The time for me to buy a new car has come around. I have had my current drive, a Fiat Grande Punto for five years and oh my how it is showing. So of I went with my brother (he needs a new one as well) and my Dad to have a gander at what Audi had to offer. My Dad has had an Audi Q5 for a while now and I have been really impressed with it, so in my own mind I was already going in with the intention to buy an Audi, just not as big as my Dad’s car.

After some haggling, negotiations and a pleasant test drive, I left their stunning showroom ordering one of these (without the roof rack):


That’s the A3 Sportback model. I’ve gone for a 1.6TDI in Glacier White if any of you are at all interested! But why am I telling you about this? Well, although the product is great and I can’t wait to pick it up next week, it was the customer service and attention to detail that really impressed me, and I think it’s something that our own industry could do with studying.

Attention to detail without the pressure

To start, their showroom was something to be admired. All the cars were arranged in a certain formation, absolutely spotless. The showroom itself was mostly glass, with aluminium curtain walling. It looked impressive because the size of the showroom was so big. Far better than other lower end manufacturers. But as soon as you stood inside that air of quality and class hits you right in the face. I loved it.

Then there were the staff. All in suits, all with the Audi branded ties and pins. All the guys and girls were well presented and unlike other car showrooms we were left to browse without being approached or hassled. Something our industry doesn’t always seem to get. At no point throughout the sales process did I feel under pressure, I felt totally at ease, again something some of the industry’s lesser sales reps can’t seem to crack.

Even the smaller details made a bigger difference to the overall experience. Take the coffee for example. There were as many options for coffee at their bar, yes bar, as you could expect to find at Costa or Starbucks! I only went for the Cappuccino. Something as small as this can make buying a car actually feel less like buying a car and it being more of a relaxed social visit…with you buying a car at the end. Going another step further, all drinks, hot and cold, were served in fancy Audi branded mugs and glasses, not in some make do mugs brought from home. Again it’s only small details but you do notice them.

Then there were the toilets. Five star hotels would have been proud to have those loos in their establishments. We had a look at the service department, free car wash facility and sofa area. All oozed class and professionalism. They certainly know how to make selling a car look like an art form. The cars aren’t half bad either!

Adopt some car dealership features?

I look at what we do at our place and think we’re doing a good job. I know we’re doing a good job, our figures this year show it. But after leaving Audi today and reflecting on how they run their business, there are things which I think we could adopt to really polish the whole process off.

If the window industry wants to really improve it’s image and demonstrate that it’s changing for the better, it could do worse than to adopt some of the techniques and touches I saw today at Audi. It made the process of buying a high end car painless. Everything felt premium, high quality, professional and all without the pressure and sales tactics. Something I think all parts of our industry should aspire to achieve.