Being the Best Car Dealership in the Battlefords is something that takes a lot of pieces fitting into place. For Duane Lafreniere, Dealer Principal at Bridges Chevrolet Buick GMC, it simply has a lot to do with the way they do business, “We really, really, really strive to take care of our customers.”
Lafreniere says their business model is the perfect mix of a local business and a big company. “We are an Auto Canada store, but I also own Bridges. So, I’m partnered with Auto Canada, we both own the store.” This ownership model means customers get a bit of both worlds when it comes to the car buying experience. “The advantage to being part of a bigger company is; buying power, that’s one big advantage. But the advantage to me being a local owner is that I am absolutely so ingrained in the community,” says Lafreniere. He feels the customer is the one that wins in this arrangement, it’s not a faceless corporation that they’re dealing with, it’s just them, members of the community.
Being an accessible owner is something that Lafreniere feels is integral to the success of the business. “I think the biggest advantage for a customer coming into our door and being a customer of Bridges is the fact that they can come in and see me any time. I am there, I am available. My office is literally right beside the customer lounge, so people can walk in my door any time and deal with me if that’s what they want.” Lafreniere says it goes as far as him lending his personal vehicle to customers who are waiting for service, or have a vehicle in the shop. He says doing this doesn’t feel like going above and beyond, it’s just part of what they do, it’s in Bridges’ DNA.
Having a DNA that revolves around service translates to the staff. Lafreniere says it’s a great place to work, and therefore a great place to shop. “We’ve got a really close-knit bunch of people at Bridges. Everyone gets along, they like working there. We provide a really fun, happy safe environment for everyone at bridges. And I really think that translates when we’re dealing with customers.”
Over the last number of years, Bridges has been synonymous with community involvement. “We are incredibly active in the community,” says Lafreniere. He says that people need to know that they’re just as much a part of the community as you are, and they strive to make their community better.
Winning other BOB Awards is another testament to the Best Dealership honour. Bridges also won the award for Best Service Department and Best Place to Buy a Used Vehicle. It’s shows that we Bridges isn’t just about selling cars, it’s about servicing their customers and keeping their customers coming back.
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