Written by The Business Journal Staff
Caren Myers, General Manager
What we do: Lexus Sales and Service
Education: Attended Nebraska Wesleyan University
Family: Husband Bill, 6 Children, 12 Grandchildren and a Golden Retriever Gigit Myers.
How did you come to your position as General Manager at Fresno Lexus?
I had recently sold my Saturn dealership and was doing automotive consulting on an interim basis. RJ Romero, owner of Oremor Automotive Group, contacted me to interview for the Lexus general manager position in Fresno. This family-owned auto group based in Ontario, California is one of the most respected and successful in the automotive business. He owns several auto dealerships in Southern California and although each store operates independently, the standards are set at the very top level for professionalism, productivity, community involvement, employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. It was the right opportunity at the right time for me and an honor to be selected to be part of this team.
Now seems like a tough time to be in the auto industry due to all the recalls, what has the dealership done to reach out to customers who might be a little gun shy, Caren?
Lexus as a brand does an amazing job with customer contact, explanation and support if there is a campaign on a model or models to make a necessary repair. There is a national help line with an 800 number if a Lexus owner needs to speak with a customer service associate. At the dealership level we always provide a courtesy car to our customer while their car is being repaired. Their car is returned with a full tank of gas and fresh hand car wash. Lexus requires campaign repairs to be done by senior or master certified technicians, which gives our customer added confidence in the work that is done on their vehicle. It is mainly the inconvenience of the down time on their Lexus that we address with extra care and concern for our customer and their car.
What kind of customer-focused programs does Fresno Lexus have in place, Caren?
At Fresno Lexus “customer care is a culture.” Our team is certified in the Elite program and all of our associates are trained to provide Lexus owners with an ownership experience that exceeds their expectations.
We are a team-based company — we care about each other as well as our customers that we serve. Each team member has a servant heart. We are committed to honor our covenant to “treat our customers as a guest in our home every time they visit.” It is our amazing responsibility.
10 Foot Rule — Whenever you are within 10 feet of a team member or a guest – SMILE — it will make a difference!
Women in particular seem to be a demographic more dealerships are spending time reaching out to, what have you done at Fresno Lexus to appeal more to female customers, Caren?
Fresno Lexus has just completed a pilot program for Lexus on women’s focus in the dealership. We were one of nine dealerships across the US that participated in this awareness-training project to better serve our female guests. Women are the decision makers today in 85% of all car-buying decisions and 51% or our owner’s at Fresno Lexus are women. So it is very important that women know we will take great care of them whether they are getting their Lexus serviced or purchasing a new or pre-owned vehicle.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments with the dealership, Caren?
This is my 50th year in the automobile business so I have many but for Fresno Lexus our team has experienced several “business bests” during the past 9 years.
° Marjaree Mason Center 2006 Top Business of the Year Award
° People’s Choice Award – Best Luxury Car Dealership 2010-2013 – Fresno Bee
° 2007 Lexus Innovation Award winner – $10,000 team award for implementing a Product Specialist to better serve our customers.
° Better Business Ethics Award for Central California– Medium Size Business-2012
° Elite of Lexus Award 2006 – 2014 (for outstanding customer service, sales achievement, internet sales, profitability, facility and business management.)
° Best Auto Dealership 2014 – The Business Journal’s Readers Choice Award for Best Central Valley Business.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Caren?
My first job was as a receptionist at a Ford dealership in Santa Rosa in 1965. I learned that a job can be an opportunity for a career. I was 20 years old at that time and although I didn’t know exactly where my career path was headed I knew it would be in the automobile industry. I love the business and I wanted to climb this industry’s ladder. I have since learned that there is no limit to what you can achieve if you really want to. The process takes a good mentor, personal commitment, hard work, a great attitude, a competitive spirit and a passionate heart.
What person now or in history would you be most interested in meeting and why, Caren?
I have several on very opposite spectrums, but I will name two. I’m a Christian so Jesus is at the top of my list because he was a great leader and taught me the principles that are the core of my character; always do the right thing; always treat others as I would like to be treated, and be humble in the process. More recently in history, I would chose Ronald Reagan because he too was a great leader that had the amazing ability to revitalize an entire country’s patriotism while he was president. Meeting and visiting with great leaders like these would have priceless value for me as I continually challenge myself to be a better leader.
What do you like to do in your spare time, Caren?
I love to play golf and I’m a sports fan, whether it’s attending a Fresno State game or taking a break in front of the TV. I watch the golf channel, football, college basketball (both men and women) and volleyball. And, I like to read — just finished “41” by George Bush. And, most importantly just be with my family.