As owner of Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land, Jeff Sebastian has one guiding philosophy: Buying and maintaining a car should be a positive, pleasant experience.
If you’ve done either at other dealerships, you know that’s not always the case. So the fact that Classic provides customers with great care consistently is of special note. It has been rewarded with substantial growth in all areas of the company, from its customer base to service, parts and sales. Sebastian contributes the growth to two factors: the customer experience and the dealership’s dedication to giving back to the community.
First, Classic prides itself on providing a VIP experience for car buyers. They empower their salespeople to work a deal from beginning to end. That awful experience where your salesperson disappears in the middle of negotiations for an unknown boss’s approval on a price? You won’t find that at Classic. “I want each customer’s buying experience to be efficient,” Sebastian said. “I want them to trust their salesperson and know they’re getting a good deal. There’s no good cop/bad cop here. It’s about earning customers’ trust and creating a positive buying experience for them.”
Sebastian is quick to point out that buying a vehicle is only the first step in the customer experience. A purchase may take a couple of hours, but over the lifetime of your car, quality of service is what counts. Sebastian explained, “Whenever we sell you a vehicle, we’re in the very beginning stages of our relationship. Throughout ownership, we’ll be there every step of the way. It’s not fun having an oil change or dealing with car trouble. So we go out of our way to make an unpleasant experience more pleasant.” This includes efficient service, regular communication, complimentary car washes, a fleet of loaner cars, and even a shuttle to your home or office.
These services go a long way toward keeping customers happy. What Sebastian sees as even more important, however, is the attitude of Classic’s employees. While experience and productivity are great attributes to have in a team member, as Sebastian says, “I hire on attitude and personality and for us, in a service-oriented industry, I will only hire people with great, positive attitudes. We really want our customers to have a Chick-fil-A or Disney experience at our dealership.”
The second aspect of the Classic philosophy that has contributed to its growth is its commitment to the community and those in need. Classic gives back hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and is visible across Fort Bend as sponsors and contributors. Its annual Chili Cook Off is a popular event that in 2018 drew a crowd of 4,000 and raised over $60,000 for first responders and law enforcement. Classic donates
and contributes financially to Fort Bend Meals on Wheels, and the employees volunteer personal time to deliver meals to those who are homebound. In addition, as title sponsor for the annual Boogie, Classic supports the Fort Bend Women’s Shelter, providing a safe haven for those escaping abuse.
“We have a philosophy that we owe it to the community to give back,” said Sebastian. “Everything is reciprocal. We want people to know that when they do business with us, any money they spend trickles back into the community.”