Customer Service with a Smile!

We all know the importance of proper maintenance; it goes without saying. We also know that customer service matters a great deal and when you see great customer service it is worth talking about. I have been on a quest over the last five years to provide the absolute best customer service we can deliver and the learning never stops – from the mistakes we make to seeking new and better ways to improve is a continuous process. Sometimes we win and sometimes we can do better. I want to share a winning story about great customer service.

A one-man company began operations some years ago in Seadrift, Texas with an idea and a portable hydraulic wood splitter for bending aluminum. That man's idea was to build a better boat trailer and at the time there were three well-established dominant players in the market who had been in business for years.

Today, one of them is gone and two are still here. So, why and how would (or could) this one man replace one of those established companies and forge his way into becoming the new dominant in marine recreational boat trailers in Texas? Customer Service!

My dealership sold a used boat with a new Coastline trailer a couple years ago to an elderly gentleman from Freeport. A loyal two-way relationship developed. He called a month or so ago to mention he had blown a trailer tire and tore up his fender board. His question was, "Why?"

It was my assumption was that he blew a tire, taking fender and all with it, it happens. He asked if he could bring it in for inspection. I said yes and set the date.

He called on the way and asked if it would be OK if he went straight to Coastline since this was only fifteen minutes away from my shop and they had built the trailer. I said yes but they are very busy and suggested it may go smoother if he stopped here and we take a look first. He said he would stop by if they could not get to it, and if not, he would come on in. Freeport is a long drive. I wished him well and asked that he call and let me know how everything went. The next phone call four hours later was very much unexpected.

"Chris, I am still at Coastline. When I arrived I explained to Tracey what was wrong and she asked the shop foreman to take a look. To their surprise the ID tag said one thing but the axles were another."

It turned out, the trailer had been assembled with the wrong axles and would not have been discovered until the boat was loaded too much to one side, thus causing the blowout.

Me: "What do we need to do?

Customer: "Tracey, Brian and the shop foreman stopped all production in the shop and had the men replace axles, fenders and hardware while I waited."

And now for the best part...

Customer: "They did this not begrudgingly but with a smile and I really appreciate them."

The man who owns this now not-so-little company is Marty Strakos and my point in sharing this story is this; "The culture of a company cannot be bought. It is taught and practiced every day."

Kudos to Marty Strakos and the Coastline Team!

Chris Mapp
Coastal Bend Marine
Port O'Connor, TX