Now THAT’s Service: I Get A Mani While My Car Gets a Pedi

A Girls Guide To Cars | Now That'S Service: I Get A Mani While My Car Gets A Pedi - Product Info

Getting my oil changed is a dreaded routine: I make an appointment, rush to the dealer at 7AM to be first in line, and either get a ride home or sit in an oil-and-rubber smelling waiting room with year old magazines, awful coffee and news on the TV that I would never choose.I’ve always figured this was a (successful) strategy to keep me from questioning the charges: by the time my car is done I’m so happy to leave I don’t even look at the bill. Sound familiar?

After a few unhappy years of this, I decided it was time to find a better way; at least the time spent waiting could be better used. So I looked for a new oil change place near a Starbucks so I could have a latte and use the wifi in a peaceful, pleasant environment. When buying tires I chose a tire store near a nail salon so I could get a manicure while my Highlander got a pedi. But in the back of my mind, I always felt the car dealer was blowing a customer service opportunity: They were letting me get away from them by tending only to my car’s needs, not mine.

Scott Clarks ToyotaCharlotte’s Scott Clark Toyota’s newish location offers polished sales and service areas that put customer comfort as a top prioritySo then I heard a luring bit of urban lore: a heavenly place in North Carolina where a car dealer has a nail salon set up for customers who are there for an oil change. My friend Martha told me about it—she calls it the Toyota Palace (it’s actually Scott Clark Toyota). If you are there for service, you can get a manicure. FREE. They have a children’s play area where you can park your kids WHILE YOU’RE GETTING YOUR NAILS DONE. They have a deli counter where you can get snacks for your kids or a coffee to sip WHILE YOU’RE GETTING YOUR NAILS DONE. And they have wifi so you can post to Facebook and Tweet to your friends how awesome it is to GET YOUR NAILS DONE AT A CAR DEALERSHIP!



Scott Clark Toyota Waiting RoomWho minds waiting here? A children’s play area, a deli, a nail station and comfy chairs outfit the service waiting area; So I had to see for myself. Over the holidays we went to visit family in Charlotte and stopped in at Scott Clark Toyota, a large dealership on the south side of town and thought should get some winter nails. Martha was right–it’s like a palace, with four floors of cars and a large, shiny modern showroom. But unlike many dealerships, where the service department is a grimy afterthought slotted in next to the cavernous garage where the sound of air guns rattle your nerves, this service department is plush and comfy, and in this palace, the customer is queen: A grab-n-go deli counter offers breakfast, coffee, sodas and sandwiches; the children’s play area is behind glass walls (you can see them but don’t have to hear them!) and, then there’s a comfortable waiting area filled with plush chairs, cafe tables, wide screen TVs and wifi.

Sc Toyota Nail StationBrilliant finish: The nail station at Scott Clark ToyotaAnd then, tucked into a discreet little bay next to the play area, is the nail station. The familiar intimate table is stocked with all its tools and rainbow array of polish bottles, just waiting for the next customer.

Service director Jeff Carlan smiles when I ask about the manicure station; apparently we have discovered the dealer’s sweet little secret: not only do more than half of their customers who buy cars there come back for service, but they service quite a few cars that were purchased at other dealers. More than half of their service customers are women who can be very strategic and deliberate about their service appointments: many try to schedule for a time that isn’t busy so they won’t have to wait for the manicurist, and if they have to wait, most will.

The manicure station was started about 10 years ago, and the dealership decided to offer it as a complimentary service: The manicurist is a staff member. When Scott Clark Toyota moved to its current location four years ago, the manicure station remained part of the expanded and accommodating service waiting area.

Sc Toyota Manuicure Sign And here’s the best part: Oil change prices are very competitive and the manicure is free.

Do you know of a car dealer that has smart, intuitive service amenities or goes above and beyond to provide great service? If so, let us know!


Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss