Whatever It Takes

There aren’t too many dealers with CSI scores of 98 percent.
But Ron Greenwood, general manager of Cobalt Boats of Atlanta, makes customer satisfaction sound easy.
“It has a great deal to do with attitude,” he says. “The customer is a priority, and we avoid hassles at all cost.”
Selling what Greenwood calls “the best product” reduces the hassles from the start, he explains. There are very few issues to be addressed on the new Cobalt boats, and maintenance is minimal.
However, when there are problems, they should be addressed.
“We offer whatever service is necessary - service by land or water. Whatever it takes,” Greenwood says. “If we have to work the extra time to get it done, that’s what we do. People are not used to that.”
He cited an example in which a customer bought a used boat from the dealership, using his own surveyor. Two weeks later, the customer began having severe engine troubles. While the dealership had no obligation to fix the problem, it contributed heavily to the repair. Now, the used boat customer has become “one of our outside salespeople,” the general manager jokes.
Word of mouth is “paramount” in the boat retail business, according to Greenwood. Boating neighborhoods are close knit, and word spreads quickly. If you’re honest with the customer and take care of him, he will be pleased and he’ll tell others.
It helps to have the support of the boat builder, Greenwood explains. That way the dealership doesn’t have to put the customer between it and the manufacturer.
“Cobalt stands behind the product and the dealer,” he concludes. “It resonates right down to the customer.”

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