Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.
From the minute someone becomes a prospect, buys a boat, schedules a service appointment, stores a boat or even buys gas from Kelly’s Port, that person becomes a part of the “Kelly Family.” And from that moment, the entire staff at the Lake of the Ozarks dealership treats that customer with exceptional service in an effort to make each customer happy and retain their loyalty.
“Kelly’s Port has always been and will always be a family owned and operated company that concentrates on customer service. From every step of the way there is a sense of care and pride in making sure that everyone we touch is happy they are boating and happy they bought a boat from Kelly’s Port,” vice president Kyle Kelly said.
Customer service, and CSI scores, rank highly in terms of importance for Kelly’s Port. CSI scores are discussed at weekly sales and service meetings, and the “Take care of the customer and they’ll take care of you” mantra is impressed upon all employees.
The focus on the customer begins as soon as a lead expresses interest in buying. On average, Internet sales leads in 2013 were responded to within 24 minutes, an improvement of nearly an hour from 2012, and all Internet and phone leads are encouraged to visit the dealership.
Once they’re at Kelly’s Port, all prospects are introduced to the dealership’s owner, sales manager and service manager. Each salesperson makes sure to sell the dealership and its benefits before even showing the customer a boat.
After a customer buys a boat and is given a thorough on-water delivery, a specific follow-up process is followed, including a meet and greet with owner Randy Kelly and service manager Alex Chisholm, in which each provides a business card with work, home and cell phone numbers; calls from the salesperson an hour after delivery, the evening of delivery, the weekend after delivery and a month and year following the sale; a personalized gift sent to the buyer at a value of $100 to $350; the offer of a second on-water orientation two weeks later; and a courtesy clean at the 20 hour service. Randy Kelly and Alex Chisholm also mail out handwritten thank you notes, with Kelly’s being sent the Monday after the delivery, and Chisholm’s mailed a week after delivery.
“There is never an account opened — whether it be gas, sales, service, storage — where the customer is not given a handwritten letter from the owner thanking them for their business,” Kyle Kelly said.
Kelly’s Port also offers its Preferred Customers program, which was improved in 2013. The service-priority program provides first priority to customers who bought their boat from Kelly’s Port (A customers), second priority to those who store their boat bought elsewhere at Kelly’s marina (B customers), third/C priority to cash off the water customers and fourth/D priority for customers who need warranty work on boats not purchased at the dealership. Kelly’s Port also offered Guaranteed Same Day Service for new boat buyers. To update the program in 2013, the dealership added a $0.10 per gallon gas discount, a $10 per hour service labor discount, free golf passes to local courses and a free membership to a local private supper club.
“We’ve been using this as a deterrent to ‘Hey, I can buy the Bennington for $2k cheaper at XYZ Marina,’ to which we can start to help them work the math on how long they will own the boat, how much they will save as a Kelly’s Port Preferred Customer and how they will get Guaranteed Same Day Service at the same time,” Kelly said. “So far it has helped us close a strong amount of deals from competitive dealers and is another nice benefit of sharing of being in the ‘Kelly Family.’”
Though the Preferred Customer program was improved for 2013, it wasn’t the only area to receive an upgrade for the year. Kelly’s Port also created a no wake zone in its cove, leading the dealership to fill its wet storage, which was only 60 percent full in 2012. The dealership also hired eight additional employees, installed a hot tub at the marina and invested in solar panels to save $1,500 to $2,000 per month in energy bills.