Barker Honda again takes top honors

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, February 27, 2011

Barker Honda Brookhaven is the leading Honda dealership inAmerica in terms of customer satisfaction for the third time.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has named the big car lot on thenortheast corner of Highway 51 and Brookway Boulevard the No. 1dealership in the nation in its customer satisfaction experiencerankings, marking the third time the 5-year-old business hasreceived top honors. The dealership scored a customer satisfactionexperience rating of 99.8, an almost perfect score that is wellabove the national average of 91.5.

“To achieve a 99.8 is pretty extraordinary,” said MichaelWhatley, general manager. “We do it through a culture of takingcare of our customers.”

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The nation-leading score was compiled through surveys filled outby the roughly 500 customers who come to Barker Honda Brookhaven tobuy, trade or have maintenance performed on their Hondas eachmonth. Whatley said a few bad surveys can be overcome in a bigtown, but in small Brookhaven, one bad report can wreck the rating,meaing Barker Honda can’t afford to push any customers to the backburner.

“We’ve had to pull out all the stops and do our due diligence onevery customer,” he said.

Barker Honda Brookhaven Service Manager Shane Stokes said thekey to the superior ranking is communication between managers,salesmen, technicians and everyone else in the process.

“It’s a lot of hard work. Everybody has to be on the same page,”he said. “The biggest thing is trust, training and we communicatewell. We’re a team.”

Bill Kirk, the area Honda District Parts and Service Manager,said customer service experience is a major focus of American HondaMotor Co., Inc., and communication is the most important part.

“Really it’s not rocket science. It’s just building arelationship of trust with our customers and continuing thoserelationships every time they come in,” he said. “When there’s apoor response from the customer, most of the time it’s because thecommunication between the customer and the shop breaks down.”

With Barker Honda Brookhaven’s national No. 1 ranking comesanother No. 1 ranking in Mississippi, of course. The Brookhavendealership also claimed top spot in the South Central Zone, beatingout 85 other dealerships in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi andTexas.

Barker Honda Brookhaven launched on May 1, 2006, after Whatleypurchased the former Honda of Brookhaven dealership. Ninety-fivepercent of the original employees still work there, and 600 to 800new cars are sold from the lot each year.