I love driving my Toyota Sienna. As a mother of two, I’m often hauling around a few extra kids and my “mom van” is the perfect ride for my school-work-store-soccer lifestyle. My van is as reliable as they come but it still needs tire rotations, oil changes and the occasional larger service appointment for mileage milestones. When it’s time for these appointments, I visit Toyota of Olympia. During my recent 120,000-mile service Calvin Singleton, assistant service manager on the Green Team, showcased what the true meaning of service really is.

Toyota of Olympia recently closed their dealership early so all employees could join the fun at the company picnic. Photo courtesy: Calvin Singleton.

I had arranged for a co-worker to pick me up so I dropped my Sienna off in the morning. I needed the car back by 3:00 p.m. to pick up my children and complete the day’s errands. I met with Calvin, reviewed the list of services and agreed to touch base later. On the list was a spark plug replacement, standard at the 120,000 mile service appointment. What isn’t quite so standard is the extremely difficult location of those pesky spark plugs.

When we touched base later, Calvin informed me that the techs needed more time to access the plugs, digging deep into my engine compartment. As a dad himself, he perfectly understood my need to pick up my kids on time and the hassle that not having a vehicle can create for a busy parent. Instead of excuses, Calvin offered solutions. I took my nearly finished van home that afternoon and successfully completed the afternoon carpool.

Toyota of Olmpia's Calvin Singleton
Calvin Singleton loves spending time with his son, Daniel. Photo courtesy: Calvin Singleton.

The next morning, Calvin did something extraordinary. He came in early to work and took the courtesy shuttle all the way to my Boston Harbor home. He personally drove my van to Toyota’s new Tumwater location where the techs completed the sparkplug replacement. He then drove my Sienna back to my house, parked it in my garage and handed me the keys. Everything was completed by noon. It was even washed and vacuumed!

This is incredible service.

And, for Calvin and Toyota of Olympia, this is not unusual.

Calvin Singleton exemplifies Toyota of Olympia’s philosphy of putting people first. The service department team truly cared about my situation. They did all they could to ensure my family’s schedule was not disrupted. They treated me as if I was family – and when you are a customer of Toyota of Olympia, you really are part of the family.

Calvin and Eli are members of the Toyota of Olympa Service Department’s Green Team. #gogreenteam. Photo courtesy: Calvin Singleton.

Calvin joined the Toyota family three years ago after almost a decade with Les Schwab. He credits his time working at the family-owned tire retailer for instilling in him a spirit of service, one that is echoed by the entire team at family-owned Toyota of Olympia. “I’ve always been around cars,” says Calvin. “And this was a natural next step for me.”

Calvin is married with a five-year-old son, Daniel, and a two-year-old daughter, Maleah. He is a true family man who loves his kids. Calvin says he realized the hard way, “that I needed to put family first.” This is the realization that led him to Toyota of Olympia.

“I absolutely love being here,” Calvin says of his work at Toyota. “I love talking to people, learning about their lives, hearing their stories. I must talk to 20 or 30 people a day and every single story is different. I want to hear each and every one.”

Calvin Singleton Calvin DJ’d a recent Toyota of Olympia company picnic. Photo courtesy: Calvin Singleton.

Calvin relates a story about a local mom whose husband is deployed and is juggling it all. He talks about the newlyweds building a fresh, new life and the widow learning about her vehicle alone for the first time. Then there is the customer who drives in from Aberdeen just to see their Toyota friends.

Together with Tony and Eli, his Green Team partners, Calvin strives to inform each customer and truly listen. “We always tell our customers the truth, no matter the money situation,” he shares. “We won’t sell them something they don’t need and we’ll always try and give them the best value. Often, if you just listen, you’ll hear what the customer really needs and sometimes it’s more than an oil change. It’s a bit of understanding and compassion too.”

The service team at Toyota of Olympia puts people first – a philosphy that is practiced from the top down. “Of course, like with any business, the bottom line matters,” says Calvin, “but, at Toyota, we really care more about the customer relationship and how people feel when they leave here. Joe reflects that down to us. And, when people feel good about their service, they return. They become part of the family.”

Calvin Singleton works hard to care for his family and his customers. Photo courtesy: Calvin Singleton.

Calvin is referring to General Manager Joe McCorkle who is leading the charge to ensure every customer knows they are valued and that their experience is top priority for everyone at Toyota of Olympia.

I returned just the other day to see Calvin for a warranty enhancement on my sliding door. This was an added bonus that Calvin had let me know was available on my Sienna. He took care of ordering the parts in advance so my experience was as easy as could be. The process couldn’t have been smoother. I was back to kids, carpool and chaos in no time. Even better, they vaccummed all the goldfish crackers up for me too, just like always. Now, that’s priceless.

Visit Toyota of Olympia at their new Tumwater location at 6969 Tyee Dr. SW. or call them direct to book your next service appointment at 360-539-4000.

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