Lexus is looking for a few good ideas. And they are willing to pay big bucks to get them. As part of its new campaign, which Lexus is calling its "Pursuit of Innovation Award," the automaker will be handing out four regional awards of $50,000 each for innovative customer service improvement concepts. Another $25,000 had been set aside for second and third place winners in each region. Before you get your hopes up, understand that this is for Lexus dealers. Corporate decided it needed some changes to stay ahead of the competition and thought it would be better to get suggestions from the front lines rather than handing them down from their ivory pearl tower.

There is no limit to the number of ideas dealers can submit, but plans have to be implemented and proven effective to be considered. Suggestions will be accepted until Nov. 15 and then a third party judging company will determine the winners. Those winners will be announced in February, 2008. A book will then be compiled with all of the best ideas so dealerships can learn how to implement the ideas themselves. It will be up to the winning dealerships to divide the cash awards amongst their employees as they see fit. The money for this campaign is actually coming from marketing rather than customer service, as they thought it was a better use of funds than some short-term lease or other incentive to temporarily boost sales. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Create a better way to keep Lexus customers happy, and you get fifty grand.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]