GM wants to boost Chevrolet's market-share in California by improving the customer experience.
Chevrolet wants to improve its market-share in California and is turning to Disney for some help.
The GM brand is holding classes on customer service for dealers at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and hoping the classic theme park can teach its staff how to better impress customers in the showroom.
"Disney has created a culture where they talk about how they are always on stage with their customer. Sometimes we take the customer for granted," says Chevy's VP for sales and service, Alan Batey.
The Chevrolet brand has suffered for years in California from a poor image - rightly or wrongly - as a make that sells gas-guzzlers of bad quality.
In terms of passenger car sales, Chevy trails not only Asian brands such as Honda, Hyundai and Toyota in California, it is also behind relatively small-volume brand VW. Chevy trucks and SUVs do better, though, and have done so historically.
Chevrolet is using a three-pronged approach to growing sales in California. Apart from improving customer service, it is also introducing more fuel-efficient cars, such as the Chevy Volt, and upgrading dealer showrooms.
The Disney training is meant to impart on dealers how little niceties go a long way with customers. Thoughtful touches such as washing a car when it comes in for service and leaving a bottle of water in the cup-holder for the customer.
To fully implement its strategy, GM is spending between $60 million and $100 million over the next year on dealers who promise to stay with the brand for the next ten years.