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Turn Upset Customers into Loyal Ones at MDCE 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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Even the marine industry’s best service departments will sometimes encounter an upset customer. By learning strategies to handle these situations properly, dealerships can create loyalty and collect valuable information that can strengthen both customer relationships and service department processes and procedures.

At the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., Yamaha Marine University instructor, best practices expert and president of VRZ Consulting Valerie Ziebron will help attendees find effective ways to assist customers with dealership complaints, righting the ship and ultimately transforming a negative experience into a positive one.

Attendees of Ziebron’s MDCE session, "Turn Upset Customers into Loyal Ones,” will walk away with a guide to train their entire dealership team on positive conflict resolution techniques. The session takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. ET as part of MDCE’s Service Plus Track.

"Upset customers are a reality for all dealerships at one time or another,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. "That’s why it’s so important to learn how to defuse the situation. By using the strategies Valerie will share in her session, the service department can strengthen its relationships with customers, decrease staff stress levels, boost loyalty and improve the dealership’s reputation.”

Each of the 2014 MDCE educational tracks — Sales, Marketing, Leadership and Service Plus — has five sessions. In addition to Ziebron’s advice on transforming customer conflicts, the Service Plus Track’s sessions feature topics such as beefing up service department leadership skills, increasing marine accessories profits, boosting parts sales, and developing a Master Service Advisor, among others.

"There’s a reason Valerie is invited back to MDCE year after year,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. "She understands what makes service department personnel and their customers tick, and she makes it easy for dealers to take her insight and advice back to their businesses and put it to work.”

The 2014 MDCE will offer 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever offered, including seven Pre-Conference Workshops. The conference has traditionally included three educational tracks, but in 2014, it has expanded to four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. A Closing Keynote address also has been added this year.

The MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. In 2013, MDCE featured double-digit growth in dealer attendance, for a total of 615 marine retail professionals. MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. To learn more, visit

About the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo
The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ annual conference and member meeting. As the marine industry’s only dealer-specific educational conference, the MDCE offers an in-depth lineup of educational topics, a full-featured expo hall and a series of fixed networking opportunities, all of which are designed to help marine dealers connect with and learn from others who can foster their success. The MDCE is co-produced by MRAA and Boating Industry, and it features pre-conference workshops, opening and closing keynote presentations, four tracks of educational content and 30 sessions in all. It will be held Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit


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