Dothan Powersports' mission is to provide our customers a way to add fun and function to their lives by providing them with the very best quality powersports products and consistently striving to provide the highest degree of customer care and professional service at a reasonable price.
Showroom Design and Layout
Our showroom is fairly new in that we built a new store in 2000. Jim Rasmus [from Retail Design Associates] designed our showroom layout with the typical walking path that directs your steps around and through the entire store. You enter through a vestibule on the right front corner that has two platforms for a featured unit display. As you enter the front door into the store from the vestibule, you are hit with the "wow" factor, being that you can see every inch of the store and its large and varied inventory being it is a clear-span building with no columns. There are five main focal points in the store divided between accessories and sales.
The major units are arranged on islands in the middle of the showroom and the hard and soft accessories and apparel are on the outer edges of the walkpath. For the viewing pleasure of our customers, we have a large projection screen on the east end of the showroom where we continually show powersports-related videos, sports shows or music videos. We crank up the surround sound in the showroom especially on Saturday, and it really has an upbeat affect on the customers. We feel it actually keeps them in the store longer because they are enjoying it so much. We also have a large rock formation in the center of the showroom that we use to display our ATVs, side-by-sides and dirtbikes. Also on the east end of the showroom, we have used the store-within-a-store concept for our Victory line, which has open wooden framing with a tin roof.
Our service department is instantly visible as you pull into the driveway to the store. This year when we had the parking lot resealed, we also had new striping, directional arrows and divider lines painted, which has really helped the traffic flow and prevented the traffic from bottlenecking. We have a large service sign over the service drop-off area. Once in the drop-off area, you see the service door entrance which, upon entering, you are immediately standing at the service write-up desk.
No one likes waiting for service work, right? We get that! In a continued effort to ease the "waiting game" burden, Dothan Powersports tries to create a relaxing atmosphere for our service patrons. On any given day, customers can be found congregating in our service waiting area, enjoying complimentary gourmet coffee, lattes, and tea. We constantly screen new product DVDs on the large screen television and even allow customers to play powersports-themed video games on our xBox. This environment, we have found, builds camaraderie, and eases the "waiting game" pain. We also provide each technician with two lifts so we can add to each technician's productivity, which enables us to get the unit back to the customer sooner.
We provide local pickup and delivery if needed. One of the things we are proudest of is that we provide same day scheduled maintenance service without an appointment. If the customer has his unit in by 10 a.m. we promise we will have his unit finished by the end of the day. We have become known for this in our market area and this has definitely improved our service business in the last several years.
Training and Employee Motivation Practices
We realize that a knowledgeable, well-trained employee is a vital key to any successful business. Like most other employees, our staff members want to feel like they're part of a team. Building on over 60 years of experience, we've found that positive, public reinforcement and feedback is key to employee satisfaction and low turnover rates. The average tenure of our employees is 11 years. This in itself shows that our employees like what they do and enjoy the atmosphere in which they work. Our employees know, based on our history, that we hire with long-term relationships in mind and we carefully consider how each new addition to our "family" will change the team dynamics.
We want our team to be productive but we also respect their personal time and consistently encourage a healthy work/life balance by inviting our employees' families to annual gatherings such as our toy rides, movie nights, and holiday parties. We try to use all forms of ongoing training including online, in-store and offsite. We try to keep every department up to speed in their respective training initiatives, including parts, sales and service. We try to recognize each staff member as they complete any step of their training goals with a certificate and in-store recognition. On occasion we will have an in-store competition either between departments or within departments. We offer different spiffs at different times, from gift cards to cash to prizes. We find this builds a healthy competitive spirit. We also reward each employee with a different gemstone pin depending on their years of service. Several employees proudly display their pins on their desk.
Commitment to Customer Service
"The customer is always right," right? Well, not always. Especially not when they're disputing service charges on work they previously authorized. Employees can make or break relationships at critical times like these. The key to providing great customer service, in our opinion, is fostering clear, open communication with customers. Most unsatisfied customers simply want to be heard and understood. We train our employees to listen, empathize, and respond as if they were in the customer's shoes. We see this as an opportunity to truly shine.
When the stakes are high, Dothan Powersports doesn't rest on its laurels; we seize the opportunity to go above and beyond and outshine our competition. By adding value to customers during these crucial moments, we help customers understand why we've been in business for over 60 years. Our employees know they are expected to ask themselves "have I done everything within my power to see that this customer is satisfied?" In order to make this decision, we ask them to gather all the facts concerning the issue and then to make a decision to the best of their knowledge. Knowing they will be backed up by upper management is also critical. If they are not comfortable in making a certain decision they know they can turn it over to upper management to handle without any repercussion.
Involvement in the Community
Our business has existed in Dothan going on 63 years, and the surrounding community and market area knows Dothan Powersports as a household name.
In order to keep our name in a positive light, we not only focus on lasting customer relationships that exist from one generation to the next, but we also do our part to give back. The owner has always held to the belief that it is our responsibility to give back to the community that has so generously given to us. He has previously served on the local school board for 10 years. He was one of only five in the entire state that was presented with the high honor of All State School Board Member. He presently serves on the board of directors for the local hospital and on their foundation board as well.
We hold annual blood drives for the community blood banks, and this year marks our 19th-annual partnership with the Salvation Army for our Ride For Toys for underprivileged children at Christmas. We also support charity golf tournaments for our local Women & Children's home, the Child Advocacy Center. We have been a consistent Guardian dealership by making annual donations to support the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation for Children for "Ride For Kids." We are generally the go-to dealership for the news media if they want to do a feature on product safety. We are always ready to help educate the public when it comes to safe riding habits concerning powersports products. We also provide a loaned ATV to our local Landmark Park, which is Alabama's official museum of agriculture.