Seventy-five marine retailers from 26 states, two Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia have earned Five Star Certification status during the first half of 2016. Find the full list here.
According to the Marine Industry Certified Dealership Program, it is the only standardized training curriculum dedicated exclusively to marine retailers. Boat dealerships enrolled in the program have access to a variety of benefits, including a library of interactive training materials and a personalized consultant to help navigate the process.
Additionally, the most recent National Marine Manufacturers Association Customer Satisfaction Index indicates CSI scores of certified dealerships outpace those of their non-Certified peers.
“We are seeing excellent participation, and it’s clear the most successful marine retailers believe the MICD program represents a key component in ensuring long-term stability and growth,” MICD Program Coordinator Liz Marsha said.
Boat dealers completing the MICD program say earning Five Star Certified status can be challenging.
“We’ve been part of Certification since the beginning, and I think it’s a great exercise to keep having that pattern over multiple years,” said Tom Whowell of Gordy’s Marine — named the No. 1 dealer in North America two years running by Boating Industry magazine. “It isn’t one thing, there is no ‘magic bullet,’ it’s just the repetition of forcing you to do that process that really makes you better over a long period of time.”
A pair of marketing partnerships with Boating magazine and Discover Boating recently advertised the MICD Program to more than 250,000 print, online and social media consumers, and an ongoing series of case studies are being produced during 2016 to illustrate the program’s effectiveness. One such case study highlighted Oak Hill Marina and owners Jake Jostand and Tim Sather — two of the youngest principals in the industry today.
Marine dealerships not enrolled in the MICD Program are, they say, missing a potential opportunity to standardize their processes, create accountability mechanisms and modernize their sales departments.
“The Certification process gives us a basis point to judge ourselves against — and it keeps us on the right track,” Jostand said.