To set itself apart from its competition, Moon Motorsports makes sure its customers and employees know they’re appreciated. “Everybody who works here has an important role and we encourage that,” said Kyle Erickson, part owner. “We have a close team. Everyone who is employed here cares about the overall success of the business. We have daily huddles for our sales guys and finance department. We go over what happened today, what’s going to happen tomorrow.” To show the dealership’s appreciation for its customers, the staff created Moon Motorsports Customer Appreciation Program. “Every dollar spent at our store equals a point, and the points can be redeemed for coupons used throughout the store,” said Erickson. “It keeps our parts and service customers coming back, instead of straying off to a competitor or an online source.” Being in business for nearly
40 years, the dealership has developed quite the repeat customer base. Moon Motorsports carries BMW, Honda, Yamaha, Polaris, STIHL, Honda Power Equipment and the latest addition was Aprilia in 2008.
An issue for Moon Motorsports has been getting new unit inventory. Erickson says Yamaha cut way back on its snowmobile production. “Some of the inventory didn’t show up,” he said, referring to Yamaha snowmobiles. Early snow and lots of it has really boosted sled sales this year. “With that big snow, we sold snowmobiles that we weren’t expecting so we ran out pretty quick,” said Erickson. “We sold four or five on Christmas Eve alone. The short day we were open. The Polaris (sleds) went really well this year.”
Touring and sport touring riders are most of Moon Motorsports’ customer base. “Goldwings are big for us,” commented Erickson. “With Honda, the ST1300 is big. A lot of it seems to be financed-based.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
More people are shopping online, especially for parts. Erickson says they have people come in with their own parts they purchased online looking for service. To tap into the online market, the dealership switched Web site providers. Erickson has found 50 Below to be very shopper-oriented. “We were paying so much money for the catalogues but not really getting anything from them,” he said. “Now we have it so you can pop open these catalogues online and buy on the spot. It’s a noticeable difference (in sales). Now we have to have someone watching online orders all day, every day.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
“Everything is down when you compare to the previous year,” Erickson said, “but we’re still posting profit in both the parts and service departments.” The dealership had seven technicians this summer, but they’re down to four. Snowmobile service keeps it fairly busy in the winter. “The big storm comes and that shop is humming with people who didn’t get it ready beforehand,” Erickson said, referring to snowmobilers. The dealership also recently started a pre-paid maintenance program, VIP Service Club. “It’s a product they can buy at the time of purchase of their new machine and finance it into the payment,” said Erickson. “When purchased, the customer can bring in their machine for every service that’s recommended in the owner’s manual for three years and have it already paid for. So far in the last few months since we’ve introduced it, it’s gone over very well.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Following the trend of people spending more time and money on the Web, the dealership is doing a lot more online, including sales and promotions. The dealership also created a Facebook page that it updates on a daily basis, says Erickson. They’ve done some advertising on Facebook and Craigslist as well, and Erickson says they’re currently working on a new online advertising program. Offline, the dealership has had success with radio advertising. “Although it’s expensive, we hear the results,” said Erickson.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Be honest with the customer and do what’s right,” Erickson said. “There’s nothing new there, but that’s how we try to set ourselves apart from the competition. We try to be the best dealer they’ve ever dealt with. With our multiple brands, we try to fit them with the best machine to fit their needs.”