Reward excellence

South Austin Marine (Ranked 98 in 2006) believes in sharing the CSI wealth with the service manager and service writer when scores are high enough to trigger awards.

Kenneth Black, sales manager at the two-store Austin dealership, says that while all of the manufacturers it represents have some sort of CSI program, only Formula Boats Inc. rewards the dealership for its CSI performance, with awards given for a score above 95.

“We get rewarded (for CSI), so we reward our employees, too,” says Black, who notes the program has been in place for about a year. “It’s helped us tremendously.” The dealership’s CSI score with Formula used to hover around 92 but now is higher than 98. The dealership services boats at its main location, but the company recently opened South Austin Marine Lakeside, located at Lake Travis.

Although the service manager and service writer are the only employees who benefit directly, splitting whatever award is paid by the manufacturer, mechanics also benefit through higher service labor rates that superior CSI scores can bring. Since mechanics are paid a percentage of the labor rate that can be charged, a higher rate puts more money in their pockets, Black says.

South Austin Marine has initiated a number of new systems to follow up with customers in addition to any surveys its boat makers might send out, which resulted from going through the certification process.

“We’ve found out that by offering a little incentive, goals to be met, that employees work a little bit harder,” Black says. “It sure has taken a load off me, not having to talk to customers who would complain about things not getting done on time.”

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