Trust and Service! Creating the Happiest Owners
How long have you been a BENETEAU dealer? Why did you choose BENETEAU?
Great Hudson officially became one of the first U.S. Beneteau dealers in 1991 but back in 1987 we started buying from France and importing for our sailing school before there was the BENETEAU dealer network that it is today. Great Hudson chose BENETEAU back then due to its overall approach in terms of sailing characteristics, affordability, customer service and quality. We are still a BENETEAU dealer for these same reasons. I grew up around BENETEAU boats as a kid washing boats, some service aspects in college and then after a few years of working elsewhere, returned full time about 9 years ago.
What is the average number of boats own by your customers?
I can honestly say we hardly ever see a customer buy a boat elsewhere after they have bought from us. I would say the average is about 3 BENETEAU boats that they buy from us but obviously some more, and some less. I think we have only one customer that has bought a different brand after owning a BENETEAU bought through us and that was because he moved too far away for us to sell him a new boat even though he asked. We also have a large number of previously used buyers buying new BENETEAU boats eventually and I think that is because they see everything we do for all our clients and entrust us for that larger new boat purchase. Our high rate of repeat buyers has a lot to do with our service as well (see below question about services).
What are the concerns of clients for buying new sailboat or outboard?
Trust and Service! I still am shocked at how many of our clients sing our praises for things that I always just assume must be done and do without question, both during the sale and service after delivering to owner. Ironically, I find customers who have owned boats previously bought from other dealers and/or brands to be so on edge and cautious when first buying and then they become some of our happiest and best clients. I was just delivering a powerboat to a new client of ours that has owned several boats in the past and he said he is shocked at how amazing the experience has been and never came close to it with others in the past. I then got a phonecall a few hours later from another customer to thank us for fixing his minor warranty issue so quickly and said that it was something his previous dealer would have just ignored. It was a very busy but uplifting weekend!
What are your favorite BENETEAU models (new or old)?
For sail and old it is the the 42 center cockpit for both its interior and deck layout. I still have dreams of living abord and cruising! For new sail it is the Oceanis 46.1..don't even get me started on why, I was requested to keep this short! For Outboards….it's really tough to answer, but if I had to narrow it down, it would either be the Barracuda 27 or Flyer 32. However, that is probably going to change once the new Antares 11 is released. This was the toughest question as every model has so many great aspects..it would have been easier to answer which models I don’t like because that list is very short.
What services do Great Hudson offer on new BENETEAU boats?
Extensive training and “homeport” service calls! Both aspects we have found make a huge difference in terms of customer satisfaction with both the product and the dealer. We don’t just take a client out for a test sail and instead actually spend hours intricately going through the systems, sailing, and lots of dock practice. We actually prefer but its not required, for the customers to take their time and use the boat at our marina for a few weekends before taking elsewhere as we find they are more comfortable with the boat, thus enjoy it more. Dockside service; most of the time service can be done at a customer's dock and you can avoid having to bring the boat back to our docks. It makes it tougher logistics wise for us, especially with long days of driving to and from, but it’s the right thing to do and makes it easier and more enjoyable for the owner too. Ironically, most of our customers bring their boats to us for winter storage, some from very far away, because they see how well we know the boats and the attention to details our service department has. They prefer us to do the majority of their maintenance/service needs during the off season.