When it comes to marine engines, improving customer satisfaction is as simple as educating consumers and matching them with the right product, according to the 2007 Marine Engine Competitive Information Study released Thursday by J.D. Power and Associates.
"Salespeople need to educate consumers about the newer engines so that they fully understand the benefits of the technology," said Todd Markusic, senior director of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement. "Consumers need to understand that the short-term cost savings they receive when purchasing an older-technology engine is offset by long-term, substantially lower satisfaction with that engine."
Markusic also stressed the importance of working with customers to fully understand how they plan to use their boats. That way, dealers can recommend the appropriate size and type of engine to satisfy their customers' needs and meet or exceed their expectations.
"If the dealer matches the engine to customer needs, they're well on their way to ensuring that owners have a much more satisfying boating experience," he said.
The report released Thursday at the Miami International Boat Show also ranked engine makers based on overall customer satisfaction in four categories.
Pleasurecraft Engine Group (PCM) ranks highest in the inboard EFI 4-stroke.
Honda ranks highest in the outboard EFI 4-stroke segment for a third consecutive year (tying with Suzuki in 2005), followed by Suzuki and Yamaha.
Evinrude and Mercury rank highest in a tie in the outboard DI 2-stroke segment. This is the second year in a row that Mercury ranked high in the segment, while Evinrude was able to tie with a 24-point improvement compared to 2006.
For a second consecutive year, Mercury MerCruiser ranks highest in the sterndrive EFI 4-stroke segment, followed closely by Volvo Penta.