The mission of Worth Harley-Davidson is to be the world's leading example of the “whole Harley-Davidson experience," using our facilities, events and people to differentiate us in a way none of our competitors can duplicate.
Our goal is to continuously work to create new and visionary ways to enhance our operation, pursue quality, and sustain profitability with the aim to maintain our family business, provide jobs, and support our community. We strive to continue to honor the age-long connection between our company, our customers, the products we provide, and the freedom of the open road.
Showroom Design and Layout
We carry a large inventory and attempt to keep most of it on display. My philosophy is it is very difficult to sell a hat out of a box and almost impossible to sell a Harley that way. When we added a warehouse onto our building 2 ½ years ago, it was built next to the used bike showroom and separated by two large overhead doors. I decided to polish the floor and make the garage doors all glass, essentially making our 10,000 sq. ft. new bike warehouse another showpiece for the dealership.
Our main new bike showroom that flows into the clothing and accessory display area is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. A raised, open-air office area that is first view of everyone entering the store houses our Sales Managers. It is located on the south side of the showroom. To the north, we have an additional raised open-air office area that houses our BDC (Business Development Center), and next to it we have a partitioned closed room that houses our Call Center. All of our Finance offices are closed offices near the showroom but are located far enough away so that a customer can feel more private. Our customer service lounge has no walls and is located directly in the middle of the P&A and Clothing showroom to invite shopping while they wait for repairs. Our lounge includes comfortable leather seating, a fireplace, and flat screen TV. A 500 sq. ft. area located between the main showroom and the used bike showroom houses our Chrome Specialists and all of their necessary fixtures and displays.
One of the more prominent features of our store is the Event Center that we added this year. The Event Center is a 10,000 sq. ft. park-like setting in the front of the store with giant fabric shade sails for summer use, a huge gas fire pit and a 70-ft. fire wall for cooler evenings. We have park benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the area where customers sit and relax in the park-like setting. The center includes a 900 sq. ft. building that houses a full kitchen with a 750-lb. smoker, fryer, and a walk-in cooler. It also includes a 28 ft. x 16 ft. stage for live entertainment that includes all concert-quality sound equipment.
And if that’s not enough, we added a 17’ high definition video board for watching sporting events and advertising in-store specials. We hold 16 events a month in the riding season that include bike nights every Thursday, with live bands that always attract 500 to 2,000 people. We also feature DJs on Fridays, live bands on Saturdays, Sunday watch parties for Chiefs football games and multiple charity events a month. We have a full-time BBQ master that cooks ribs, chicken, brisket, and hand-cut potato fries for our customers during events. We have featured stars such as Charlie Daniels, Gretchen Wilson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Chris Cagle, James Otto and Jesse James Dupree. Our Grand Opening attracted 30,000 people (food and beverage was obviously handled by multiple vendors for that one). We temporarily shut down Interstate 29 and gridlocked two square miles.
We currently have a separate building for our Dyno in our back parking lot and have Riders Edge out back. Our next project is to build two courses and a training facility separate from the store. The goal is to go from training several-hundred a year to training over 1,000.
With the always-growing awareness of customer satisfaction, our service department uses its two biggest assets to enhance customer satisfaction and dealership profits.
Our No. 1 asset is our employees. They partner with the management team in a never-ending task of customer satisfaction. They are empowered and expected to do the right thing. Our employees realize how important it is to get our customers in and out of our service department and make them feel like they are important.
Our dispatch system allows us to have an open line of communication with all of our staff. Having 12 technicians and three service advisers trained and cross-trained at all different levels gives us the ability to expedite repairs and limit the time a motorcycle is in our possession. Three first class delivery drivers allow us to pick up and deliver motorcycles in a quick and timely manner.
Our body shop has the same commitment to customer satisfaction by trying to salvage an unfortunate and unpleasant situation. We are direct-repair for most major insurance companies, allowing us to be efficient with the time it takes to repair a motorcycle. This, once again, is due to our body shop staff's commitment to doing the right thing for the customer.
Our No. 2 asset is our facility. Our physical layout is user-friendly for the customer and efficiently designed for the technician. The flow from the reception area to the technician to the detail area is designed to limit movement and keep production at the highest level possible. In peak times, additional people are available to run parts, move motorcycles, and test ride in an effort to keep the technician at their work area, where they can concentrate on quality repairs and efficient production. Technicians are grouped so they can assist each other when advice, assistance, or mentoring is needed. The size of our facility gives us the ability to do this.
We go above and beyond the norm to makes sure our facility makes our guests feel appreciated and gives them a warm welcome every time they step foot in Worth Harley-Davidson. We have a covered area adjoining our service department for spring, summer and fall to store our service customers' completed motorcycles. This gives them security and it also creates another place they can gather out of the sun to visit or compare chrome. Our service advisers use this space to go over service repairs in detail with our customers. This extra addition increases the size of our service reception area allowing for better customer interaction. Having a full time person on staff to keep that area and adjoining outside areas clean, make our customers feel we took pride in what we do.
At Worth Harley-Davidson we believe if we continue to invest in our two biggest assets, our staff and our facility, we can keep our customers happy and out on the road. This alone will ensure our service future will be full of continued growth and profit.
Training and Employee Motivation Practices
Our staff is the life-giving blood of the store, and is what sets us apart and makes us special. Our staff is not just thankful that they have employment, but rather feel pride daily when they walk through the doors at Worth Harley-Davidson. We strive as a team to have a family atmosphere. This sets the example that allows our employees to make customers feel like they are part of the Worth Harley-Davidson family, also.
Our employees receive training that we believe is extremely different than what is standard in the industry. Common practice in the industry is to hire a new employee and then say, “Go watch these videos and take these tests.” We believe that our No. 1 asset is our employees, and we would never trust someone else to train our No. 1 asset. Managers that are held accountable for the employees' success or failure train new employees. The on-going training provided is our own proven system starting in a classroom setting and transitioning to the showroom floor.
We believe that our on-the-job and constant one-on-one training is the best in the industry. We not only teach the basics, we teach about making and reaching goals. Most of the time, employees will set a goal based on what they hope to do, with no plan, no motivation, and no direction. We teach employees that goals are not what you are hoping for but rather what you are capable of accomplishing based on what you are willing to sacrifice. When you set a goal you are really saying this is the performance standard I have set for myself. We teach them how to set a goal without hoping but with a plan that they are held accountable for. Excuses are “lies that we tell ourselves to tell ourselves that our poor performance is not our fault.” We make no excuses no matter what. I believe we lived this during the recession. We never worried about the things we could not control. Instead, we came up with a slogan: WE PROTECT OUR OWN ECONOMY. We decided the economy that we control was under the roof of Worth Harley-Davidson and the only thing that could hurt it was us. We found the strength with each other to band together and shine bright with growth and expansion. We teach our staff members how to be a team. Sacrifice and helping others reach their goals is what makes a team. We leave nothing to chance when it comes to training and we succeed as a team and fail as a team.
We have found innovative ways to compensate our employees with a team pay plan with individual rewards. We want customers to see and feel a noticeable difference in our store from the moment they walk through the doors. We believe, for example, it is unrealistic for us to expect a commissioned team member to greet a customer and that customer ask for another team member and not show some form of disappointment. Our entire team is paid every time we make a sale, therefore, it promotes an environment for every team member to have a financially vested interest no matter what the customer needs. We make sure that our compensation is structured to be the highest in the industry. We are always creating incentives that are not only financially rewarding but fun.
We are so fortunate to have such a loyal and passionate customer base. We have been amazed by the reach that we have at our store strictly by referral from our loyal customers. Several times a week, we receive emails and phone calls from people outside our region inquiring about motorcycles. We are filled with pride when customers state they were directed by their family, friends or coworkers to only deal with Worth Harley-Davidson. We believe that this is a direct result of proper training, worthy compensation, and family atmosphere that instills integrity and pride. Our store, staff, events, and charity work have become a shining light to not only our community, but our industry.
Commitment to Customer Service
Our customer service philosophy is really pretty simple, but difficult to attain. We believe that every store wants to take care of its customers but a store is made up of many different departments and people. We believe that finding ways to integrate the vision and mission of customer service with each team member is where it is difficult. We find that just like anything else, some employees are naturals and some need training.
Our customer service philosophy is simple: To provide a superior customer experience with a personal emphasis after the sale. Our main goal is to train our employees that we sell FUN, not products and services. We believe that every aspect of their journey should be fun and if at any point it’s not, we have a problem. We believe this provides a family atmosphere and unmatched customer experience that promotes integrity and loyalty. We believe that when a customer walks into our store they see and feel a difference. For example, when a customer walks into the average store and asks for the parts department, somebody points a finger towards the parts department. At our store, the customer is greeted then walked to and introduced to the department that will handle their needs.
We have many layers of accountability when it comes to customer service. Our employees know and are empowered to handle any customer complaint, no matter what their respective job title is. Our upper management has an open-door policy with customer problems, and we do not pass the buck. Ownership has empowered upper management to take care of customers regardless of dollars and cents! We have picked up many of our loyal customers on vacation that unfortunately broke down. I can remember a customer that bent a wheel beyond repair, only to find out it would be two weeks to get a new wheel. He called us and told us its 6 pm, it’s going to be two weeks to get a wheel. What am I supposed to do? We told him to hang tight and we would call him back. Upper management paid an employee to drive the wheel to him. He was shocked when he received the call that the wheel would be there in the morning.
We believe that the key to customer service is first and foremost to make the experience fun and engaging for the customer. We have unique ways of doing this with our customers. For example, every customer that buys a motorcycle from us goes on a poker run. The main objective is to meet someone from each department so they know how to contact that person for any need that they have. The second objective is reinforcing the relationship between the customer and the store in a fun and engaging way. They draw a card at each department, and the last card is drawn with a member of upper management. They make their best five-card hand and win a gift card of $25-$500.
We find customers really appreciate the fact after we get their money that we want to give back to them. We also find that by finishing their experience with upper management, it gives us the opportunity to make sure we did the best possible job for them. We ensure that we have the relationship we need, to accomplish what we want a loyal dedicated customer. We then hold our employees accountable to follow up and make sure that the relationship we have built continues. Our loyal active customer base is defined by the amount of customers that have made a purchase in a current calendar year. We sell 1,300 to 1,400 motorcycles per year, but our active customer base is over 7,000.
Our customer service model has provided us with the privilege to service what we believe are the most loyal and satisfied customers in the industry. Our growth and expansion can be attributed to a very steady and constant flow of repeat and referral business. We believe that our philosophy and customer service model has translated into industry leading growth for the last six years. We believe it is a testament of what can happen when you believe in your customers and them in you!
Involvement in the Community
We believe that our charitable work and community involvement can be summed up by this: You can create a dynasty with the profit you made, but you create a legacy with what you gave. Our community involvement and charitable work is only done with leadership and integrity. We believe that to whom much is given, much is required. We cannot take on every cause, therefore, we believe that it is our duty to be a leader within our community as an example to follow. We also believe that to be a leader, you must be involved for the right reasons. We do not give with a hope for gain of recognition and do not look at it as advertising. We are involved in many heartfelt and worthy causes, here are a few: Bikers for Babies, JDRF, First Hand Foundation, and our Military loyalty program. We give these causes not just money, but time that our entire store participates in. We have and always will be involved with an attitude of duty and thanks to our community and the level of success that it provides.