Why Pirelli has gone “white glove” and you should too

Why Pirelli has gone “white glove” and you should too

Pirelli has opened its flagship P Zero World retail center in Los Angeles, promising high-end clients a truly “white glove” experience. So what is it and what can tire dealers do to bring a little extra to their own customers’ experiences?

First, take a look at the P Zero World video from Pirelli:

What is Pirelli’s P Zero World?

Pirelli says P Zero World is what it calls a “brand experience” — an upscale retail center with world-class service that is “uniquely Pirelli.” In plain terms, it means not just a tire showroom and service center, but a rotating selection of supercars, large video screens, an open-air lounge, video touch screens enabling customers to select wheels and tires, an espresso bar and a meeting place for high-end car enthusiasts.

What can tire dealers do to improve their customer experience?

While regular tire dealers don’t have the resources of Pirelli, offering a better experience and having your customers walk away happy and feeling like they’ve been treated like royalty is probably easier than you think.

Earlier in the year Traction News talked to Direct Tire owner Barry Steinberg, who had just opened his fifth Boston location. The new store was clean, spacious, environmentally-friendly and full of extras a customer wouldn’t expect to see, such as LED lighting, coffee machines and art on the walls. He models his stores on car dealerships that he says are what tire stores should be measuring themselves against.

world pirelli

Pirelli P Zone World in LA

“My recommendation for anyone who’s building from scratch or looking at their store from the outside, which we all don’t do enough of, is benchmark yourself against car dealers,” Steinberg said. “Look at the car dealers and see what they’re presenting to the public when they walk through the front door, because they’re our biggest competitor right now.

“Let your employees go to the car dealers, walk around and see what your lost customers are seeing and make the changes. I have my wife look at my locations and she will always give me an honest assessment of where we need to make improvements.

“Are your buildings and showrooms clean and modern? Are your bathrooms clean? Are your employees in clean uniforms or are they wearing concert shirts and hats on backwards? I always tell my managers to sit in their showrooms after they close the stores and see what their clients see every day and make changes.”

Think about who your customer is and what they want

These days customers are going to expect a clean, welcoming environment, free coffee and Wi-Fi as standard, so if you’re not doing that, cast a critical eye over your store and see where you can improve. Many stores are now including a child-friendly play area, which is a great help to parents waiting for their tires to be fitted.

Women are the auto industry’s best customers, spending more than $200 billion a year, and yet the majority hate going to auto repair shops and rate it worse than going to the dentist. So providing top-notch customer service is critical to retaining these customers.

Women say they believe they are treated less positively than male customers and are overcharged, when what they really want is to be informed customers and receive top-quality customer service.

“Women expect Nordstrom-quality service everywhere they shop, but they rarely find it,” said Jody DeVere, CEO, whose company provides training and female-friendly certifications to tire and auto stores that reach and maintain their high standards.

“So here’s the bottom line — delivering an outstanding experience for women is the best form of marketing,” she said. “AskPatty delivers an increase in customer satisfaction ratings, sales, referrals and increased loyalty with women.”

Check out these amazing tire stores

While simple changes in decor and customer service training are easy, if you have some bucks to spend, have a look at some of these auto dealer waiting rooms.

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