Best Customer Service Program
M&P Mercury Sales Ltd.
M&P Mercury’s customer service program has always been top notch, but what truly made the dealership stand out from the crowd this year was its above-and-beyond efforts to provide the best customer experience possible to complement its newest boat model.
The Sea Ray L-Class line debuted at the end of 2014, a next-level luxury with a higher promise of consumer experience. M&P Mercury worked with Sea Ray on the development of this line and determined that several changes would need to be made to showcase the segment properly: the way the product was marketed, how customers engaged with the product, the purchase experience, the delivery experience, and the ownership experience.
“Consumer expectations in the top 1 percent and especially the 0.1 percent are always on the rise, and the luxury brands who work with this group … never rest; they are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience,” says Bob Pappajohn, president and owner of M&P Mercury Sales Ltd. “While we thought we did a great job in the past, it became clear that in order to meet the expectations set by other luxury brands and play in the ‘0.1 percent’ league, we would have to be even better.”
The first thing M&P Mercury did was create the role of “Director of Customer Experience.” This individual was given full responsibility for creating 5-star customer events and build relationships with like-minded, top-luxury brands in other industries.
“If you want to improve the customer experience, you need to target it,” Pappajohn says. “So this role was created and defined to take the experience of our customer, which was already very good, elevating it to a new level of intuitiveness, effectiveness and inclusiveness, while respecting our clients’ unique desires and sensitivities.”
The dealership hosted several events and previews to showcase the boat, highlighting the VIP feeling the L-Class brand aims to exemplify. The dealership created custom pavilions, VIP lounges and on-water displays to make its clientele feel truly special.
“We are extremely proud of the success we had with our L-Class Experience events, and we are happy to say that our investment proved to be incredibly worthwhile,” says Pappajohn.
The final event invited a hand-selected group of guests to a $20 million private, on-water residence, where the L650 was displayed at a private dock and luxury food and amenities were available.
“One evening was held for our English-speaking clientele, and a second night was specifically for our affluent Chinese clientele,” says Pappajohn. “Both events were extremely well received, earning us extremely positive commentary from our exclusive guest list, including well-versed high-end event planners.”
For the first delivery of the L-Class series, the sales staff took new owners out for a three-day weekend delivery experience that included showing them everything about boating: where to go, what to do, people to meet, how to dock, where to stay, where to eat, and more.
“For new boaters at the L-Class level in particular, the delivery experience isn’t a one-hour celebration with champagne & pictures; it is a full year to two years of hand holding, new experiences and understanding to help turn these new-to-boating people into successful boaters,” says Pappajohn.