Cars

Tesla wants help, will hire customer experience specialists at 98 locations

Tesla is hiring showroom sales and delivery staff. Perhaps Tesla’s recent reported success in ramping up Model 3 production line output is the reason for the hiring spree. It may be that CEO Elon Musk’s decision not to take the company private is behind the job listings.

Regardless of the reason, Tesla has more than 2,000 open positions in 98 showroom locations across the country, Thinknum reports. Thinknum’s analysts link the boost in job listings to Tesla “moving back into ‘make-money’ mode at the retail level.

Tesla showrooms don’t officially have a sales staff. Tesla is critical of the traditional car dealership model, which Musk says focuses on making money from service departments. To fill the mechanics’ bays in service departments, dealerships use hard-sell sales methods to build the customer base. Dealerships discount new cars heavily because they know the real money comes when cars come back for service.

Tesla’s approach to retail car sales is different. According to Musk, everyone pays full price for Tesla cars, including himself. Tesla’s business model is based on making money on car sales, not service. Musk also states that because electric cars in general, and Tesla in particular, have low service needs and ongoing expense, basing showroom success on discounted car prices in order to build a hefty service business would be a terrible idea.

Instead of salespeople, Tesla showrooms employ customer experience specialists, employees whose responsibility is to help potential customers learn all they want and need to know about Tesla vehicles. Acting more like consultants on a mission than as hardcore sales staff, these specialists work in conjunction with delivery experience specialists when a customer orders and subsequently takes delivery of their new Tesla.

Here’s the introduction to the Customer Experience Specialist job description on Tesla’s careers site:

At Tesla, our Customer Experience Specialists, consistently deliver on an incredible educational, immersive, and exciting experience to all of our current and future customers. They constitute Tesla’s front line and are our brand ambassadors, supporting our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by creating memorable experiences for our customers.

So the emphasis at Tesla showrooms is on the customer experience. The philosophy is not to push sales but to invite sales indirectly by presenting Tesla vehicles in a highly positive light emphasizing luxury, performance, fuel economy, environmental benefits, and the cachet of high-tech transportation.

Tesla showrooms conform to the company philosophy, at least as measured by the brand’s consistent lowest ranking in the annual Pied Piper mystery shopper survey that ranks dealerships on the sales staff’s ability to convert prospects to customers.

When informed that Tesla came in the last place in the 2016 Pied Piper survey, Musk’s tweeted response was “Tesla finishes last in being salesy! Good. Also, I can’t believe there is a real Pied Piper.”

If you’re intrigued by Tesla’s anti-salesy sales positions, you can learn more and check out all the openings on Tesla’s careers site.

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