Cyclewise Inc. / Ducati Vermont
We are committed to sharing our enthusiasm and passion for powersports by facilitating a genuine lifestyle of fun and life-long relationships with our cherished customers. We have been fueling the passion for adventure of our customers since 1997.
Showroom Design and Layout
The main entrance of Cyclewise Inc. / Ducati Vermont captures the lifestyle of a motorcyclist. The Ducati race-striped wall, lifestyle posters, mannequins and motorcycles strategically placed all set a thrilling mood. With unique wall colors of chili pepper red and symphony blue, upbeat music or a motorcycle race on the TV, the spirit is energized.
The entire right side of the showroom is a Ducati store within a store. The floor is laid with a brilliant red carpet upon which motorcycles and apparel are positioned to create the lifestyle. Beyond this is a focal point of the stainless steel back wall where the parts and service counters are positioned. Each counter is highlighted with stainless steel and accent lighting. Each counter offers easy access from each side onto the showroom floor. The section between these counters is used to highlight new product, and the left of the parts counter is where the high-end Arai and Shoei helmets are displayed. The 16-foot ceiling allows for the parts room to be capped with a display platform above, with themes that change with each season. Just above this display, we hang lifestyle posters of a variety of our customers, which change every six months.
The parts and service counters are side by side, located along the back wall, with close access to the service department. The clothing and accessories department is off to the left of the parts counter and is highlighted with area rugs, a bench and a vanity mirror with a dedicated women’s and men’s section. To the right of the parts counter is a section of maple flooring and matching maple slatwall that displays Suzuki motorcycles and Suzuki accessories. In the center of the room is a well-lit square where we corral and highlight our pre-owned motorcycles. This section changes with the seasons and offers high visibility. Other walls of the showroom are dedicated to ATV and dirt bike accessories each with the corresponding machine strategically displayed next to them.
The full lineup of Honda Power Equipment is highlighted on a green carpet complete with cubicle racking and literature to create its own little section. The sales office and the F&I department are side by side and are just off of the showroom for easy access to the customer. The customer lounge is nestled off to the side of the showroom, but allows for a full panoramic view. It is equipped with comfortable chairs, TV, a separate table with stools and a bar. Hot coffee and tea are always brewing and cold beverages are available in the mini refrigerator. A snack box sits conveniently on the counter to keep the customers happy while they wait for their machines to be serviced.
The lounge is also equipped with a box of children’s toys, a bulletin board with inspirational sayings and “meet the Cyclewise family” photos of customers and their machines and recent events. The showroom has an overall spacious feel where the units are far enough apart to encourage customers to sit and move around the machines with comfort.
The service department is purposely located next to the parts department in the back of our showroom. This is to ensure that customers walk through the sales department, and also to increase communication between all three departments -- which is essential in making every transaction between the departments run smoothly. The service counter is also positioned near the service area entrance for efficiency and convenience. There is a separate service entrance in front of the service desk for customers to easily drive up and drop of their machines. While at the service counter, the customer can look through a window directly into the service department and watch their bike during its service.
After completion of any service, regardless size or cost, each machine is washed and dried for the customer in our wash area. When the machine is ready for pick up, it is wheeled from the service department to the front of the service desk or just outside the service door. This allows the service manager to have direct contact with the customer and the ability to go over the work that was performed on their machine.
Located on and behind the service counter are awards, certificates and plaques that have been earned by Cyclewise Inc. / Ducati Vermont and their employees. This indicates to the customer that this business is up to date, qualified and recognized within the industry. The service area is freshly painted a light gray and silver roofing lines one entire wall. This gives an industrial look and allows for optimum brightness for the technicians.
One wall is dedicated to Ducati and is highlighted with a red racing stripe, red toolboxes and red tool boards. The lift closest to this wall is set on red flooring and is dedicated to Ducati service. Along another wall lays a Suzuki blue racing stripe that ties our two brands together. Along this wall are three more motorcycle/ATV lifts lined in a row. In order to keep an open floor layout to push machines in and out, the main specialty stations are placed along the walls. These stations are broken down into a tire station, fork rebuild, battery prep and maintenance, ultrasonic wash, bead blast and detail/wash station. Each station is equipped with the necessary tools and supplies needed to perform the task efficiently. There are two overhead doors on each end of the service area so that machines can be driven through or out either door for mechanics convenience.
This year, a new service of nitrogen tire-filling was implemented. This is a true value for the customer to enable longer tire life. Since we are in the Northeast, we offer storage and winterization with spa-like treatments so that the customer has a hassle-free experience when they are ready to ride in the spring. As always. we offer free pick-up and delivery for servicing of machines, especially during inconvenient weather.
Training and Employee Motivation Practices
Cyclewise / Ducati Vermont sells fun and fashion and instills passion in the powersports industry. Employees of our dealership need to resonate that vibe throughout the workplace and be able to pass it on to the customer. For this reason, we do some cross-training with our employees in different departments. This allows them to learn new skills, it makes them more valuable to the customer, and also combats worker boredom. Therefore, the mind is constantly stimulated, and the mood is kept upbeat and fun. We highly believe that educating ourselves and our employees makes us all responsible, productive team members. The more knowledgeable information that we can pass on to our customers, the more our devotion shows through. We send our technicians to every factory OEM training, and our sales staff is sent to all new-model updates that are offered online or in person. For parts and service, we fill in the gaps by using some online courses and articles. This keeps everyone current in the industry.
Cyclewise/Ducati Vermont would not be who we are if it wasn’t for our incredible staff. Each year we try to find a way of thanking them for their hard work and devotion to their careers. This year, we closed the dealership on a Thursday and surprised them with a staff day of play and rejuvenation. We all selected a motorcycle of choice and rode 150 miles through some of the best roads of Vermont to arrive at our destination, Abortrek. Here, we took the staff on a three-hour thrilling zip line tour in the canopy of our state's forest. We then found a great burger shop, filled our bellies, shared stories of our adrenaline-filled day and headed back for home. This adventure was a great bonding experience, each of us smiling, rejuvenated and still sharing stories of it with our customers.
Our ultimate objective for the dealership is creating a safety philosophy that will promote safe acts and good decision-making. This year we held a workshop day where we brought in two lawyers and our insurance representative. Together, we talked about areas of safety, risk and liability and devised a plan of how to remain accident-free and how to provide the safest environment to our customers. Videos and tests were completed, certifying everyone in areas from forklift use to test ride procedures to proper facility harassment.
We spend time discussing treatment of coworkers and how to work through issues that arise between each other. We brainstorm on how to keep the facility safe from theft and other losses. It is important to us, the owners, that each employee voice their opinions and concerns and understand how valued their input is to us. This workshop day did indeed bring us even closer to attaining our safety objectives.
Our industry is ever-changing and it requires a skilled, knowledgeable workforce with employees who are adaptive, flexible, and focused on the future. In order for us to assess and gain feedback from our employees on where they feel they are, we have them fill out a self evaluation form. Together, we go over the form and, based on their skills and achievements, a wage increase is granted. We have implemented a commission-based pay on top of each salary that rewards each staff member for their part in increasing our overall revenue.
Commitment to Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, we think in terms of the ultimate experience that is delivered before, during, and after the sale or service we provide. Having exceptional customer service is the key part of your business strategy. We strive to create a welcoming atmosphere so all customers are greeted promptly by name, and with a friendly smile. We go to great lengths to engage with our customers in the sport that we are all passionate about. We organize group rides so that we can enjoy the freedom of the open road together. We also hold tech seminars so that we can guide those who wish to perform some of their own service.
We take pride in spending the right amount of time with each customer when they purchase a new or pre-owned machine from us. It is important to us that the owner / enthusiasts spend time greeting and welcoming each customer. When a sale of a unit is made, the salesman does a very in-depth walk through of operation and basic maintenance of the machine.
This is a question and answer time so that the customer has a complete feel for their ride. The customer is introduced to each department so that they can feel confident that no matter what their needs are, there is a person dedicated to help them at any time. Every customer is paired with one of our technicians who then sets up the suspension specific to the customer's riding style.
We take photos of each customer and put them on the “meet the Cyclewise Inc. family” wall. After the purchase the customer receives a follow up by phone and then a series of thank you notes and letters from each department through our Follow Up Sales System. We work hard to create a family environment for our customers and we are thrilled to help our customers gain new techniques and comfort on their machine. To help achieve this, each year we organize four to five track days for customers to attend. We believe that there is no better place to learn about the abilities of the bike and rider, and gain new riding skills. We arrange the transportation and lodging for a worry-free experience. We spend a day prepping the bikes with them, loading them into the trailers, answering questions and making sure proper gear is available. We share a meal together on our three-hour journey to the track and enjoy the stories of riding. We provide a hospitality tent with extra drinks and food along with tech support for all the riders.
This year, we brought 27 riders to the Ducati Revs New England track day and presented them all with a personalized jersey. We wore the jerseys all day so that the personal photographer that we brought with us could capture each customer throughout the day and provide them with photos to remember their experience. We also have a standing tradition that passes on a rubber chicken to a rider that stands out for the day. This is presented after the track day at dinner on the way home. Each customer that experiences these track days reports back that their skills have improved and their permanent smiled tells the rest. They are hooked, and forever part of the Cyclewise / Ducati Vermont family
We stress that our employees listen and understand the customers and demonstrate our commitment to customers through respect, knowledge, responsiveness, and courtesy. We hold staff meetings and share feedback from our customers and other customer service experiences outside of the dealership. We critique each other and talk of ways that we can better ourselves. We send out customer surveys to gather an understanding of what our strengths and weaknesses are so that we can provide the best support to our customers.
Cyclewise / Ducati Vermont makes sure that our staff has access to the tools, training, and resources they need to achieve our customer service goals. Attending seminars and reading circulated articles help foster and strengthen everyone’s customer service knowledge. The front-end staff has the authority to make decisions that best satisfy a customer should a difficult situation arise. This approach offers the customer an immediate feeling that they are a priority and that their experience with us is top-notch.
Customer service is nowadays offered in various venues such as online, emails, texts, over the phone and, of course, in person. Our goal is to see that all of these touch points are evaluated and finely tuned so that we can deliver more than what a customer expects. Interacting online with customers can appear cold and impersonal. To counteract this, we respond in a timely manner along with more elaborate answers to ensure that we are delivering the best service possible.
All in all, our ultimate goal is to be the dealership of choice, so we continue to build on our customer service culture within our company in order to deliver exemplary service every time.
Involvement in the Community
As a company, we are just as passionate about our community as we are about our industry -- so we believe greatly in contributing to our community. Our employees and customers are such caring and considerate people that it allows us to make a great impact on a variety of community needs.
Cyclewise Inc / Ducati Vermont’s big annual event is the “Ruff Ride," a motorcycle benefit ride that raises money for the local Humane Society. This event consists of gathering monetary sponsorship for each rider on the 100-mile, police-escorted ride through the green mountains ending with a BBQ, music, prizes and raffles on the town green. This year was our fifth annual ride, and the most successful. We had 78 riders attend and just over $10,000 was raised.
As a company, we make several charitable donations throughout the year. We do an annual food drive to support our local food shelf. We support our local and state police departments, fire departments and area rescue squads. We donate to local schools, youth organizations and sports teams as well as attend the Middlebury High School health fair to promote motorcycle and ATV safety awareness. We sponsored the reigning Miss Vermont USA Jamie Dragon, and The Vermont Tractor Pullers Association. We also host or attend several area community events like The Middlebury Mid-Summers Fest and the Annual Chili Cook-Off. We entered and served our own "two-stroke" chili in motorcycle attire as part of our Business Partners membership.
We are also a big part of the local breast cancer awareness group and do several donations to People Facing Hardships as well as the Danny Pion annual wiffleball tournament, which benefits spinal injury research.
Our goal of being recognized in the community as a socially responsible business is taking shape. We have paired with and cross-promoted with area businesses to help each other's growth. We are constantly looking for ways to pull more customers into our quaint town to benefit all businesses that operate here. During our spring open house we hosted a local winery, brewery, insurance agency and deli. Each business set up a booth, displayed their product and mingled with our customers.
To us, it is all about helping people, helping the community grow and thanking the people who support our business.