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PSB Q2 survey shows service departments stay busy

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Liz Hochstedler, Associate Editor
August 6, 2012
Filed under Features, Top Stories

As unit sales are starting to see a bit of a rise, requests for service are following suit.

More than half — 57 percent — of dealers in the Powersports Business and RBC Capital Markets second quarter survey responded that their service department was somewhat or very strong.

“We’ve been busier than ever,” said Janice Lutz of Polaris dealership Fun Unlimited in Governeur, N.Y.

She credited the department’s success to taking on work from nearby dealerships that have closed and from word-of-mouth marketing from loyal customers.

“Our service is really, really good,” she reported. “We treat customers right, and we do great service, and we carry a ton of parts in stock.”

All of the techs at Fun Unlimited are Master Service Dealer (MSD) certified, and the dealership prides itself in treating every customer equally, whether they’re buying a $5 part or a $15,000 side-by-side.

Side-by-side Q2 Year-over-year Unit Sales Growth (Click image to view larger)

“Customer service is a huge thing for us. We just follow-up with customers and treat customers like we’d like to be treated elsewhere and treat everyone fair,” Lutz explained.

Other dealerships also reported service success. John Roth of Midwest Motor Sports in Hartford, Ill., said his service department, which accounts for about a quarter of the dealership’s profit, was up 7 percent in the second quarter. Loren Lendobeja of RV Sports in Thief River Falls, Minn., said the dealership’s service department was busy, and it did better than expected because more customers were getting their older vehicles repaired, rather than upgrading.

At Soughegan Valley Motorsports in Milford, N.H., a variety of projects have made their way through the service doors.

“We’re going through major service on ATVs, engine rebuilds and a lot of transmission and clutch stuff, and that’s been pretty good actually,” owner George Mullin said.

Soughegan Valley has also seen a lot of oil changes, tire changes and brake jobs. The dealership also does a lot of work with fork seals and other components to help customers pass their safety inspections.

“Overall it’s looking good. I’m not complaining right now,” Mullin said.

(Click image to view larger)

The service department at Bairs Polaris Victory in North Canton, Ohio, has followed the rest of the dealership with its success. Co-owner Brad Cheyney said the warm weather has kept people on their PWC, ATVs, side-by-sides and motorcycles, leading to so many repairs, the dealership can barely keep up.

“People are getting things repaired more and more,” he said.

Like Lutz, Cheyney also attributes his service department’s success to the dealership’s customer service.

“We just take care of the customer, treat them nicely, and they return,” he said. “Just run your business properly, and they will come.”

The service department is not only seeing success itself, but it’s contributing to the success of the parts department.

“When service is up, parts is up,” Cheyney explained. “It’s pretty unbelievable how many dollars everyday of parts you’re ordering.”

Though service tails off for some dealerships as fall approaches, none of these dealers have seen any signs of their progress slowing.

About the survey

The Powersports Business joint second quarter dealer survey with RBC Capital Markets drew 214 responses from 47 different states and Canada. Consistent with prior surveys, about one-third of respondents were Polaris dealers.

Dealers interested in participating in our quarterly surveys can contact PSB Senior Editor Dave McMahon at 763/383-4411.

To purchase the results of this survey in their entirety, Click here

 

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