2013 Best Customer Service: Gordy’s Lakefront Marine

Best Customer Service

Gordy’s Lakefront Marine
Fontana, Wis.

Located on the shores of tony Lake Geneva in southeast Wisconsin, Gordy’s Lakefront Marine has remained family owned and operated since its inception in 1955, priding itself on consistently exceptional customer service. Between its dealership, marina, storage and rental businesses, bar, pro shop and Boat House restaurant, its staff of more than 200 seeks to provide guests a wonderful experience, even while waiting for a quote, service work or a dinner entrée.

“Since 1955, Gordy’s has followed the motto of excellent customer service,” said Rallee Chupich, service and hospitality manager at the company. “Focusing on this vision has led to the company’s growth and success over the past 50-plus years. In this pursuit, we feel fortunate to have been honored over the years for our success.”

Success in recent years has been steady, with $1 million dollars in improvements during 2011 and more than $3 million throughout 2012, the company’s most profitable year. It has simultaneously reached record unit sales of new and used Cobalt and MasterCraft boats, while focusing its most recent investment dollars on adding 135 new wet slips and making improvements to its marina operations, seizing on an unexpected opportunity to increase its lake frontage.
Gordy’s adamantly says its goal is to become the country’s best marina and dealership within three to five years, and that it will get there by maintaining and improving its already high levels of customer service.

Its philosophy can be seen in the meticulous landscaping of its expansive grounds, valet and concierge services meant to take away hassles and a focus on the company’s celebrated history. Gordy’s staff is trained to foster a relaxed, resort-style atmosphere, rather than that of a typical dealership or repair shop.


“Despite our growth,” Rallee said, “one thing we will always cherish and remember is our long and storied history of our family, our friends and all the fun we have had together in boats.”

Nowhere are the company’s over-and-above tenets more evident than in the new boat delivery process, which is tailored to suit the needs of individual customers. It begins with the pre-delivery, on-water inspection by service staff. After clearance, a sales person formally introduces the delivery captain, who spends as much time as needed with every customer.

The captain guides customers through a Cobalt-specific delivery checklist covering all aspects of operation, features, warranty and techniques including parking on a lift, trailering the boat, safe boating tips and the use of all on-board systems. Small but significant extras include providing emergency training and contact information, and a delivery package that includes eight standard life jackets, four custom life jackets, gold braided dock lines, bumper fenders, a safety throw cushion and first aid kit in a large bag to keep it all organized.

In addition, all boats come filled with a full tank of premium fuel, as well as a quart of gear lube, engine oil, a $50 gift certificate for the restaurant, a 20-percent-off certificate for the pro shop and an iPod adaptor cable to use aboard the boat. Best of all, a final touch of appreciation is shown with a cooled bottle of champagne to celebrate.

Post-sale niceties include seven-days-a-week operation, training courses for skiers, tubers and wakeboarders, massive storage facilities, beautiful surroundings and a rental operation designed to keep all customers on the water, as well as introduce newcomers to the boating lifestyle.

Gordy’s and its staff have a long list of achievements, including being a Cobalt Platinum Dealer and Cobalt Top 10 Dealer four years running.

Its year-to-date Mercury customer satisfaction index is 98.7, following a 98.57 score for 2012. Cobalt CSI scores consistently approach 98 percent. The company was also named Wisconsin Family Business of the Year in 2008 and 2010, and received Boating Industry’s Best in Class award for the best service department in 2012 on top of being a member of the Top 100 for the last nine years.

By any measure, but especially in person, Gordy’s Lakefront Marine has a well-earned reputation for providing its guests an unprecedented level of customer service.

“We [remind] employees and customers that their family experiences were priceless — life is about quality experiences,” Chupich said. “Gordy’s does not just sell boats; we make people boaters for life.”


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