When customers walk into Jim’s Carts-N-Parts in Milton, Wisconsin to buy a new or used golf car, they don’t realize they must attend a mandatory battery maintenance training class before they can make their purchase. “If they don’t want to attend, we don’t sell them a golf car,” says Jim Naughton Sr. owner of Jim’s Carts-N-Parts.
While one might think that this would discourage customers, the facts are that this unusual tactic keeps the 15-year old business growing and provides them with almost zero warranty returns on golf car batteries. “We have customers that get as many as 10 years out of a single set of batteries in every golf car that we sell,” says Naughton. “The training we offer is as simple as showing them how to check and change the water in the batteries, and to ignore all the other ‘advice’ given to them by family members or their RV buddies. If we show them right from the start how to properly maintain their batteries, they can typically get an average of five to seven year lifespans from a set in their golf cars.”
Jim’s Carts-N-Parts services a growing population of retirement home owners in the area, with most of the residents preferring to drive around in electric vehicles. Their desire to connect with customers and seeing to their needs, wasn’t something Naughton recently acquired. At age 71, he learned the importance of educating and providing service to customers from his early experience in the battery business, and meeting with influential people like U.S. Battery’ Manufacturing’s founder John Anderson. “He was a ‘matter of fact’ sort of guy,” said Naughton. “We sat around discussing the battery business and how well customers respond when you take interest in their needs and educate them.”
That experience has proven successful for the business and Naughton is passing on his experience and sales techniques to his son, Jim Jr., who also shares in his dad’s beliefs and plans to continue doing business this way. “The customer is coming to us because we’re experts on golf cars, so we also have to be experts on batteries too,” said Naughton Sr.
While the approach Jim’s Carts-N-Parts takes to keep and grow its customer base is a great lesson for any golf car dealer, it also demonstrates how proper battery maintenance is essential to prolonging battery life and ultimately lower operating costs. Additional information on battery maintenance and safety tips can be found on the U.S. Battery Manufacturing website at www.usbattery.com.