2021 Best in Class: Best Customer Service

Breath’s Boats & Motors
Bay St. Louis, Miss.

In this new world of unprecedented demand for boats and boat service, it’s often easy to let some customer service standards slip a little, while each day seems busier than the next.

A dealership in business since 1925, doesn’t stay in business without providing exceptional service to its customers, so Mississippi’s Breath’s Boats & Motors was sure to put a focus on maintaining its high level of customer service, regardless of how many boats were leaving the lot or its record number of leads coming in.

“With only three successive owners over 96 years of company history, our dealership has provided consistency, reliability, and name recognition across the coastal communities of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Outstanding customer service is always our dealership’s primary goal,” Breath’s marketing director Christine Ladner said. “Building lasting relationships with our customers, sometimes over many generations, is of the utmost importance to us.”

Now working with some third and fourth generation customers, Breath’s takes tremendous pride in its conscientious efforts to engage its customers in meaningful conversation from the moment they walk through the door to the delivery of their new boat.

Communication across the team and all the way to the customer was the name of the game for hitting high levels of customer satisfaction for Breath’s Boats & Motors.

“Every member of our crew is introduced and their role in our company is defined,” Ladner said. “Frequent contact with our customers is achieved through text messaging, follow-up calls and emails and much more”

In addition to constant communication with its customers throughout the buying process or when getting boats service, Breath’s also goes above and beyond to send thank you cards to ever customer after they take delivery of their new boat, as well as birthday and other seasonal cards paired with other follow-up letters and surveys to maintain with not only the customer, but their changing boating needs.

“As customers outgrow their boat, we are sometimes called upon to suggest a different model that better suits their needs, or connect them with a buyer for their boat as they transition into a larger or different style boat,” Ladner said. “The important thing behind everything is that we are always there for our customer no matter what.”

Ladner also said that efforts through various social media platforms have afforded Breath’s Boats & Motors the opportunity to further connect with current and potential customers, and overall enhance the dealership’s relationships with the boating community in the region.

“It’s our personal attention to details, such as a customer’s upcoming birthday celebration or important family events that gives us the chance to extend our best wishes through a gift of special message,” Ladner said. “It’s all about taking things above and beyond for the customer.”

Ladner explained that more often than not, customers have built a friendship with the team at the dealership, with some even bringing small gifts of gratitude to the Breath’s team.

“This deep friendship is born out of countless years of trustworthy sales and service to our customers and their families,” Ladner said. “That level of commitment in invaluable and so ingrained in our nature, it is hard to quantify.”

With all of its efforts to ensure a positive customer experience each and every time, Breath’s Boats & Motors carried itself to a 40% increase in revenue for 2020 over 2019, all while maintaining an average CSI rating of 99.5%.

“Year after year our Customer Service Index numbers are typically above the national average. Most importantly, our CSI numbers have been maintained during one of the most challenging years in the boating industry,” Ladner said. “Our customers, though frustrated by lack of available inventory, have shown great faith in our company by entrusting us with a record number of deposits and orders going into the future.”

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