Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 21

" Experienced boaters may know what
they want and how they want it, but new
boaters may not know as much about
how things can be done, " he says.
Griffin says he goes through a process
with clients to fine-tune their likes and
dislikes that may not be obvious even to
them. This helps him design a product
that checks all their boxes and solves
any problems they may be having with
their old products. His favorite queries
include: " What do you like and dislike
about your current canvas? " and " If
you had a magic wand and could create
the canvas to match your vision, what
would it be like? "
Northcoast's estimating software
helps Griffin work through this process
by organizing each order and disseminating its details to those involved in
design, fitting, layout, sewing and installation. During manufacturing, clients
can visit the boat or are sent in-progress
photos so they can feel a greater part of
the project. Final quality checklists ensure even greater accuracy.
Griffin notes that he also keeps expectations in check by naming seasons-not specific dates-as production

deadlines. That gives his shop more leeway when it comes to unexpected interruptions caused by product shortages,
delays or employee absences.
Innocenzi, Shuman and Griffin all
advocate for warding off misunderstandings by maintaining initial orders
and adjustments in writing, taking notes
on customer conversations and securing customer sign-off whenever possible. For tracking purposes, emails and
texts are always preferred over customer
phone calls.
Difficult clients are a fact of life for
any customer-facing business. But strategizing how to prevent situations that
create conflicts with difficult clients
can help fabricators with their balance
sheets and their mental health.
" A lot of our customer issues arise
from poor planning or communication
on their part, " Shuman says. " [But] as
long as the customer is being respectful
and reasonable, I'll do nearly whatever
it takes to make them happy. "
Michelle Miron is a Minnesota-based
freelance writer with a 30-year background
in journalism and marketing content.

DEALING WITH
DIFFICULT CUSTOMERS

''

Ask for 50 percent down and 50 percent
upon installation. And show customers
samples before getting started; that paints
a clearer picture in their minds of how the
final product is going to look. High-end
customers, especially, like to be a part of
the decision-making process; it's more
fun for them than just buying a finished
product and makes the project more
unique to them. "
-Vince Innocenzi, Chicago Marine Canvas

Madelynne, an employee at Northcoast Marine, helps install a cantilever frame system
onto a Sea Ray 380. At Northcoast, clients
requesting custom work must complete a
questionnaire that helps fine-tune their preferences before their projects are launched.
Photo: Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC.

For more information, visit:
www.marinefabricatormag.com
Search " customer relationships "

''
''

Trust your gut. If you meet with a customer or
see a situation that doesn't feel right, or you get
a feeling they will be difficult, don't take on the
project even if you really need the job. Another
one will come along. The ones I have thought I
shouldn't take have all been nightmares. "
-Chris Shuman, Custom Canvas and Cushions Inc.

Make every customer become a demanding
customer because you'll always have their
business. Make every customer feel as if they are
the most important. Take the high road and fix any
issue the customer has regardless of the reason.
By doing that, you'll attract the best clients. "
-Russ Griffin, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC

www.marinefabricatormag.com | 21


http://www.marinefabricatormag.com http://www.marinefabricatormag.com

Marine Fabricator May/June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Marine Fabricator May/June 2021

Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - Cover1
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - Cover2
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 1
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 2
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 3
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 4
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 5
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 6
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 7
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 8
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 9
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 10
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 11
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 12
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 13
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 14
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 15
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 16
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 17
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 18
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 19
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 20
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 21
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 22
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 23
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 24
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 25
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 26
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 27
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 28
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 29
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 30
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 31
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 32
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 33
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 34
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 35
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 36
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 37
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 38
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 39
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 40
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 41
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 42
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 43
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - 44
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - Cover3
Marine Fabricator May/June 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-march-april-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-tips-and-trends-supplement-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-january-february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-november-december-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-september-october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-july-august-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-may-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-march-april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-january-february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-november-december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-september-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-july-august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-may-june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-march-april-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-january-february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-november-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-september-october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-july-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-may-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/marine-fabricator-march-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0121MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/1120MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0920MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0720MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0520MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0320MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0120MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/1119MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0919MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0719MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0519MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0319MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0119MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/1118MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0918MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0718MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0518MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0318MF
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/marinefabricator/0118MF
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com