It is the mission of Smokin' Harley-Davidson to provide the best possible customer service to all motorcycle riders and enthusiasts. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will assist, inspire and educate each customer while fulfilling their wants and needs, and by making their dreams become reality. We realize that Customer Service is the only thing that will bring a customer back into our store. Here at Smokin', we take pride in how we treat our customers. We provide the best customer service in the Carolinas and we constantly try to exceed every expectation.
Showroom Design and Layout
As you walk up to our entrance into our showroom, you are immediatly impressed by our huge bike inventory. We typically have at a minimum of 100 units outside. They are arranged by model, which makes it easy for the customer to find the bike they are looking for.
Once inside, the customer must walk through our new units just to get to the P&A or MotorClothes Departments. We have slatwall fixtures running completly around the showroom floor and every bit of those are full of product. As you walk to the left of the receptionist, you are heading to the MotorClothes Department where all 4,800 sq. ft. of it is full. We have lifestyle photos and pictures around the wall space and a 1985 Electra Glide Classic with side car surrounded by mirrors above our T-shirt rack. We have false walls around the department with storage rooms behind for easy accessibility to product if it is not on the floor. This is a tremendous help for the staff members and the customer does not have to wait long for them to return. One of our customer lounges is in the back of MotorClothes and it includes coffee, soda and snacks for consumption along with a couch, table and chairs, TV and fireplace for comfort. Our training room in the back area behind the lounge contains a table, chairs, computer, TV, DVD player and all training materials including numerous white boards and flip charts.
Our Parts Department is straight back from the entrance, and again the customer must walk through the bikes to get there. It comprises about 4,500 sq. ft., including the the two-story inventory storeroom. All wall space is organized by model family and all space is fully utilized with parts and accessories. We have a fit shop, paint shop and demo seat area which is constantly being used by our Parts Consultants and our Sales Team to up-sell and add on parts. The customers love the fact that they can sit on the seat, check the height or try the handlebars before actually purchasing them. Much of our P&A success comes from this area.
Our Vehicle Sales Department area is approximatly 10,000 sq. ft. We are constantly moving the bikes around to make it look like we have different ones on the floor every weekend. We can put up to 110 units inside with space for another 150 outside on the sidewalk. We have six cubicles for the sales staff to work their magic, and during the selling season we put two staff members to a space. We run an internet department with three sales staff, and about 35 percent of our sales are generated through this department. Because of our huge inventory, and the abilty to get any unit that a customer wants, we have out sold every dealer in new and used bikes in the Carolinas. Every unit is on our website so the customer can view, ask questions or buy sight-unseen if wanted.
Our Service Department is located on the north side of the dealership, visible from the interstate and our restaurant. It is designed for up to 12 Technicians. We have two write-up stations located just inside an automatic sliding service door entrance. The write-up area features a ride-in drop-off area, so that our customers can ride their bikes directly up to the counters, which is invaluable during periods of inclement weather.
We also have "free installation" P&A items prominently displayed, as well as our weekly service specials to promote additional sales. Inside our spacious Service Department, each technician's work area features motorcycle lifts, floor mats, and tear-down racks. Customers are able to watch their bike being serviced through our windows in the service hallway. All of our technicians are sent to a Technical Service School annually. These classes are hosted & instructed by Harley-Davidson Motor Company personnel in order for them to advance their career, certification status, and keep them up-to-date with the most current technology and repair techniques. We have a Dyno room, which is constantly in use for performance work, tuning and, during inclement weather, we use it for test runs. We have our second customer lounge near the write-up area and offer hot coffee or water to every customer that comes in. We also have a centralized oil bar, where fluids are dispensed by our parts-to-service person who delivers all P&A and fluids to the bench area allowing the technicians to turn wrenches.
Our 16,000 sq. ft. storage area allows us to store up to 400 units at one time. Because of this, we are able to buy hundreds of bikes during the winter months, service them and have them on the floor for our Spring rush. This keeps our Service Department busy during the slower months. Our Service Department also features a Fast Lane Service for same day maintenance services, oil changes, and basic accessories installation. We also offer a free pick up or delivery for all bikes in for maintenance and follow-up calls are also made by individual Service Advisers to insure the customer is happy and the work was completed correctly the first time.
Training and Employee Motivation Practices
Training is crucial to our success and the staff members love and appreciate the fact that we take the time and effort to train them. All departments are required to hold weekly classroom training conducted by Department Managers. All Harley-Davidson University classes, relevant to each department, are also required. We also utilize training DVDs/webinars from LEMCO, RPMG, Dealership University, Assurant, and Harley-Davidson. We take full advantage of any regional training and provide our Technicians a "next level school" every year. We also host several in-house Harley-Davidson classes where staff from local (five-state radius) dealers attend.
We give monthly bonuses and run corporate contests to generate our desired outcomes whether it be aged units sales, line items per ticket, billed hours or anything else like that. It gets all staff involved, they build camaraderie, esprit de corps and more importantly they start understanding how the business works. We have an employee of the month program in which each manager nominates one of their staff members and it is voted on. The monthly winner gets a parking spot, gift certificate to a local restaurant, photo on the wall by the enterance of the showroom, a paid day off, and a plaque. We have a family day picnic where we close the store so everyone and their families can attend. Every quarter, we hold a potluck breakfast before our all-staff meeting. We have a group ride in which the store is closed so everyone can attend. During this ride, we ride approximatly 100 miles, stop at a restaurant where the food is purchased by the dealership. If our staff does not ride they are encouraged to team up with a rider or bring their car. If they attend, it is a paid day. Lunch is also purchased for the staff during big events, we have bowling nights during winter and with our restaurant on premises we have been known to congregate there after work.
We feel very strongly about providing our staff a 401(k) and profit-sharing program, and we have a saying around the staff that "no idea is a bad idea" because we really encourage our staff to share ideas and have implemented many as company policy/procedures.
Commitment to Customer Service
As stated before, customer service is the only thing that will truly bring customers back. Not only do we want return customers, we want loyal customers. We work very hard at Smokin', but we also have fun. If our staff is happy, the customer can sense it and it is contagious. We provide our management with support and guidance to ensure that our employees are comfortable and knowledgable in making the day-to-day decisions necessary while serving our customers.
As part of our focus on customer service, we have numerous programs instituted. One of the most important ones is our Fast-Lane Service. Our Service Department opens earlier than normal store hours, so that customers can drop off their motorcycles before their normal work day. Our Service Department also features same-day routine maintenance services, oil changes, and basic accessories installation. The combination of Fast-Lane services and early drop-off hours permit our customers to drop-off their motorcycles on the way to work, and pick them up on the way home. We will also drive the customers to work and pick up if necessary.
We provide the WOW experience at the time of purchase with a customer path that leads them to all departments. The salesperson walks the customer to each department and introduces them. They are greeted and given a short tour/overview of the department then asked if they need anything prior to delivery of the bike. Upon completion of the deal in our Finance Department we ring a huge bell, welcoming them into the Harley family. When the bell is rung, the staff and customers alike shout aloud, applaud and greet the new owner. We also top it off with the song "Born to be Wild" blasted through a boom box which is heard throughout the store. The GM greets all bike purchasers and gives them a Smokin' T-shirt.
Our Customer Lounge is very intimate and is designed for customer comfort and convenience. It features a 40" LCD TV, Harley-Davidson leather couch, table and chairs, fireplace, and a self-service vending area complete with complimentary coffee and snacks. During the winter months, we have hot soup/chili prepared from the restaurant and during the riding season we have bottled water and hot dogs available every weekend. We also have wi-fi available for our customers that are waiting for service work.
All customers of our Sales and Service Departments are logged into a customer database, and are then contacted by an independent agency to assess their satisfaction of services provided by our dealership. Follow-up calls are also made by individual salesperson and service advisors. This follow up procedure provides concise and timely feed back to management, and provides positive reinforcement of exceptional customer service.
Involvement in the Community
Smokin' Harley-Davidson is a community leader in the Piedmont Triad area. The dealership has assisted in raising over $400,000 in charitable donations since opening in 2008. The dealership is active in assisting many local organizations to expand or improve services to the community through fund raisers and charitable events.
This involvement in the local and regional communities brings motorcycling and motorcyclists in touch with people from all walks of life. This year, Smokin' Harley-Davidson has hosted over 35 charity fundraising events to benefit the local community, including the SPCA, homeless shelters, food banks, Boy Scouts of America, Police and Fire Departments, church and school activities,and several charity golf tournaments. We have hosted on-site events for local chapters of national charities for the March of Dimes, St Judes Memorial Hospital, Special Olympics and Muscular Dystrophy Association. We also strive to improve our local economy by supporting the local motorcycle riding courses and by attending numerous safety training classes throughout the county.
The following is a partial list of organizations of events supported by Smokin' Harley-Davidson to date in 2012: Relay for Life, VA Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project, American Legion Riders, Dakota Kids Foundation, Christian Riders, Rolling Thunder, Breast Cancer Foundation, Food Bank of Forsyth County, Holiday Food Drive, Brenners Children Hospital, Patriot Guard, American Heart Association, Local Little League Teams, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, Toys for Tots, Disabled American Veterans, Susan G. Komen Foundatio and Forsyth County Crime Line.