Customer service and community service are important to Pape Chevrolet, and the company has certainly won its share of awards.

But it’s the customer satisfaction numbers – and the longstanding commitment to helping others – that generate the most pride.

Pape has been an enthusiatic supporter of the United Way of Greater Portland for many years. Once again this year, Pape is donating a vehicle to the United Way’s Workplace Campaign Raffle, and president Fred Pape III is co-chairing the United Way’s Retail Division of its annual campaign.

In 2017, United Way of Greater Portland surpassed its campaign goal in raising $8,053,931. It was the organization’s third consecutive year of campaign growth. Pape was a key supporter, with its employees contributing $35,190 in pledges.

There is a direct connection between Pape’s charitable efforts, and its success with clients.

The link: employee philosophy.

Fred Pape Jr., who founded the company in 1969, and Fred Pape III have always maintained that customer focus must come first. “And without employee loyalty, it is very difficult to maintain that consistency.”

“You don’t stay in the business as long as we’ve been in it if you’re not focused on your customer,” said Fred Pape III, president of the Pape Dealerships in South Portland.

The key is fair and solid business practice. That method pleases customers and keeps employees happy.

Pape has virtually no turnover among employees, and is consistently among New England’s highest performers, based on sales volume, sales satisfaction, service satisfaction, and overall profitability.

As the Pape family says: “As long as you stay focused on the customers, they’ll keeping coming back.”

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