“So far we haven’t sold a ton online but we look for it to increase,” says Vance. “Our online parts lookup is being utilized a lot by customers to look up parts and check their availability. Locals just stop in to pick up their purchases, and we also occasionally ship to other states.”
Customers can also view wholegoods inventory, but it is only available for purchase in-store. As with parts, customers can go through the machine specifications, conduct general product research and email additional queries.
CUSTOMERS THAT BACK THEM UP
The Millers continue to trust in the knowledge of their experienced and dedicated employees, along with their loyal customer base. “We are located in a very small town,” says Carole. “But it’s a nice town with friendly people who support us.”
In their small town, the Millers host an annual open house that last year was attended by an estimated 400 people. “We look forward to the open house each year,” says Carole. “Sales on that day are very good, and people enjoy visiting and trying out the mowers in our grassy lot.”
Customers come from surrounding counties to attend the open house. With a rural customer base that reaches an estimated 40-mile radius, the dealership has to take special things like cost-effective deliveries and services into account.
“Pickup and delivery charge is $40 round trip within our normal service area,” says Vance. “If the customer is out far enough to make it a lot less efficient for us, then the charge is adjusted accordingly.”
While municipal accounts do come along, the Millers are more focused on providing great service for their dedicated consumer customers. “I try to be as reasonable as possible in my bids, but won’t just give a machine away,” says Vance. “There is too much work involved to make such low margins. I would rather be able to give exceptional service to the regular customer that walks in. That is the customer I go out of my way for in the future whether they need service, advice or just a part.”
The Millers and the rest of the Bertels staff continue to stay focused on improving the business and providing superior service. “We are still always evolving with everyone’s input, as it is always encouraged to speak up and share ideas to make things more efficient or better in any way,” says Carole. “It’s mostly about taking care of the customers. Most of the customers we have attracted have become friends.”