At the forefront of any successful dealer is a particular emphasis on customer service. Canadian dealer Buckeye Marine operates with a motto of “We Care” to prove to customers that they come first.
In 2017, the dealership went as far as to create a brand new Customer Experience position at the dealership, to ensure all customer’s needs are met within — and beyond — their expectations.
The new team member “ensures the customers get the service they deserve and looks after any potential concerns or issues,” says President Debra Poole. “This gives the customer the true sense that we care, and shows them it’s not just our motto.”
In order to better track the dealership’s customer service, Buckeye uses a variety of strategies to ensure that customer service is always up to standards and beyond. From internal customer satisfaction follow-ups to various rewards for customers for completed surveys, — regardless of the results — Buckeye Marine closely tracks all of the returned data.
“We explain to our customers that we expect that our services will be done to their satisfaction, if not to exceed their expectations and impress upon them that if that isn’t the case, that we would hope for the opportunity to repair anything that doesn’t meet their standards,” Poole says.
In addition to CSI surveys from manufacturers, Buckeye Marine also conducts its own internal customer satisfaction follow-up. Buckeye’s marketing coordinator oversees the program, but a specific customer follow-up representative conducts the survey. The representative follows up with customers one week after their purchase to ensure complete satisfaction.
Data and feedback from all of Buckeye’s customer service follow-ups directly impacts decisions made within the dealership from budget to product allocations. At the end of the day, if the results show a problem, Buckeye fixes it. For example, after the survey results showed a downturn in satisfaction with the explanation of warranties, the dealership created a manufacturer warranty overview sheet paired with a variety of other tools, to increase satisfaction and understanding.
Customer service doesn’t end at the sale and survey however. Buckeye ensures customer satisfaction by offering on-the-water delivery and training as requested by the customer.
“At Buckeye Marine, we go to great lengths to ensure that customers not only know how to use their boat, but also that they fully understand how to make the best use of their time on the water,” Poole says. “We recognize that people’s free time is very valuable and when they choose to spend it boating, we want to help ensure that they are able to fully enjoy it.”
On-the-water experiences are tailored to each individual customer and boat, to ensure that all is understood when the customer takes ownership of the boat.
“We have been told numerous times by our clients following their water test that they have never been through a more professional and informative on-water delivery, as they received when they bought with us,” Poole says.
Poole says that the key to such a successful customer experience on the water, is that Buckeye has turned the process into a science, while providing a methodical system, while still having a personal feel. “It’s professional, yet friendly,” Poole adds.
In order to keep the science exact, Buckeye currently employs three on-water demonstrators — two full-time, and one part-time — who are trained using the latest information provided by manufacturers.
Beyond the average on-the-water training, Buckeye Marine began offering an advanced training to customers after the initial purchase and training, in an effort to increase customer satisfaction levels further.
“The advanced owner training puts the owners of the new boat in the safe and experienced hands of an expert to answer all of their questions, show them invaluable tips and tricks, and give them peace of mind that they can master their new boat with ease,” Poole says.
In the end, it is Buckeye’s willingness to go above and beyond for any customer, and adapt its systems as needed to ensure customer satisfaction that keeps its customers loyal to its brand, and coming back through the doors over and over again.