Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Best Place To Go For Heavy Equipment Service Is… Nowhere

Over the last few months, Carlisle & Company has been talking to Heavy Equipment end-customers, both farmers and construction equipment managers across the US and Canada, to learn how they make their service provider and parts sourcing decisions. The 2013 NAPB will offer deep dives into topics such as online parts sourcing trends, counter personnel impact, and parts availability trends and tools. Right now, the subject is mobile service – a key topic that stands out in the “What makes a great dealer?” category.

Why does it matter? Because time is money and convenience is king, especially during harvest season.

Put yourself in your customer’s boots: Try loading a 10-ton piece of broken equipment onto a trailer. You take it to the dealer, get one of those elusive same-day appointments, wait for the repair to be finished, and then load the equipment back onto the truck before heading home. No wonder customers consider this a hassle, especially when every minute that the equipment is not running is costing $$$.

But wait, there’s more. If the dealer offers mobile service, the trucks may be inadequately stocked, resulting, again, with the customer paying a penalty. Dealers charge travel time to come out and look at the problem, to go back to get the right parts, and return to make the repair… with a separate charge if the customer has an additional piece of equipment with a problem.

So what do customers do? They look for convenient alternatives. “I’d rather use an independent guy who can come anytime I need him.” “I have a guy come out and work right on the farm.” This guy becomes their go-to guy. And who do you call next time your equipment is down? Your guy. My guy.

Bottom Line: Great mobile service is not a “nice-to-have”. In fact, lack thereof is a “dissatisfier” that drives customers to other service providers – and probably not just for that one repair.

If you want to learn more about Carlisle & Company’s research on Heavy Equipment end-customers, contact Gene Metheny at gmetheny@carlisle-co.com or 314-324-4395.

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