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NMMA CSI report touts success of certified dealers

Boat dealers that were Marine Industry Certified Dealerships received higher customer satisfaction scores than those without certification, according to recent data collected by the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Customer Satisfaction Index program.

Certified dealers outperformed their non-certified counterparts in all areas deemed most impactful to customer satisfaction: overall rating of the boat, engine and dealer; sales reputation; follow-up; product knowledge; boat delivery condition; and boat demo.

In many cases, program participants’ CSI scores were rated at least a full percentage point or more higher than those of non-certified dealers, which frequently represents the difference between a manufacturer earning an NMMA CSI Award for a particular year and not earning one.

"The gap between satisfied and non-satisfied dealerships is so great that it’s almost impossible for a bad dealer to recover from a situation in which a customer was dissatisfied,” Avala Marketing Group founder and CEO Steve Pizzolato said in a statement.

Avala collects and evaluates data for the NMMA CSI program.

"These dealers often lose a customer and repeat sale, and more often than not those customers seek out another dealer that carries different boat brands,” Pizzolato said.

The NMMA CSI program is an ongoing measurement of customer satisfaction that’s tracked from the initial boat purchase through the first 300 days of ownership. About 50 marine manufacturers participate. The analysis for this presentation of dealership CSI results was based on comparing current rolling, 12-month data with previous years’ data.

"It’s clear that based on results from the NMMA CSI data collected this year, certified dealers are better at satisfying customers than non-certified dealers,” program director Sonja Moseley said. "Maintaining high CSI scores is important on so many levels; it’s the heart of the entire program. These findings serve to underscore the fact that participation in the MICD program is beneficial to a dealers’ business — both in terms of keeping customers happy and generating repeat business and increasing sales.”

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