows that if you lock your keys in your car, you can unlock your doors with their iPhone app. While it might be a nice feature, the commercial infers that the Lexus owner locked his keys in his car. But it's actually impossible to lock your keys in a Lexus. Details below...

Every Lexus comes standard with their SmartAccess keys. These keys don't ever have to leave your pocket, and more importantly, don't let you lock the car when the key is inside. I find it humorous that the makers of this commercial would choose to compare the Buick to a Lexus ES for this specific feature, full while knowing their whole point is moot. Hey Buick, if you're going to target buyers of the Lexus ES, at least point out a problem Lexus actually has, not one you make up.

How often do we drive by the same people and never realize it?

A few months ago, I posted about a blue Nissan Sentra that was driving around with a Tustin Lexus license plate frame. [original post here] It caught my eye because I thought it was odd to see an older model Nissan driving around with a Lexus frame.

Well, as it turns out, today (4 months later) I happened to find myself behind the same car, except almost 20 miles away.

Today in Fullerton, CA

December in Costa Mesa, CA...

And here's a map to show where I came across the same car.

View Larger Map

With the 3 million people living in Orange County, what are the odds? Maybe it happens more than we think.

Have I mentioned how much I love the first class customer service Newport Lexus?

If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you're aware that I have sort of become a consumer brand advocate for Newport Lexus because of the way they spoil their customers, and I tend to share about my experiences on my blog, like here and here.

Today when I went in for a routine complimentary car wash, I had a low tire pressure warning on my dashboard. When my car returned from the wash, the warning was gone. Yes, the guys at Newport Lexus took the time to top off the air in my tires. What other dealership does that for you?? Not many that I know of, that's for sure.

To me, it's the little things that make a big difference, and Newport Lexus comes through every time. Now Lexus, just hurry up and build the rumored GS-F before I'm feeling spontaneous and go buy a Tesla.

I am in love with my IS 350 loaner

Last week I wrote about my Lexus ES 350 loaner I hated as much as my old Toyota Sienna minivan, so I stopped by Newport Lexus on Saturday to find out how much longer I'd have to have it before my car's moonroof was fixed. My favorite (and only) service rep, Mike Sanders, was kind enough to swap out my ES for an IS 350.

Now, if you've never driven an IS 350, you're missing out. The IS 350 (not to be confused with the IS 250 that I call the "high schooler car"), is one of the most fun, lower end sports cars I've ever driven. The thing shoots off from a complete stop like nobody's business and it handles turns pretty well (it's not a BMW, but it's not bad). The engine also purrs nicely when accelerating.

There are a few things I don't like about it, though. The first, at no fault of the car, is that the suspension is pretty rough (necessary for a car of it's kind) - sometimes it gives me headaches. Naturally, being used to the boat-like suspension of the GS, I am always in for a shock when I take out the IS 350. Also, the road noise can be heard more than expected creeping through the doorjams. I caught myself several times checking to make sure my windows were up all the way. Lastly, it was surprising to only find one cupholder in the center console. It seems like it could have been engineered to hold two cups. After all there are two seats up front. Maybe they left it out so that when you turn a corner at 40 mph, you only have to clean up one spill and not two.

But all in all, the IS 350 is one of my favorite cars I've ever driven. It's now got me thinking what it would be like to drive an IS F. Yikes...I really don't need that kind of power. The IS 350 has plenty. Too bad I couldn't find the AUX jack until the last day.

Don't worry, my Matador Red Mica GS; I am coming for you soon. I hope you aren't offended by my weekend affair with the IS. I still love you and wouldn't trade you for the world.

Anyway, big thanks to Mike Sanders at Newport Lexus for swapping my granny car for the IS 350. It definitely made my weekend much more enjoyable. The customer-focused service at Newport Lexus is what keeps me coming back for my car's maintenance, and is what will eventually bring me back for my next car purchase.


Mini review of my Lexus ES 350 loaner

When my moonroof on my GS decided to not close anymore, I took it in to Newport Lexus and ended up getting an ES loaner, called by my service representative a "granny car."
Turns out, this thing has a decent sized engine for it's kind, but it is as loose as my old Sienna and certainly drives just as poorly as my dad's Avalon. Despite its power, it's really hard to put it all to good use without the entire car shaking and feeling very wobbly (such technical car terms in this post).

Moderate braking also results in a severe shaking of the steering wheel. Of course, that could be due to the fact that it is a loaner and people treat it as such.

The sound system is also nothing to write home about - sounds very muddy. I clearly have a better system on my GS, despite this being a newer ES.

I know my car and this car are clearly not in the same league, despite both being midsized sedans, but if I knew someone considering buying an ES, I would recommend they go with the Toyota Avalon. I don't see anything special about this car that would make me want to pay extra for the Lexus badge, unless it's solely for the free washes at Newport Lexus, in which case I would completely understand.