How Boat Repair Shops Can Attract More Clients (and Keep Them)

How Boat Repair Shops Can Attract More Clients (and Keep Them)

Boats are essentially heavy machinery with engines; all in all, it can be an extremely complex subject to tackle. Most people do not have the ability to do everyday repairs on their own, so they take their boats to the experts. Sometimes visits aren’t going to go as planned. It happens. It may seem as if the shop has a totally different perspective than the client.

Understanding what the client wants and delivering them the service that they expect while ensuring that their boat will be in good condition for months or years to come is a difficult balancing act. For a newer boat repair shop, which does not have the benefit of word-of-mouth or a preexisting reputation, attracting new clients and remaining competitive can be difficult. Some owners and managers gave their opinion about what clients should know about the boat repair business to BoatUS: here’s what’s good to know and what to pass along to your clients.

  1. Communication. Jack Madison, the general manager at Catawba Island Marina in Port Clinton, Ohio says his shop really wants to get to know their clients. This helps expectation to be met both ways. Meeting customers face to face and getting to know them is the best way to truly understand the client’s needs and expectations. This will also prevent any confusion between the repairer and the client’s expectations.
  2. Scheduling. Randy Hynd, owner of Sunset Marine in San Diego since 1977, wants people to understand that while they try, they often are overwhelmed by customers when it’s time for winterizing. Once summer is over, clients tend to use their boats less; this is time to set up service. Boats are engines that are not built to sit unused. Pick a shop that is not completely busy.
  3. Good service has a price. Hynd also explains that finding a good boat technician can be challenging and costly. Do not shop for the cheapest rates. A well-equipped staff will cost more but will ultimately provide the best service to clients and reduce the risk of dissatisfaction or even lawsuits.
  4. Warranties. Know the limitations of your own boat system and engine warranties. Make sure to also know what the shop offers for its own parts and labor warranties. These are time-based warranties not dependent on use. Make sure to always use your boat after a repair to know if it works properly or not.
  5. Diagnosing is work too. Technicians need to be paid whether they’re diagnosing or repairing. An estimate cannot be given without a diagnostic. Often the repair area can be very hard to reach, especially on cruisers and houseboats. Expect to pay for a diagnostic time but ask for some time credits toward your bill.
  6. You’re not alone. When going through Merrimac Marine boat repair insurance, ensure that our agents will continue to make sure that repair facilities always know the client’s perspective. With this assurance, the next boat repair visit may go a little smoother. Make sure wherever you take your boat gives you the same exact treatment.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.