What Is The Secret To Customer Satisfaction?

For years I have looked for what it takes to drive customer satisfaction in the construction equipment industry.

In a conversation with a long-time customer I began to discover some of answers.

During our discussion my customer stated “If your dealership can find ways to help me control my owning and operating costs I will be extremely satisfied and we will do business for a long time!”

From that day on I kept asking customers about what it takes to control owning and operating costs of their equipment.

It was like peeling the layers of an onion.

Over a period of 35 + years, I have uncovered many of the elements it takes to drive customer satisfaction.

Below is a graphic that summarizes what I have uncovered.

I have built this graphic as a house to represent what must be in place to support the concept of helping the customer control owning and operating costs and driving high levels of customer satisfaction.


customer satisfaction


So how did we go about discovering the necessary components to Customer Satisfaction?

We would invite 10 to 12 customer to join us for a simple informal lunch and ask questions about why they chose our dealership to do business with over the competition.

These meetings were simple, no formal presentations and no sales and marketing pitches.

The first question we asked was "What is the single most important reason you would chose our dealership to do business with over the competition?"

You may be surprised by the answer.

Parts Availability ranked as the number one reason we were selected to do business with, without exception.

We held these meetings with customers year after year with Parts Availability always ranking first.

Why was Parts Availability #1

According to our customers Parts Availability (at or above 95%) allowed them to get the equipment back to work sooner, therefore generating income sooner.

If Customer Satisfaction is so driven by Parts Availability...please click here to learn more about improving Parts Availability.


What was the next question we asked of our customers?

What is our dealership doing that really satisfies your needs/requirements?

First, our customers told they really liked the fact that we offered most service repairs using a flat rate pricing system.

They believed that when they brought a piece of equipment to one of our service shops they clearly understood what their final bill would be before the repair was performed.

Many of our competitors would provide a quotation for a repair and frequently the bill far exceeded the quotation.

This caused disputes over invoices that many times became emotional.

By using a flat rate prices our dealership shared in the risk of what a repair would cost.

If we did not meet the labor time or the Parts used in the repair the dealership took the loss.

To learn more about Flat Rates please click here.


Next our customers told us that the Customer Support Agreements we offered was an important factor in meeting their needs and requirements.

They were comfortable with the fact that there equipment (investment) would be protected and cared for by the experts in the business (our dealership).

Learn more about how Customer Support Agreements will drive Customer Satisfaction.


Our customers we told us that they needed fast, accurate response to their orders, requests and inquiries.

To keep their equipment productive and highly available they needed solid information "Right Now".

Their investment in equipment is substantial and there is risk that can cause serious damage to their reputation in their industry and serious financial damage.

A dealer in the equipment business must set up the systems, processes and people. To respond quickly and accurately to their customers.

Learn how your dealership can develop a First Responders Team to meet the demands of your customers.




When a customer trusts the dealer to repair their equipment, they have every right to expect that the repair will be completed correctly the first time, every time.

What does it take to make certain
that every repair is done right the first time?

Is it the skill level of the technicians performing the repair, or the tools they use in the repair, or the correct troubleshooting information, or the diagnostic tools to determine the problem?

All of these are important but not the most important to performing repairs right the first time.

It is the system, process, and procedures that determine how repairs are done right the first time. Learn more about repairs done right the first time, please click here.


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Thank you for reviewing the components that are vital to creating and improving Customer Satisfaction.

We hope you will visit frequently as we add information to this website that you can apply to your equipment dealership.

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