Newcastle Chrysler Dodge Jeep recently received the 2017 Customer First Award for Excellence, becoming one of just 387 recipients nationwide this year.
A total of 511 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat dealerships have earned the award since it was created by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC in 2015. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US designs, engineers, manufactures, and sells Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Fiat vehicles. A total of 2,600 dealerships are eligible for the award.
Only six dealerships in Maine, including Newcastle Chrysler, have earned the award since it was introduced.
In order to earn the award, dealerships must meet standards in five categories: cleanliness, convenience, and comfort; customer interaction processes; high levels of customer satisfaction; annual employee surveys; and training certifications.
Every employee at Newcastle Chrysler has worked hard to bring the dealership up to the high standards necessary to receive the award, according to Randy Miller, the dealership’s president.
“We don’t want to be chasing the benchmark, we want to be the benchmark,” Miller said.
The work paid off, and in December the dealership received notification that it was one of this year’s honorees. Mike Germana and Sam Polonsky, of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, visited Newcastle Chrysler to present the award Thursday, April 13.
“I was thrilled to find out that we were chosen, but it’s not about me,” Miller said. “This award is about my wonderful co-workers, who work hard here interacting with customers, but also at home to earn their certification and go through training.”
“I really could not be more proud of them,” Miller said.
The customer-first attitude existed at Newcastle Chrysler long before it earned the award, Miller said.
“The people who come here aren’t our customers, they’re our friends,” Miller said. “At Newcastle, you’re a friend, you’re not a number.”
The attitude extends into the community, Miller said. He is actively involved in the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce, which named him its 2016 Business Person of the Year.
In December, Miller received the 2016 Real Man Award from the American Cancer Society of Maine for raising $17,763 for the organization’s Real Men Wear Pink fundraiser. Miller said he plans to host another fundraiser for the organization this year. The dealership collects gifts for area children during the holiday season.
Newcastle Chrysler is eligible to earn the Customer First Award for Excellence every year.
“We won’t try to earn it, we will achieve it,” Miller said. “Our customers deserve nothing less.”