Platinum May 2018

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LEISURE

JUST KEEP BOATING

Facility renovation puts customer experience at forefront of boat sales By Theresa Tanner

Hagadone Marine Group celebrated the grand opening of its new service center at Blackwell Island on Lake Coeur d’Alene in August last year, drawing over 1,200 members of the boating industry and community. This year will be the first start of boating season for the organization following a 3-year renovation project. Hagadone Marine Group President Craig Brosenne says the start of the season will be the “real test” of the new facility, as his team prepares to service 2,000 boats by Independence Day. “Everything has to be perfect.” Inspired by Toyota’s service system, the Hagadone Marine Center was designed to enhance the customer experience and streamline efficiency between departments to get boaters on the water as quickly as possible, whether buying a new boat, fueling up at the gas dock or replacing broken parts. “Sales sells one boat; service sells the second,” Brosenne said. As the largest on-water dealership in the area, HMG enjoys the many benefits of its lakefront location. The opportunity for potential buyers to test drive boats on Lake Coeur d’Alene is a huge advantage, as customers literally get to see themselves on the lake. They have over 300 boats in stock from a range of makers, including premium brands like Malibu, Axis, Chris-Craft, Regal, Cobalt and Harris Pontoons. Customers can also select custom features to design their dream boat. They can meet with sales representatives in a conference room and pull up all the options available on a flat screen TV. “They can get a feel for it on the water, then pick out the exact features and custom colors they want,” said Brosenne. Unlike a car purchase, buying a boat isn’t stressful for most people, he adds, and most customers have a good idea of what they want when they arrive. Sales staff is also equipped to ask open-ended questions to help those that are still searching for the perfect boat for their lifestyle. “For the past 13 years, we’ve been in the Top 100 dealers nationwide every year we’ve applied and most recently ranked number 18 – that’s big for a community of our size. We always shoot for number 1 and hope to be in the Top 10 in 2019,” he said. The sales office is designed with service counters as islands, rather than a long counter to separate customers and staff, and double computer screens so customers are more involved in the process. It also houses the Pro Shop with the largest selection in the area of wakeboards, surfboards and other water sports equipment.

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