In 2001, a team of National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) member companies came together to create a program that would raise the bar for boat owner satisfaction, improving the overall customer experience to ultimately support long-term growth opportunities for the industry. As a result, the Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index (Marine Industry CSI) Program was created.
Prior to the implementation of the Marine Industry CSI Program, many member companies did not have a formal or consistent means to measure customer satisfaction with their boats and engines. If a manufacturer did have a formal system in place, they had no industry reference point for comparison.
A first for the marine industry, the Marine Industry CSI Program provides a uniform measure of customer satisfaction across the full range of boats and engines in the recreational marine industry. Manufacturers can now gauge customer satisfaction with their products and compare these satisfaction rates across all recreational boating segments.
The program conducts two surveys with new boat and engine customers during the first year of ownership. The first survey is mailed shortly after the time of boat delivery, and the second is sent nine months later. Together, the two surveys track customer satisfaction with the product, sales experience, delivery, and service process as well as product quality. A Marine Industry CSI Steering Committee established the questions for both surveys, basing them on customer feedback regarding topics they indicated impact their overall satisfaction.
The AVALA Marketing Group, a third-party group, provides independent collection, tabulation, and reporting of the customer satisfaction data on behalf of the Marine Industry CSI Program and recreational boating industry. The Marine Industry CSI Program and the Marine Industry CSI Steering Committee conducted a rigorous search and ultimately hired The AVALA Marketing Group based on its extensive experience in the recreation and marine industry and strong background implementing large-scale customer satisfaction measurement programs.
As the program has matured, new boat buyers have received an estimated 900,000 surveys. More than 250,000 customers have taken the time to tell us about their satisfaction with the new boats and engines they purchased. These responses and subsequent data are shared with manufacturers to use to improve the quality of their products, develop support programs, track trends, and monitor and advance their customer satisfaction efforts.
As the largest source of consumer satisfaction information in the marine industry, The Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index Awards program provides consumers with an unbiased source of information regarding satisfaction opinions of their fellow new boat and engine buyers.
Each year the Marine Industry CSI Awards program honors participating manufacturers that actively measure customer satisfaction and pursue continuous improvement to better serve the consumer. Award recipients achieve and maintain an independently measured standard of excellence of 90 percent or higher in initial customer satisfaction over an annual award period. This measurement is based on responses provided by customers purchasing a new boat and/or engine.
Program participants are recognized for their efforts if the following guidelines are met: