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Setting the CSI bar

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Late last November, the NMMA recognized 56 boat and engine manufacturer members for their excellence in customer satisfaction (CSI). As you might expect, a group so large included many, if not most, of the major boat and engine lines in our industry. A special recognition breakfast was even held in Miami to call attention to these achievements, and deservedly so.

Dubbed the Marine Industry CSI Awards, these manufacturers were singled out as companies that continuously strive to improve their CSI scores by measuring the satisfaction of their customers. NMMA said those receiving the CSI Awards had achieved a score of 90% or higher for the previous year. The CSI of each manufacturer was independently measured.

Now, 8 months later, dealers are at meetings with their manufacturers and CSI is supposed to be among the topics for discussion. No, not the manufacturer’s CSI from the Awards program in Miami, but the dealer’s CSI for the coming year. It’s supposed to be one of the main “negotiated exhibits” that the Special Task Force on Dealer/Manufacturer Agreements recommended be part of all dealer agreements.

Unquestionably, CSI has become a very important benchmark in our industry. Its improvement is a major goal of the entire Grow Boating initiative. CSI is the basis used by most manufacturers to set warranty reimbursement rates paid to dealers. So, clearly as the Special Task Force advised, it’s a measure that should be set by mutual agreement between the two parties. And now the CSI Awards program provides a sound basis for mutually establishing a CSI expectation in a dealer agreement. After all, wouldn’t it be considered unjustified for a manufacturer to demand a CSI level from a dealer that is higher than the CSI score achieved by that manufacturer? 

And that’s the way I see it, how about you?

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