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Bannister Honda was recently awarded a 2017 DealerRater Canadian Honda Dealer of the Year Award, an annual recognition given to the top-rated auto dealership on DealerRater.ca.
The prestigious national accolade is only given to one Honda dealer in Canada, and Bannister’s owner/general manager Pat Loehndorf couldn’t be more proud of his dedicated team.
“This isn’t about me, it’s 100 per cent about the staff and their daily interactions with our customers,” said the digital savvy entrepreneur, who purchased the dealership along with the Bannister family back in August of 2012.
“These reviews and testimonials are of our staff members – they’re the reason we’re a 4.8 out of five–star dealership.”
The Vernon dealership was given 731 reviews – only three were negative.
“It’s not like the old days in the car industry where your dad would drive around to all these different car dealerships, kick the tires and choose one,” said Loehndorf, also noting that the determining factor of what makes or breaks a dealership nowadays is the online reviews.
“If you treat people well and with respect, then they’ll come back and they’ll tell people how they were treated. People believe people, and if someone hears by word of mouth they were treated well, they’ll come and see you. That’s just the way of the world now with the Internet.”
The DealerRater Dealer of the Year Awards program was created to recognize automotive dealerships whose sales and service operations exemplify excellence.
The extremely exclusive awards are given to Canadian-based dealerships for being the top-rated dealership within their OEM brand nationwide and the highest scoring dealers in each province, and in the country.
Bannister Honda has received consistently high marks on DealerRater.ca, making it the top Honda dealership on the site.
“DealerRater reviews speak volumes about customer satisfaction at a dealership,” said DealerRater CEO Gary Tucker.
“Bannister Honda is highly regarded and we are honored to recognize them with this distinction.”
In addition to excelling in the customer service department, Bannister Honda places a big emphasis on the importance of community, which was also recognized.
Last year, the dealership was awarded the community supporter award for the Okanagan and Interior by the New Car Dealership Association of BC.
“We like to give back more than we take – that’s very important to us here,” added Loehndorf, who spent last summer on Kalamalka Lake with Papa Murphy’s Pizza, and Sun FM cruising around in a pontoon, selling fresh pizza – one hundred per cent of the proceeds went to local charities (the Upper Room Mission and Vernon Women’s Transition House Society).
“We mounted two pizza ovens on the boat and when we saw a boat floating by, went up to it and cooked them a fresh pizza. They gave whatever they thought was fair – some gave $5, some gave $50. Every last cent went to the charities.”
Loehndorf credits the longevity and success of the dealership to the positive team environment, which was recently honoured by the Canadian Auto World magazine.
Bannister Honda placed second in the category of ‘Employer of the year in an Automotive Dealership in Canada.’
“We missed by just .4 per cent,” said Loehndorf.
“This is huge for us – to be number two in all of Canada was wonderful. It really showed our employee appreciation. It’s just so important to come to work and enjoy being here. We’re like one big happy family here with a great group of amazing people who truly care about what they do.”
To celebrate their big national award, Loehndorf has ordered jackets for his team with the logo.
“We will wear those jackets with great pride!”
Bannister Honda is a new and used Honda dealership located in Vernon at 6425 Hwy 97 North, that provides auto part, minor repair, tire, and detailing services.
Since 1988 and the early days of Sunshine Honda, they’ve been helping their customers find and service their new and used Honda vehicles.