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Make a customer a friend

December 30, 2010
Filed under From the Editors

Every week I get to talk to dealers like you. Whether I’m working on a story for the magazine or one of the Power Profiles, it’s great to have the opportunity to talk to our readership and hear anecdotally what’s going on in the industry, rather than just looking at statistics and general information.

Lately, one theme that keeps coming up is quality customer service and how that can lead to successful sales. If you’ve noticed in the last few Power Profiles, many dealerships have moved to or strengthened their push to welcome customers as friends in a comfortable environment, and it has paid off.

Janice McCarthy, who owns Cascade Moto Classics Inc. in Beaverton, Ore., with her husband Kelly, told me about a Triumph RAT Club the dealership started, which has turned their customers into close friends who promote their business for free. The club has helped sustain the dealership through the recession. The dealership also has a lounge in which anyone can stay to read a magazine, relax or play a video game at any time.

Bob Kee, who owns Destination Cyclesports in Kerrville, Texas, with his wife Sarah, talked about how his dealership hosts motorcycle clubs, launches contests for frequent customers and provides transportation to and from the airport for customers traveling from out of state.

Sure, every customer these dealers serve isn’t going buy a $20,000 bike, but if they return a few times a year for accessories or even recommend the dealership to a friend looking for a new unit, a little welcoming touch can turn in to big sales. So pull out a couch, brew some coffee, subscribe to a few magazines and give a warm smile each time someone stops in the store. The little steps can go a long way.

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