Improve Your Customer’s Experience by Owning Your RECT

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Because you’re involved in a dealership service department, you know what’s coming. It’s the chaos of spring launch season.

And while pulling it off is a heavy lift for even the best-of-the-best service departments, it’s a huge opportunity for your team as well. An opportunity to kick off your customers’ boating season on the right foot … or not. To increase their boat usage … or not. To build long-term customer loyalty (read: repeat business) … or not. And to add general referral business … or not.

That’s why we picked this February Spotlight topic – Ease the Service Stress of Spring Deliveries – and it’s why we are partnering with MRAA Strategic Partner Lightspeed to share meaningful Repair Event Cycle Time (RECT) insights with you.

We know your customers’ experience (CX) with your service department is critical to the quality and longevity of their relationship with your dealership – and RECT is a big part of that. Spring launch is a fresh chance at getting the season started in the correct way.

Here are a few RECT insights to get things rolling:

  1. If you’re not tracking your dealership’s RECT, now is the time to start. Some Dealer Management Systems (DMS) make it easy for you to track. But any dealer can measure the time between opening a repair order and closing it. Learn more about measuring and improving RECT from MRAA’s Spotlight on the topic last February.
  2. Different DMS companies and different dealerships track it in different ways. What matters most is that you’re tracking it … and you’re actively working to reduce your RECT numbers so your customers have a better service experience and enjoy more time using their boat on the water.
  3. MRAA and VRZ Consulting worked together to identify proven tactics leading dealers use to overcome common challenges during each step of the service process that can lead to longer time in the shop and disappointed customers. You can find these solutions related to detailing and delivering – the final step of the service process – as part of this month’s Spotlight.
  4. As the marine industry gains more experience tracking RECT as an important customer experience metric and service department key performance indicator, our understanding of the numbers improves.

    For example, when Lightspeed first started tracking RECT, they only included repair orders in which marine dealers had recorded parts and labor in their DMS, which was a small subsegment of the total repair orders submitted.

    Today, they include repair orders with no parts or labor entered, which allows for a much larger pool of total repair orders. In addition, they’ve removed statistical outliers created by circumstances like storage. As a result, they are reporting a lower average RECT: about 24 days. Dealers report this is more representative of what’s happening in their shops than earlier methods, according to Lightspeed. Learn more about this change here

  5. While our understanding of the numbers continues to change and improve, our commitment to helping you improve RECT through the sharing of best practices, education and resources remains steadfast.

Not only will Lightspeed and MRAA be regularly sharing metrics related to the factors that influence RECT, but our team will soon be releasing dealer case studies from Lightspeed’s RECT award winners, sharing strategies these businesses have applied to achieve industry-leading customer experience.

liz walz

Since 1999, my career has been focused on the business of boating.

When I started in the industry, interviewing marine company presidents and CEOs was quite an education. Not only was it an incredible learning experience for someone new to the business world, I was fascinated by how each individual’s unique life experience influenced the way they managed their companies and conducted business with each other.

As I got to know the industry, rather than just reporting on it, I started to feel like a part of it. That’s when I knew I would spend the rest of my career in the boating business.

Since then, I've played several roles that have led to my current position and dream job as Vice President of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. At the end of the day, what drives me is the ability to make a real difference in the lives of our members.

After more than 20 years in the marine business, I know many of our members and partners. I know the importance they place on taking care of their employees, their customers and those people’s families, as well as their own. To be able to contribute to their success means more to me than I can explain. And to do it alongside such an amazing team is a great honor.