The above-and-beyond mentality evident the moment you walk through the door first began back when current General Manager Tracy Isselhardt was on the sales floor. Back then, the Lexus was a rear-wheel drive car—unlike today’s standard all-wheel drive functionality—and Tracy closed the deal by guaranteeing to personally plow the customer’s driveway in the winter if he took the car home.
“It started with one,” says Tracy. “Now, it’s 55, maybe 60. I have a whole snow route. I started out doing it myself, now we have several snowplow trucks. People got used to it. It’s just customer service. One more little thing that we do that no other dealer is going to do.”
The “little things” all add up to a very different customer service experience. It can be something as simple as unlimited complimentary car washes; they have a huge, automated, brushless car wash hidden inside their massive service area complete with a high-powered wax machine, so your Lexus never loses its luster.
A typical McGrath Lexus experience when bringing the car in for a wash or for service has you pull into their spacious four-lane service drive where you’re identified and greeted by a large flat screen monitor above your lane. A service advisor hands you a pager and you’re off to explore your options in the waiting areas. There are two separate TV waiting rooms filled with comfortable seating, each with an unobstructed view of the comprehensive children’s play area in the center. Kids can spend all day playing with the toys and games in the circular playroom, which keeps the noise fairly contained behind transparent window-walls. There are two computer bays filled with many desktop computers, where people can surf the Internet or take care of some work. There’s a quiet waiting area for reading, or for getting complimentary chair massages on Mondays and Thursdays.
You can head to the enclosed patio area to spend some quiet time with their koi ponds; some of the koi have been with McGrath Lexus for 12 years now, and kids love to feed and pet them. They have their own café with a menu of freshly made panini sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, and warm and iced drinks. The coffee and hot chocolate are free. Every once in a while they even include Tracy’s own creation on the specials menu, The Tracynator: Gatorade, Mountain Dew, and a shot of 5-hour Energy. When the pager buzzes, your car is waiting for you at the entrance, good as new.
“Last Saturday, we did over 600 car washes,” says Tracy. “People like coming here. They get quiet time, they get on the computer, we take care of them. The Lexus philosophy is to treat each customer as we would a guest in our own home. Some people bring in one car, wait for it, and then bring in their other one to wait while that one’s taken care of.”
Every Saturday during the summer, they have a free cookout where they toss burgers, brats, and chicken on the grill for whoever wants to grab a bite. It’s not uncommon to even see salespeople from the surrounding dealerships lining up with a plate. As if that weren’t enough, sometimes Tracy calls in a big smoker, so they can add ribs to the menu. Heading over to McGrath Lexus is like going to a family reunion.
“We’re a family-owned business, and I live in Hinsdale a song and a half away from work, unless I get caught behind the train,” says Tracy. “We just do certain things that people don’t usually do. The product sells itself, so we can focus on the service we give our customers.”
McGrath Lexus is located at 500 East Ogden Avenue in Westmont. For more information, visit mcgrathlex.com, or call them at 800-796-8721.
— Jake Jarvi