Turning on the “Wow” Factor to Elevate the Customer-Service Experience
SuperATV had a strong showing at this year’s Rally on the Rocks in Moab, Utah.
Harold Hunt, owner of SuperATV in Madison, Indiana, is a motorsports enthusiast, and he instills that same passion in the people he hires. They aren’t just clerks; they go out on the weekends and ride so that they can come back to the shop and relate their product knowledge and experience to customers.
We spoke with Josh South, SuperATV’s director of marketing and technology, to get his take on how the company became successful in the marketplace.
SEMA News: Who is your target market and demographic?
Josh South: Our target demographic is an enthusiast market—the guys who are going out on weekends, riding through the creeks and mudholes—but we serve every aspect of the UTV market, which includes racing teams, the average Joe who owns a farm and owns a Ranger, and the guy who’s out every weekend and wants a jacked-up machine. Our customers range in age from 24 to 50.
SN: Is the UTV market more recreational or vocational?
JS: At this time, it’s more recreational, but we’re seeing more individuals using them for vocational usage as time goes on because the machines are getting more powerful and versatile.
SN: How has the business grown over the years?
SuperATV attends enthusiast events to mix with their customers and understand their product needs.
JS: Business has exploded due to more people starting to use these machines. They want to take them higher in performance and lift, with new tires, doors and windshields. They really want to accessorize them like cars now more than anything.
SN: What’s been the toughest challenge you’ve faced?
JS: Making sure we get the products out to the customer as soon as the new models become available. For example, the Honda Talon was recently released. We get the machine when it’s available at the dealership. It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing going on. We have to wait until the machine gets there before we can develop the products. We sell just about any aftermarket accessory you can think of for UTVs.
SN: What has been one of your most rewarding successes, and what risks has the company taken along the way?
JS: Being able to be first to the market with some of the products. We produced one of the first windshields that was available for purchase for the Honda Talon. Another one is our GDP Portal line. It’s revolutionizing the industry. We are the name when it comes to gear reduction, and being able to provide that service and that product to the customer has been rewarding for us.
With R&D and testing, we push the curve with our products, and the Portals are a perfect example of that. We took a chance with our axle lines and some of our new-product development, and the risk we have taken with that is that the market will adapt and want those products.
SN: What draws customers to your store? Do you get repeat business?
JS: The factor that drives customers to our store is that we want to make sure our products are affordable while at the same time being the highest-quality available. We’ve invested in R&D and testing to make sure we get high-quality products at affordable prices for our customers.
Josh South, SuperATV’s director of marketing and technology, attributes the company’s success to the fact that the company’s owner, Harold Hunt, is an enthusiast, and he and his employees personally test the products they develop.
SN: What factors do you attribute your success to?
JS: The primary factor is that our owners are enthusiasts. Friday afternoons, they go jump on the machines and test the products that we’re developing, making sure we’re getting the best product out to our customers, because they don’t want our customers to ride it if we’re not going to ride it.
Secondly, our goal is to “wow” the customer every single day. For example, we have 30 people providing phone support to our customers every day. We have fitment experts to make sure the products fit our machines.
SN: How do you market the company?
JS: We are heavy into social media, email marketing, magazines, trade shows and race-team sponsorships. We take advantage of anywhere we can get out so that our customers can see us.
SN: How do you train staff to best serve the company?
JS: We have product experts—guys who know the machines backward and forward—and we do installation training with them. We’re tearing down machines and doing installations so that the people answering the phones actually have hands-on experience in servicing the machines.
SN: What portion of your overall sales comes from online?
JS: Online sales represent the majority of our sales. We get very few walk-ins because of our location. We are in the Midwest, and we ship product all over the world. We are a global company. Our products really fit to the mold of e-commerce and online shopping. Most of our products are small enough that they can be easily shipped, and I think the demographic of this market has that hands-on experience of wanting to install the products on their machines. It’s easy when you can go online, find your product, have it shipped and, within two to three days, it’s sitting on your porch.
SN: What are your plans for future growth?
JS: We are opening a new retail and shipping storefront later this year in Shreveport, Louisiana. At our current location in Madison, Indiana, we have customer pickup available. One of our focuses on Shreveport is that it’s going to be a retail space to try to provide product to the people in the southern half of the country that really have adapted to our products, and they can come and pick them up.
SN: What advice would you offer a retailer starting out in the market?
JS: It’s about knowing your customer, and that’s where SuperATV has succeeded. This company started because the owner, Harold Hunt, was riding in the back creeks of Indiana and wanted to get an extra lift on the Sportsman ATV he was riding. He built a lift kit for it, and soon after, his buddies wanted one, and his buddies’ buddies wanted one, and that’s what grew this business. These guys really know the customers, the market, and what the customers want on their machines to get optimal performance.