Bayside Harley-Davidson

Bayside Harley-Davidson is a family-run, family-oriented dealership. We pride ourselves in providing activities that suit everyone from grandpa to granddaughter.

We carefully hire people and train them extensively so they have the knowledge and skills to achieve the service standards, and then empower them to work on behalf of customers -- whether inside or outside the organization. Employees are recognized and rewarded for their service accomplishments, sometimes individually, sometimes as a group effort. In particular, we celebrate the successes of employees who go one step beyond the expected actions for their customers.

Employees and department managers are empowered to resolve customer issues and concerns as they arise. This approach enhances the overall customer experience at our dealership by reducing the number of personnel a customer must express their concerns to before arriving at a resolution. We have a monthly orientation and training sessio,n as well as a 90-day orientation review for all new associates.

The sessions are conducted by our chief operating officer, who is fully versed in all policies and procedures, and can offer insight and advice for specific concerns. New associates are provided with a comprehensive listing of suggested or required training, a complete benefits package, an associate handbook, and a copy of their job description. Our ongoing employee training program includes formal, in-classroom, on- and off-site training as well as online training. Each service technician is sent to a technical service school annually.

We also utilize motivational speakers familiar to the motorcycle industry to reinforce enthusiasm, positive attitudes and persistence during difficult economic times. Associates are required to keep up-to-date with all Harley-Davidson University (HDU) online training as well as to attend any on-site training. We frequently ask our associates with an expertise in a certain area to provide training at our other dealerships. With multiple dealerships, this sharing of expertise helps to promote teamwork among all dealerships and builds camaraderie among all of our staff.

The goals of our training program include improving the responsiveness and effectiveness of our employees, linking regular customer feedback to quality service improvement plans, and promoting a customer base that is more informed and ready to purchase. We meet this goal through continuous employee training, coaching, mentoring, and measuring by means of customer feedback. Some of the methods we utilize for monitoring our customer service are independent call centers, corporate and in-house customer satisfaction surveys, in-house customer call-backs, recorded phone conversations, and role-playing. We have many team-building and incentive activities that include in-store competitions, recognition programs and special pay programs.

Fridays: Each month has a different theme, and this year's events have included Freaky Hair Friday, Luau Friday, Best Dressed Friday and Rock Star Friday. Employees are encouraged to dress up or down as the case may be. The monthly winner, selected by the participants, gets a paid day off, and usually some other gift certificates or prizes.

Dealership Rides: On our most recent group ride, the dealership was closed and all associates and their significant others were encouraged to attend, either on two wheels or four wheels. At the end of the ride, we treat all in attendance to lunch and discuss other all-associate activities to be conducted in the future. We also have a monthly dinner ride, where the associates pick the ride route and ending location.

Family Day: We host a family day at the dealership annually, where all staff and guests participate in competitive games that include horseshoes, riding games, and departmental challenges.

Tailgate Weekends: On weekends during the NFL football season, our associates wear the team jersey of their favorite NFL team while games are televised on our 40-ft. big-screen TV.

Bike Build-Off: We also have a spring and fall Bike Build-off, where the MotorClothes, Parts, Service, and Sales Department personnel put their heads together, and create unique custom bikes that are then judged by customers and senior management. The winning department receives a department-exclusive award, from dinner on the dealership to most recently, a night of go-cart racing at a local facility.

Top HOG Competition: Initially, an associate was selected by the department managers who best represented the core values of customer service. Each month, the previous months' selected associate must pick a new recipient of the award, and present the individual with the award and explain the reasons for their selection at the monthly all-associate meeting. We also have a monthly Associate of the Month recognition program, with the selected associate receiving recognition on a plaque displayed in the showroom and a reserved parking spot for the month. We have special incentive pay plans for customer service and satisfaction surveys. We utilize programs such as mystery shops to evaluate our staff's customer service, and reward those who achieve an overall score of 95 percent or higher.

Through our training programs, employee and departmental incentives and team approach, we achieve cohesiveness among our employees to meet and exceed our customers' expectations. This has resulted in our numerous awards of the Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield Award, a program that recognizes outstanding customer service and satisfaction as evidenced by customer service questionnaires received by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. MS Family has received the Bar & Shield Award from Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 13 of our 14 years of business. Our efforts to continue to make Bayside Harley-Davidson the best place to work have resulted in employee longevity and consistency throughout the dealership. We have five employees who've been at Bayside for more than 12 years, and the average employment time for all employees is over 3-1/2years.