Think outside the box

The Galati Brothers (Joe, Carmine, Mike and Chris) may not read Robert Frost, but they know all about the road less traveled. In fact, they’ve built a few of their own.

The executives at the helm of this $200-million Florida yacht dealership see no limits when it comes to customer satisfaction. It isn’t their numbers — though with an average CSI of 95, their numbers are good. It’s their philosophy: if there’s a gap in their customers’ boating experience — no matter where it is along the supply chain — they’ll find a way to fill it, something that has led the company to places no other U.S. dealer has been.

In some cases, that’s literal. When customers have problems with their boats, Galati Yacht Sales (Ranked 2 in 2006) has been known to fly technicians as far away as Central America to fix them.

“The Galati’s learned from an early age that it is much easier and more profitable to keep a customer than get a new one,” said one company executive.

But what really stands out is the dealer’s willingness to turn outward, entering new industries to better serve its customers. To date, Galati has launched a film company and a marina management firm, and it’s exploring the creation of a captain’s school.

The idea for EPIRB Films arose from the dealer’s observation that the owner’s manuals provided by boat builders weren’t user friendly and the massive amount of information provided during the orientation process was impossible to memorize, often leaving boat buyers at a loss early on in their ownership experience. EPIRB Films creates interactive DVDs that walk owners through the operation of their yacht. Each section of the DVD consists of an audio/video presentation given by a Galati employee on their yacht. Not only is Galati marketing this concept to boat builders, it’s also looking at ways these DVDs can be adapted to serve as training tools for service technicians.

In addition, Galati has launched a marina management company to gain control of boat slips for its customers and is looking to create a captain’s school to help address a shortage of qualified skippers in the Florida market.

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