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Apr. 6, 2009 – How to score a free training day for your store

April 6, 2009
Filed under Columns

Keith Obermeyer’s CSI score for his Jasper, Ind., dealership is scary good. Actually, equal parts “scary” and “good.”
Good because the metric store’s CSI is 98 out of a possible 100.
Scary because there’s not much room for error before things start to go downhill.
“I know it. I know it,” Obermeyer said, laughing.
But take away that level of anxiety for a moment and consider how much Obermeyer and his staff are doing right. And with that in mind, maybe scary good isn’t a justifiable description. Maybe “wow” would be a more apt phrase.
Not that the CSI scoring system is the sole and indisputable measure of the consumer experience. Some point to it as merely an indication of how well a business operator can influence his or her customer’s scorecard. Whether that’s valid criticism or not, there are certainly positive results coming from this focus on the consumer experience.
In fact, we feel so strongly about it that we would like to see if we can help move a dealership toward the impressive 98 CSI, heretofore known as the Obermeyer Zone.
How are we attempting to do that? With the help of two industry companies, we’re going to put on a Training Day at one dealership this spring. The ultimate goal will be to help improve the profitability of that dealership. But in so doing, we’re also expecting to improve customer satisfaction. One, industry experts have pointed out to us routinely, usually is tied to the other.
The event — a first for us — is called the Training Day Contest and we’re holding it at a winning dealership in either late May or early June.
Thanks to our business partners in this venture, V-Sept and Tucker Rocky, there will be no charge to the dealership for this training, and that includes any travel expenses incurred by the trainers.
Both V-Sept and Tucker Rocky are sending a specialist in their field — for V-Sept it’s the sales department and for Tucker Rocky it’s the parts and accessory department — who will go to the dealership and provide training.
Again, at no cost to the dealership.
Powersports Business will be on hand during the day of training to ensure the profitability tips these specialists provide are then passed on to our readers.
We’re going to leave some of the actual specifics of the training open until the winning dealership is selected. We would like to customize the training as much as possible given the limitations in time we have. After all, we know the contest is hitting during the prime selling season so we want to ensure the event is improving and not hindering that dealer’s spring selling season.
Qualifying for the contest is simple. Simply fill out a Bold Ideas Contest form that can be found at PowersportsBusiness.com under the heading “All New Dealer Contest.” And if that isn’t easy enough, feel free to contact me with questions. For those not familiar with our Bold Ideas campaign, it’s an effort at identifying practical business practices that have been successfully test driven by dealers. We then plan to share those in an easy-to-digest format hopefully later this summer.
Our own pay-it-forward program, if you will.
The deadline to register for our Training Day is Thursday, May 7. We’ll plan to contact the winning dealer the following day.
We know one training day has its limitations in terms of what effect it can have on a dealership. But for many dealerships that have had to cut back this year, one day of training could be a huge savior in terms of employee morale. And there’s no better place to start in trying to reach the stratospheric Obermeyer Zone than with your employees.
Give us one bold idea, and we’ll in turn, with the help of our partners V-Sept and Tucker Rocky, give more than a few back to you.

SPECIAL NOTE

One of our duties, as we see it, is to be a place of information for our readers, both those within the dealership and those serving the dealerships. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to be as insightful on one key issue as we would like to be, although not because of a lack of effort on our part.
We have had more than one dealer call us in hopes of getting some specifics on the national stimulus package that concerns motorcycles. Will the tax incentive include dual sport bikes? How about those 2010 models that are available in the fall? What about noncurrent models? All of these are legitimate questions that we’re asking. Unfortunately, we’re being told the Treasury Department is still wrestling with these different issues themselves on what is a massive national stimulus package. So those questions have yet to be answered. However, once we do have answers, we’ll place them online ASAP at PowersportsBusiness.com and in our E-news, which is e-mailed twice a week to those PSB readers who are signed up for it. psb
Neil Pascale is editor-in-chief of Powersports Business. He can be reached at npascale@affinitygroup.com.

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