John Bergstrom: Building a Culture of Caring


Employees receive monthly bonuses of $100 if their store’s overall customer satisfaction scores reach a certain benchmark. The group uses secret shoppers to review and learn from dealerships across the Midwest. He even sent those buyers further afield, like Phoenix.

And then there are the Bergstrom bathrooms, which the company chief called “the most important part of our dealerships.”

Every day the bathrooms are given fresh flowers and they are supposed to be as clean as those of a five star hotel.

“We’ve worked really hard to build a brand and a culture that says we care about people, and it all starts with our bathrooms,” said Bergstrom, a former hotelier. Automotive News in 2019.

Bergstrom Automotive holds an annual Race Store Cleanup Day in which John Bergstrom and his managing directors inspect each store in the group in a single day, looking for installation issues such as inadequate bathrooms.

“It’s part of the culture of who we are,” said Bergstrom, who is known to have left a weed found on the spot atop a manager’s desk to send a message.

“In the long run, your culture is what makes your business successful,” Bergstrom said in 2019. “It’s why people want to do business with you — why they come back again and again.”

Bergstrom Automotive’s culture also values ​​and is valued by employees. Bergstrom said he had the same secretary for 45 years and he mentioned a salesman who had spent 40 years in the business.


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