There is an inane concept in America that the customer is always right.
And in the motorcycle community managing owner expectations through proactive communication and providing personal service has a considerable positive impact on overall satisfaction with the motorcycle ownership experience.
At least according to this J.D. Power and Associates report. Two of the best practices, which are common among high performers, are managing owner expectations through proactive communication (including following up after a sales visit) and providing personal service (including a fluid and seamless process in servicing their motorcycle). In the luxury motorcycle segement confronted with limited consumer spending, it is to the advantage of motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships to identify and implement the best practices that satisfy owners that may lead to higher revenue.
But, someone at H-D believes the world is just full of bullies who believe if they rant loud enough, they’ll win and that’s not gonna happen on their shift!
I’m talking about Milwaukee-based Dave Zien, aged 64, who has been cruising around the country with patriotic flags on the back of his new Harley-Davidson Trike which has accumulated approximately ~15K miles. Mr. Zien was rejected a warranty repair for a broken clutch—the dealer citing his flags “drag” (the flags create) on the engine and transmission as the cause of the failure. In fact, Mr. Zien is a good customer and rode into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000 by logging more than a million miles on his 1992 Harley motorcycle. Mr. Zien voiced his displeasure throughout the motorcycle community and telling the local Fox News station that the motor company initially informed him he was “blocked” because of his flag displays and can never get any warranty work for seven years. H-D later recanted that statement and said his motorcycle is still under warranty, but they would not cover the clutch failure.
This is a mysterious approach to that “seamless process” in servicing motorcycles. The JD Powers report clearly points out that sales volumes and revenue of ancillary goods and services tend to be considerably higher—at motorcycle dealerships that provide a highly satisfying experience.
It’s this writers view that H-D should apologize for wasting Mr. Zien’s time and take the appropriate corrective action under warranty.
Ray Jordan photo courtesy of MKEimages.com and Mr. Zien photo courtesy of Yahoo.
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