Boating Industry

April 2016

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Page 15 of 43 16 | Boating Industry | April 2016 n obody wants unhappy customers. At the very base of any business, we're looking for happy customers. But there's a big difference between satisfi ed and thrilled, between "not unhappy" and ec- static. Far too often, companies end up settling for the former instead of aiming for the latter. Whether you call them raving fans, pro- moters or brand evangelists, they are the cus- tomers that not only rate you highly, but share that information with other customers. "Your customers are only satisfi ed because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfi ed customers isn't good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans," as Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles wrote in their landmark cus- tomer service book, "Raving Fans." While the book is more than 20 years old, the idea behind it is timeless: create a customer who is so overwhelmed by the great customer service they receive that they can't help but shout from the rooftops about it. BEYOND SATISFACTION Customer service that creates raving fans BY JONATHAN SWEET Building relationships At Modern Marine, achieving excellent customer service is all about developing relationships. "Modern Marine is committed to provid- ing our customers with an excellent experi- ence before, during and after the sale but this effort can only be successful if the dealer is strongly involved in creating a relationship during the entire selling, delivery and follow- up process," said Johnny Padgett, owner of the Nashville dealership. Modern Marine has been Chaparral's No. 1 dealer for CSI for nine years in a row, and is also a top-rated dealer for its other brands. Modern Marine has a relatively small sales team – just Johnny and his son Jason – so that can make it easier to manage those relation- ships, but Padgett believes the company's strat- egies can apply to larger operations as well. From the fi rst contact, Modern Marine fo- cuses on building that customer relationship. "When we make a sale we try to make it a memorable event in that we want to relate to their whole family if we can by discussing things that don't apply to boating at fi rst," such as their work, school or church, Padgett said. "We draw these things together to see how we can relate to their situation if we can – otherwise, we move on to anything we have in common – sports, entertainment etc., and then we try to blend it together with where they would be boating, their previous expe- rience with boats … and give them reasons why they should buy the boat after determin- ing their needs," he said. "All the time we're BEYOND SATISFACTION Building relationships At Modern Marine, achieving excellent customer "Great experience, friendly "Great experience, friendly staff, could not have had a staff, could not have had a better experience. People who truly know what taking care of customers is all about." — Happy New Boat Owner ©ISTOCK.COM/LEONARDO PATRIZI

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