From glass-walled offices to service text-message updates, the refrain of Gordon Chevrolet’s business philosophy is “transparency.”
It’s something for which the entire automotive sales industry has a bad reputation, co-owner and general manager Adam Logemann said, but it was his goal from the beginning that Gordon Chevrolet would be different.
“When you walk into the dealership as a customer, you should be a part of every part of the process,” he said. “Buying a car is the second-largest purchase we make, besides a house, and you should be able to know exactly what is going on.”
Logemann and Gordon Stewart bought the dealership on Gordon Highway from the Bob Richards Auto Group in 2007. Stewart already owned car dealerships in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Michigan, but had opened his original dealership in 1979, Augusta’s Harrison-Gulley Chevrolet. He sold the dealership in the early 1980s to Milton Ruben, who was then just starting out in the business. When the opportunity to buy the Gordon Highway dealership from Bob Richards came up, Stewart liked the idea of returning to where he first got into the car business.
Immediately, the building was renovated to have an open floor plan with glass walls everywhere, from the front of the building to sales offices.
“Essentially, the entire dealership is glass,” Logemann said.
That concept carries over into every aspect of the way Gordon Chevrolet serves customers, Logemann said, with several unique ways he and his staff make sure the customer’s interests always come first.
Gordon Chevrolet service customers can wait in the “service theater,” a large waiting room with coffee, doughnuts and television screens. One of those screens displays a live update system that keeps customers a part of the service process, letting them know exactly what is happening to their car at any given time. If customers can’t wait at the dealership, they can be updated by either receiving text-message updates or by visiting a Web page that keeps them current.
“We like to underpromise and overdeliver,” Logemann said. “If we tell you your car will be ready at 5 p.m., but you get a text message at 4 saying that it’s ready, everyone is happy.”
Making his customers happy makes him happy as well, Logemann said. That -- and being around cars all day -- is his ideal job.
“I’m a people person and an American auto enthusiast at heart,” he said. “I love this.”
He makes it a point to be on the sales floor and make contact with customers every day. Getting frequent positive feedback from those customers makes the long hours worth it.
“We had a guy tell us the other day that we have never done him wrong,” he said. “That doesn’t get said every day, of course, but it sure is nice to hear.”
George Tucker, a lifelong Chevrolet fan and a Gordon Chevrolet customer for years, said there’s no question where she’ll continue to buy cars.
“Gordon Chevrolet is so helpful and open,” she said. “There’s so much stuff in buying a car that they helped us to navigate.”
Tucker said that on one occasion, employees stayed after hours to make copies of some paperwork for her.
“It has been a very good experience,” she said.