According to numbers from the Marine Retail Association of the Americas and dealerships throughout the country — plus a feature in The New York Times — the boat business is booming.
Dealerships are increasingly in short supply as first-time boaters are finding being on the water offers built-in social distancing, and a way to salvage thwarted summer plans that were jettisoned by the covid-19 pandemic.
Throughout the U.S, dealers are doing all they can to keep inventory available and cater to new clientele: Ensuring a smooth, hands-on owner experience for those new to the sport has been harder than ever.
With that in mind, the MRAA has launched an education series to ensure dealers deliver first-rate customer experiences. Dubbed “Operation: Keep Your Customers Boating,” the package includes blogs, a white paper, videos, a webinar and more.
“We’ve heard time and again over the past couple of months that dealership teams are overwhelmed, as customers, especially new buyers, are clamoring to get out on the water in a safe, socially distanced and fun summer activity,” said MRAA president Matt Gruhn in a statement. “However, dealers are concerned that with the rush of sales, their customer experience efforts are falling short, so we are offering these quick, easy-to-understand and implement, series of tips to help them improve upon their customer experience efforts.”
The MRAA has set up a Keep Customers Boating portal that includes downloadable resources and a wealth of recommended resources. A Facebook Live daily video will highlight the day’s series of topics, but dealers have the opportunity to utilize education resources when they see fit.
“This spring and summer has brought the kind of results we want — new buyers pleading to get into boats. Now we have to focus on serving those first-time boat buyers with the best customer experience we can offer,” said MRAA certification manager Liz Keener. “By improving all of our customer experience efforts, we will not only keep those customers boating into next season and beyond, but we’ll earn loyal customers, who will want to upgrade and become boaters for life.”