In today's modern society, the bulk of businesses being controlled by faceless accountants has increased tenfold from where we were just a few years ago. But the fact is that faceless accountants do not understand customer or brand loyalty, they only understand bottom line figures. Accountants controlling a business, concerned only for the bottom line, will kill the business in short order because this budget and that sales target will outweigh what is best for the business and more importantly the customers whose money funds the business. No customers! No Business! Accountants do not understand how to manage customer expectations and they never will! A small business where the customers is totally happy with the goods purchased, after sales service, and residual quality of the product, will keep that same customer returning and spending and what's more, paying the price being asked without question. It's call appreciation of the worth. And it works from both sides of the counter. The customer appreciates the attention to detail, the seller appreciates the continued business. Loyalty on both sides. It's far easier to persuade a customer to spend more than he/she intended if they already appreciate the worth of what they are buying, even when the financial climate is poor. But! The customer has to have their expectations managed and managed carefully. There may be influences in the decision making process that will affect the buyers thinking that the seller is not aware of. Lexus and their dealerships need to get to grips with these simple facts. Personal example. More and more businesses are tightening the belts in these difficult economic times in order to survive. I personally lost 43% of my customers last year. Not to the competition, my customers simply closed up shop and gave up. This means that I cannot afford to replace my Lexus this year when I had planned to. I've got to keep it running for another year, maybe even two if business doesn't pick up. So now my Lexus is 5 years old, showing her age and in need of some Lexus TLC. I value the quality of work but I am now stuck with having to operate on a much tighter budget than before. Imagine how I felt when I am told that I need a new clutch £1750. A new water pump £350. A new serpentine belt £150 Air conditioning radiator £800: and these prices do not include labour at £130 per hour. My Lexus, now 2nd hand value of £2,500 trade in, I am being told the parts required are more than the value of the car. My first Lexus GS300 travelled 289,000 miles with me without a murmur. My IS220D has covered 150,000 miles and is now scrap. A colleague drives a AUDI A6, same year, almost identical mileage. He laughs at me every time he has his A6 serviced. Why? Because VAG group have recognised that in these difficult times they need to keep their loyal customers by adjusting their prices to suit the needs of the customer. My colleague is happy to accept 3rd party approved parts being fitted to his car instead of AUDI original thus saving him hundreds of pounds. My 60,000 mile service quote £532 plus parts plus VAT. His 60,000 mile service cost him just £249.00 all inclusive. Lexus and your dealers need to get to grips with accountant facts. If the customer doesn't have the money to meet your extortionate sales targets and budget pricing, he/she will vote with his feet and take his hard earned cash elsewhere. Accountant budgets will kill your business. How did I resolve my TLC needs? By buying 3rd party approved parts and going to a local garage who employs a Lexus trained mechanic. I got my clutch, water pump, serpentine belt, belt tensioner pulley, air con re-gassed and labour for less than a 3rd of my dealer quoted prices. I really wanted to use my Lexus dealer: I like the guys and how they have looked after me. But at Lexus 'corporate accountant' prices, I can't justify my loyalty anymore. Has Lexus successfully managed my customer expectations? No!